|Office of Research||Issue Focus||Foreign Media Reaction|
MAJOR NATO COUNTRIES
Observers in major European capitals and in Canada assessed U.S. efforts to mount a response to the September 11 attacks. The U.S. initiative aimed at freezing the financial resources of terrorist networks prompted mostly favorable remarks in media from France, Germany and Spain. Analysts declared that this is an important aspect of the fight against global terrorism, and that the international community must unite in seeing these funds "dry up." Most went on to caution, however, that this will not be an easy task, stressing that banking confidentiality must also be protected. Italian dailies reported on Saudi Arabia's breaking ties with the Taliban. Crediting Secretary Powell, editorialists judged Riyadh's move an important and pivotal development. Pro-government, leading center-right Il Giornale held: "This could be the preliminary step towards changing Saudi Arabia's point of view regarding another request from the U.S.--giving Washington permission to use the giant operational bases on Saudi territory." Other opinionmakers in Britain, Italy and Germany weighed the implications of the apparent "extraordinary realignment" of global geopolitics as the U.S. builds an international coalition against terrorism. Some were hopeful, suggesting that this is an opportunity for both Russia and the West to improve relations and for Moscow to be "fully legitimized." But others were more chary, contending that in the apparent rush to form alliances, Washington risks creating more problems. German pundits were especially concerned that Russia's human rights record in Chechnya might be ignored. In Canada, papers reaffirmed support and sympathy for the U.S, but the message of caution from the liberal press contrasted sharply with the cheerleading in the conservative and nationalist outlets. Whereas the conservative Ottawa Sun and nationalist Ottawa Citizen were unequivocal about joining the U.S., the liberal Toronto Sun was more circumspect and lamented that the choice between the U.S. and terrorism was not "that simple." Troubled that the Bush plans "are still not clear," the Toronto paper argued that that the war on terror was a "broader and far more complex affair" than a military attack on Afghanistan. The paper was also concerned that anti-American sentiment fueling terrorism in other parts of the world was not fully understood, and warned that Soviet republics in Central Asia were "among the most dangerous and vulnerable proving grounds for Islamic extremism in the world."
OTHER NATO COUNTRIES
Commentators continued to cast about in a sea of editorial opinion and saw trouble ahead in the effort to build and sustain an international coalition against terrorism if, in searching for a military response, the underlying causes of terrorism were overlooked. Spain's left-of-center El Pais deemed the efforts to freeze bin Laden's assets as "worthwhile" and observers in Poland and Portugal came out most strongly in favor of an aggressive military response. The few voices favoring a "massive counterattack" against Islamic terrorism, however, were drowned out by voices of apprehension and anxiety. Concerned that that the fight against terrorism would "lead to a flight from freedom," writers in Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland worried that military retaliation alone "will not be sufficient to erase the basis and roots of terrorism." Capturing this sentiment, a Hungarian daily quipped: "Laser surgery, chemotherapy, all the means of a targeted armed attack must be employed, but all that is hardly worth anything if...the leaders of the global world fail to direct a cold-blooded and penetrating look at themselves." Left-leaning papers in Greece and the Netherlands along with pro-Islamic outlets in Turkey suggested that the U.S. was
manipulating the situation, positioning itself in Central Asia as a first step in "consolidating a New World Order." Summing up this cynical view, an Athens daily insinuated that the U.S. was not out to fight terrorism but "to protect huge interests." Looking beyond the U.S. to the Muslim world, writers in Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain agreed that the EU had a critical role to play in winning the trust of Arab countries, whose "collaboration and involvement," noted Madrid's conservative ABC, was "indispensable for the long and massive fight ahead."
Most Moscow observers expressed relief that the U.S. had not taken any rash action in Afghanistan as of yet, and advised Washington to stay the "cautious" course. Some, sensitive to the Chechnya issue, were wary of Russia's role in the U.S.-led coalition and were concerned about the potential for spillover effects in Central Asia. Others worried that U.S. retaliation was imminent and feared that "U.S. anti-terror may turn the planet over," thus bringing Osama bin Laden's plans to fruition. Anticipating a "stiff armed resistance" from the Talibs, reformist Vremya MN warned that "without a change in Kabul, it is impossible to put an end to Afghanistan...as a bridgehead of international terrorism."
Support for the U.S. and its efforts to fight terrorism continued to run high among many non-NATO countries and regions in Eastern and Central Europe. Muslim analysts in Tirana and Pristina were pleased with U.S. initiatives thus far, praising the Bush administration's moves to freeze suspected terrorists' assets, build an international coalition and implore Americans to shun anti-Muslim behavior. Some editorials were particularly laudatory toward America. A writer in Bucharest's pro-government Cotidianul, for example, asserted that "the tragedy that hit America on September 11, and the fight against terrorism led by the U.S., are making me see America not only as a great nation, but as the symbol of the civilized world as well.” Media in some traditionally neutral countries in Western Europe were also positive. Observers in Sweden and Switzerland applauded the Bush administration for being "calm and methodical in its approach" after the September 11 attacks. But other voices in Austria and Switzerland were less reassured, expressing some wariness that the U.S. may still look only for revenge, "turning the fight against terrorism turn into a humanitarian disaster for civilians." Even more cynical voices were raised Sarajavo, where one pundit saw that--because of its past "mistakes"--the U.S. was sowing what it reaped. In Sofia, left-leaning, stridently anti-American Monitor engaged in fear-mongering, warning that "all people around the world...will lose" in this fight and that the "winners"--read the U.S.--"will rearrange the spheres of interests in the world again." As the U.S. reaches out to form alliances in the fight against terrorism, there was some concern in the Baltic and Eastern European press about the role of Russia. Tallinn's second-leading Eesti PSevaleht warned that Russia will blame Georgia for "hiding international terrorists" and take the opportunity to "bomb" and take over the country. Meanwhile, commentators in Ireland were divided in their views regarding reports that Ireland will make its airport landing facilities available to the U.S. The centrist Irish Examiner held that it is "the least" Dublin can do, while the liberal Irish Times argued that "the decision...is wrong."
EDITORS: Irene Marr and Diana McCaffrey
EDITOR'S NOTE: This survey is based on 79 editorials from 26 countries, September 22-26. Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.
MAJOR EUROPEAN COUNTRIES
BRITAIN: "Putin Joins Up"
The independent Financial Times held (9/26): "The decision by Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to cooperate with the U.S.-led campaign against global terrorism confirms the extraordinary realignment in the world's political geography. It cannot have been an easy decision for Putin to make.... His own military commanders have been urging him to resist U.S. pressure. In the end, the advantages for Russia must have been obvious, however. The decision puts Mr. Putin firmly in the American camp in the most important confrontation of the past decade. The move underlines the need to rethink Russia's relations with the NATO alliance. Pressing ahead with NATO enlargement to include not only former members of the Warsaw pact, but also the Baltic republics from within the former Soviet Union must be matched by a willingness to involve Moscow more closely. Russia has chosen to reengage with the United States and its allies at a vital moment. It amounts to a recognition that there is no such thing as an exclusive 'backyard' in the modern world. That is one of the most important lessons of the latest terrorist atrocities."
The conservative Times opined (9/26): "America is daily being proved right in its decision both to ask all countries to stand with it against the terrorist menace and, at the same time, to differentiate the kinds and degree of contribution each is asked to make. The balance that the United States and Britain must strike, as they close the gaps in this unconventional common front, is to base the appeal for solidarity on firm moral and strategic principles but not necessarily to demand or expect an identity in motives. This is not to imply that all and any 'enemy of my enemy' should be courted, let alone trusted; the mistakes of the West made in Afghanistan in the 1980s in arming Afghans against the Soviet Union, and Iraq against Iran, must not be repeated. But it does point to a pragmatic layering of decisions to cooperate flexibly on the basis of common aims that may shift in the course of the long campaign ahead. What will be required is not coalition but a palimpsest, a political, military and intelligence-sharing script that is constantly rewritten."
"Making The Connection"
The liberal Guardian commented (9/26): "In his celebrated speech to Congress last week, Mr. Bush betrayed not the slightest understanding of the underlying reasons why so many Arabs appear hostile to the United States. It is not because they resent America's wealth. It is not because they oppose the concepts of democracy, freedom, and open societies. Rather, it is because they believe the United States props up corrupt regimes in their countries; because they think it is ignorant of Muslim beliefs and sensitivities; but most of all, because they think it supports Israel unthinkingly and unfairly in an undeclared war on Palestinians. For many Arabs, Palestine is the front line of a larger, largely silent conflict being fought out in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. That conflict is about justice, too. If Mr. Bush is to have a chance of winning his war in the longer term, he has to get to grips with root causes."
The independent Financial Times observed (9/26): "In barely six weeks a ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization is due to decide whether to launch a new trade round. The event has been inevitably overshadowed by the aftermath of terrorist attacks in the United States, while the planned venue--Doha, in the Middle Eastern state of Qatar--has raised questions about whether it will take place at all. However, this month's tragedy makes it even more vital that the talks succeed. The first priority should be to shape a negotiating agenda that developing countries can support. Second, Mr. Bush must throw his full weight behind winning new trade negotiating authority, unencumbered by ill-conceived labor and environment provisions. Securing early legislation would be decisive evidence of full US engagement in the WTO. Finally, WTO members need urgently to identify an alternative venue, in case they are unable to meet in Doha. To defer their talks would risk losing political momentum. Once missed, the opportunity to launch a new round may not recur soon. It must be seized now."
FRANCE: "Europe As A Spectator"
Philippe Mudry pointed out in centrist La Tribune (9/26): "Slowly but surely President Bush is building the contours of his global anti-terrorist policy. The coherence he has shown is impressive. Far from giving in to blind reprisal, Washington has accompanied its military preparations with a major diplomatic offensive that is reaching far into the Middle East and comprises essential economic and financial aspects. Beyond this immediate fight against terrorism, we are in the presence of a major repositioning of American interests for the long term.... It is in total contrast with Europe, whose complete lack of initiative is astounding.... As if the solidarity expressed in NATO or freezing some accounts could stand in lieu of policy."
"The Money Behind Terrorism"
Left-of-center Le Monde held in its editorial (9/26): "Hitting the pocketbook before hitting military targets.... The scope of President Bush's decision is incalculable because it is going to raise questions about the notion of bank secrecy.... Political and judicial entities have for a long time been asking for the initiative which has just been taken by the world's number one economic and financial power.... We must therefore be glad to note that September 11 has signaled a turning point in the U.S. and Europe.... But victory remains remote...because bank secrecy cannot be lifted everywhere and because we will discover that certain nations have made it their specialty to welcome certain types of funds, namely Great Britain.... The battle will be a long one because Bin Laden's networks use lots of cash...and avoid official banking networks.... This slowness could provoke the impatience and irritability of America, which has decided it has the right to choose when to hit, and unilaterally."
Gerard Dupuy observed in left-of-center Liberation (9/26): "The vice is getting tighter around a fleeting prey.... At least symbolically, Saudi Arabia has had to break relations with the Taliban regime.... If the United States is taking such precautions in obtaining the approval of almost all nations, it may be because Washington plans to be the only one to decide about what action to take. Whatever that action may be, preparations are already functioning as a factor of globalization. The United States has already 'forgiven' Pakistan and India their nuclear incidents... The embargo on terrorism funds will lead to other demands for transparency. It is not clear whether this minimum level of (international) solidarity will survive the first salvos fired by American forces. The globalization of terrorism has triggered a counter effect, which the United States is keenly aware of. In spite of itself, the Untied States may be reinventing what the UN could become."
"On The Trail Of Terrorism's Stash"
Bernard Morot commented in right-of-center France Soir (9/26): "It took almost 7,000 deaths for the United States to acknowledge what it already knew but tolerated in the name of sacrosanct liberalism.... And yet one wonders whether the new ordinance will manage to really cut the flow of money to Bin Laden's groups. All the experts know that terrorist groups have their own obscure financing networks.... Second, that they use great amounts of cash...and finally that the close ties established between major U.S. banks and other financial institutions in Arab and European countries do not facilitate the transparency asked for by the president. Let us hope that there will be no waivers granted, even if this rigorous implementation of the ordinance hurts some American interests.... If one looks hard enough, we may even find that our own beautiful nation harbors some funds which are not terribly clean."
GERMANY: "Hunt For Terrorists Money"
Center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (9/26) argued: "The U.S. campaign against international terrorism will be waged not only with military means. The hunt for terrorist funds...is equally important. The financial resources of the terrorist must dry up. This would hit the mark....of globally acting terrorist networks. But it will not be an easy enterprise. There will be no short-term successes. That is why international cooperation of all supervisory agencies, banks, and financial centers will be all the more important. Minor progress in the fight against money laundering activities of international drug rings and transnational organized crime show how tough and how long the wrestling for internationally valid rules is.... But the terrorists make their transactions not only via exotic tax oases, but they also use respectable banks at leading financial centers. That is why the terrorist funds must be captured without resulting in a overregulation and constriction of the free flow of capital."
"Bush Bids Farewell To Isolationist Reflexes"
Michael Backfisch argued in an editorial in business daily Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf (9/26): "There is no doubt that President Bush has bidden farewell to the isolationist reflexes he harbored at the beginning of his term. But despite all integration attempts, we should not be fooled. America's new multilateralism is not an alliance where all sides involved reached a consensus. Washington determines the rules of the game. Evidence of this is the most recent threat to freeze the U.S. assets of all direct and indirect supporters of terrorism. This measures hides the subtle principle of pressure and reward which is to extend one's own camp and ostracize the opponents of the anti-terror coalition."
"The Discovery Of the UN"
Center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (9/26) noted in an editorial: "Even the United States…is rediscovering the UN. Nothing has made this clearer than the unanimous vote by the House of Representatives to transfer some $1.2 billion in back fees. For years, Washington has been hesitant to pay its fees and thus forced the organization into making concessions. Now the time for such strategic games is over. Every ally is valuable to the United States in the fight against extremists, even the long despised UN. And the UN has a number of things to offer. They can keep the fight against terror from becoming a fight between cultures…. As a global organization, the UN also includes Islamic countries.... A UN mission against terror can hardly be considered a crusade against Muslims, even in the Islamic world."
"When It is Useful To Pay One's Debts"
Holger Schmale judged in an editorial in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung (9/26): "The United States' way of dealing with the organization runs counter to the spirit of the UN…. To pay attention to the UN only if it serves one's interests and otherwise to ignore it or even to hamper it by withholding fees is an unfortunate policy, one that has been practiced in Washington for years. It has helped to reinvigorate the image of the ugly American. Now is the time to change this policy fundamentally. The United States has the right to global solidarity after the terrorist attacks. And the UN has the right to be recognized, honored, and adequately financed by the United States."
"What Cannot Be Re-Evaluated"
Thomas Roth commented on ARD-TV's (national channel one) late evening newscast Tagesthemen (9/25): "Over the past few days, the Russian president made surprising concessions which will make it considerably easier to commonly fight international terrorism. In Russia, in Europe, and in the United States, Putin's phrase should finally be accepted everywhere: the Cold War is over. Politics is a tough, often cynical business, and that is why on days such as these, prices must be paid for such nice visions. The chancellor paid one price. [He said that] the events in Chechnya must be re-evaluated against the background of terrorism. But must they really be re-evaluated?… The problem was the Russian treatment of the civilian population, the non-respect of human rights, and alleged war crimes. This cannot be re-evaluated. This needs to be prosecuted -- as consistent as terrorism. Then, but only then, will such visions, as Putin developed today, have a chance even in reality. But they deserve this chance."
"Chechen War Cannot Be Compared To Anti-Terror Campaign"
Regional radio station Bayerischer Rundfunk of Munich (9/25) aired the following commentary by V. Doeschner: "In view of our close cooperation with Russia in the global alliance against international terrorism, we find ourselves all of a sudden on the side of possible war criminals and violators of human rights in Chechnya. This is right and we have a good conscience, because we have a common enemy: radical Islamic terror. But there are two possibilities to evaluate the war in Chechnya in light of the terrorist attacks in the United States: The fight against international terrorism, as Putin described it, is a precursor for the planned large-scale U.S. campaign…and then the West should really rethink its criticism of the war in Chechnya…and even help Russia…. But if, and this would be the second possibility, the Chechen war cannot be compared with the anti-terror campaign of the United States, then we should draw a clear line. A horse-trade, we will be silent concerning Chechnya if you support us in Afghanistan, should never take place."
"Putin's Terrorists Are Now Our Terrorists"
Kurt Kister argued in an editorial in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (9/26): "The chance which Putin sees is based on the fact that the West now evaluates events in Russia differently than it did before. Chancellor Schroeder already spoke of a 'differentiated' look at the fighting in Chechnya. Without great discussion, the West is now accepting the Russian view that mainly terrorists act in Chechnya. And terrorists--that is what we hear from the White House--do not deserve mercy. But the Russians in Chechnya did not grant this mercy either."
"The West's New Friend"
Florian Hassel maintained in an editorial in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (9/26): "The Kremlin wants to finish up the Taliban, Bin Laden, and their followers because they could endanger the authoritarian, corrupt, but Moscow friendly regimes in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan…. Russia is still an outdated, authoritarian country that is putting too many of its resources into its bloated military and secret services. If in doubt, Moscow still prefers to use violence instead of solving difficult structural problems. Keeping these facts in mind is more important than prematurely welcoming Putin as the new friend of the West and its values."
ITALY: “We Cannot Afford Mistakes Against Bin Laden”
An analysis by Marcella Emiliani in Rome centrist Il Messaggero held (9/26): “Bin Laden wants to obtain, on the wave of emotion for the recent attacks, what he has been unable to obtain with peaceful methods… Bin Laden is a defeated man who counts on the mistakes of his enemy…. The country that considers itself the beacon of the purest Islam--Saudi Arabia--yesterday took an unequivocal position by disassociating itself from Afghanistan and its unsavory guests. This is an important signal, indeed, and Muslims all over the world will have to take it into account. In other words, Islam has gone to war against the fanatics of the 'Jihad,' shedding an even clearer light over the two fronts facing each other.”
“The Temptations Of The Pacifists”
Lucio Caracciolo held in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (9/26): “The goal of the international mobilization should be very clear and explicit. Wars should be waged to defend us and to restore peace, possibly in a more stable geo-political environment. The less American and more global this war is, the more useful it will be for the Americans and for the rest of the world. Otherwise, pacifists will prevail notwithstanding everything. But the winners will not allow them to celebrate.”
“The Third End Of The Cold War”
A front-page commentary by Enzo Bettiza in centrist, influential La Stampa read (9/26): “All of a sudden we have seen the presidents of the two superpowers who were former enemies (Bush and Putin) launch, almost simultaneously, the challenge against terrorism. We have seen them turn simultaneously from poor governors into statesmen who are up to the task of dealing with an emergency situation…. Some are fussing that Putin has granted to the Americans only ‘humanitarian flyovers’…. But we could not have asked for more from Putin at this time. From many aspects, he has even gone beyond the reluctant European allies in his decision to help America in a concrete way. It is now up to America and to the West to thank Putin with something that will not be a mere ‘thank you.’ If Russia maintains its word, it will have to be rewarded and fully legitimized on the international level as one of the decisive pillars in the long war against Islamic terrorism.”
“Iraq, The Impossible Ally”
Jas Gawronsk wrote in a front-page commentary in centrist, influential La Stampa (9/26): "True, the embargo on Iraq is causing the death of one child every eight minutes, and it is probably a cruel and inappropriate measure. However, it may be worth recalling that the United Nations authorizes economic aid to Iraq exactly to save the lives of the weakest, and that it regularly finds out that Saddam Hussein uses it, instead, to strengthen his army and his power. And we should refresh our memory about the wealth that Iraq continues to build through its business deals with Syria, Egypt and Turkey: the oil pipeline with Syria that the United Nations has been unable to stop brings in two billion dollars per year…. In addition to investing in biological, nuclear and chemical plants in order to eliminate Western problems once and for all, Saddam officially finances…the peaceful Palestinian families who offer kamikaze killers for the holy war against Israel and others…. And we should also recall that the United Nations is unable to regularize relations with Iraq because Baghdad refuses international controls on weapons…. In sum, nothing can lead us to believe that Saddam is less dangerous, nor that it is possible to lower our guard concerning Iraq. But what are one, two, ten, one hundred Twin Towers worth vis-a-vis the beautiful international principle of the need to defend the weakest?”
“Where Killers Are Born"
A lengthy, philosophical analysis by Pietro Citati in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (9/26) included the following note: “The recent terrorist attacks in the United States were not born--as many have said--from the pain of the humble, of the poor, of the rejected…. Many among these unfortunate people are applauding the sinister heroes of terror. But if the terrorists prevail, the poor will be the first victims: offended, tortured, neglected, and imprisoned by those who claim to act in the name of Allah. Just like the Stalin-worshipers who were sacrificed by the millions by Stalin, himself. Let’s not forget that not too long ago, the likely accomplices of the terrorists destroyed the grand statues of Buddha in Afghanistan--the image of the man who preached silence, freedom of the soul, tolerance, compassion.”
“Powell Convinces Saudi Arabia To Break Relations With Kabul”
Alberto Pasolini Zanelli reported from Washington in pro-government, leading center-right Il Giornale (9/26): "Colin Powell continues to weave the web of alliances, always energetic and patient, careful and ambitious--and every day he brings home important results. Over the last 24 hours, for instance, he obtained Saudi Arabia’s decision to break with Kabul. This could be the preliminary step towards changing Saudi Arabia’s point of view regarding another request from the United States--giving Washington permission to use the giant operational bases on Saudi territory, from where it will be possible to lead the war in a very large area of the world.”
The conservative Ottawa Sun editorialized (9/25): "We can do whatever we want as a sovereign country. But we shouldn't then take it for granted that we can thumb our noses at the Americans and then expect them to heap praise upon us in return. Yesterday, Bush laid it out very clearly for Chretien: He wants us to ensure Canada is securing its borders from terrorists. If we fail to heed the message, the next snub might be deliberate."
"Stars And Swipes"
The nationalistic Ottawa Citizen wrote (9/25): "Canadians should be embarrassed that George W. Bush was forced to take time from his rather pressing schedule yesterday to explain why he didn't mention our country during last Thursday's speech.... In delivering his explanation (the U.S. president did not apologize, nor should he have), Mr. Bush also included words of mild rebuke. He said that many of the people who complained about the non-mention of Canada are simply playing games.... He's right. Rather than demanding that the U.S. mollify us over minor issues, let's focus on concrete plans for fighting terrorism - whether or not we get Canada's name up in lights."
"Canada's Call To Arms In War On Terror"
The liberal Toronto Star opined (9/25): "Bush's plans for a military assault on Afghanistan are still not clear, and may not be for some time to come. He may hope to topple the Taliban regime, or simply to capture bin Laden and destroy his camps. The Taliban still have time to heed the United Nations, and surrender him. But the war on terror is a broader and far more complex affair that will take years to win."
"Let's Think Carefully Before Going Off To War"
Columnist Thomas Walkom observed in the liberal Toronto Star (9/25): "American President George W. Bush asks the world to make a choice between the U.S. and terrorism. Would that it were that simple. The problem is that the United States has in the past supported what many people in the world regard as terror - terror equal to that suffered by New York and Washington.... To point this out is not to be anti-American. It is to state facts. Indeed, it is to state facts usually raised by Americans, themselves, who, to their credit, are often their own harshest critics. It is also a fact that the U.S. does much that would make any nation proud. Americans are generous by nature. Perhaps that is why they are so shocked to discover how much they are hated in parts of the world."
"Central Asia Danger Zone In Battle Against Terrorism"
Under the sub-heading, "Former Soviet republics significant as proving grounds for Islamic extremism in the world," columnist Stephen Handelman commented in the liberal Toronto Star (9/25): "Today, Central Asia is on the front lines once again. The war on terrorism declared by Washington will be concentrated, at least in its first phase, in Afghanistan, where the ruling Taliban support the camps and administrative offices used by Osama bin Laden. Geography alone makes the support of the former Soviet republics of Central Asia as crucial as Pakistan's to that conflict.... But they are crucial to the outcome in an even more significant way. Asia is among the most dangerous and vulnerable proving grounds for Islamic extremism in the world.... Nearly every Central Asian leader believes his country will be a target for retaliation if the Americans attack.... Perhaps for that reason they have all offered wary, initial support to Washington. Uzbekistan and Tajikistan refuse to confirm officially that they have granted Americans overflight rights and the use of key military bases.... No one is more worried about the impact of a U.S. war on Central Asia than Russia. Since the czars, the Kremlin has been determined to retain influence in the region.... American-led military action will only increase Moscow's fears that Washington will gain the upper hand in the struggle for resources.... So far Moscow is on America's side, pointedly drawing parallels with its own war in Chechnya, where Islamic fighters supported by bin Laden have been fighting to create a pan-Islamic state in the northern Caucasus. If Central Asia turns into a battle zone, the last Afghan war will seem like a minor prelude to this one."
"Can We Find A Use For The UN?"
Editorial pages editor Christina Spencer observed in the nationalist Ottawa Citizen (9/24): "The UN, the international organization charged with focusing on global security, reacted to the attack by cancelling an international conference on the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty; postponing a high-profile summit on children's issues; and delaying until November its customary annual speeches by world leaders. Resolutions from the General Assembly and the Security Council deploring the terrorist assault went almost unnoticed. One is tempted, particularly after the moral confusion of the Durban conference on racism, to dismiss the UN as useless, irrelevant or worse. UN defenders rightly note that the institution has no mandate to act without direction from its member states; its power is only that of moral suasion. But this is the crux of the UN's problems: It has little moral authority left.... In the end, it is likely to be the United States that gives new energy to the UN. The Bush administration knows the fight against terrorism will be long and require many allies.... The Americans' use of the UN will be pragmatic. UN resolutions could help legitimize a pro-U.S. stand among countries whose governments feel caught in the middle.... UN resolutions also become part of an international body of law that may come in very handy once the fighting stops.... But even strategic uses of the UN only work if the UN is seen as legitimate - that is, as a moral actor with an uncompromising sense of justice. It needs to rediscover this. Too often, in the past, it has simply seemed confused."
OTHER NATO COUNTRIES
BELGIUM: "War Against Terror"
Chief commentator Benoit Degardin editorialized in the Sud Presse group papers -- conservative La Meuse/La Lanterne (9/26) and independent La Nouvelle Gazette (9/26): "We have sufficiently said that Bush represented his country's indifference for the rest of the planet. The Yankees were the champions as far as isolationism is concerned. It was normal for them to locate our country in Scandinavia -- for those who at least knew that it existed. TV news hardly covered foreign affairs. Since the United States was the center of the world, why would it need others? Yet, a handful of terrorists showed it that it was not only vulnerable but that it needed the others. This is a totally new sentiment in the United States."
"U.S. -EU Relations"
Independent Catholic De Standaard said (9/26): "By early December, all the political obstacles regarding the European arrest warrant must be removed. However, even if the European arrest warrant becomes reality, extradition to the United States will remain a problem. Indeed, the EU countries continue to refuse extradition to countries that carry out the death penalty. Says Minister of Justice Marc Verwilghen: 'My American colleague is very well aware that the carrying out of the death penalty in a number of U.S. states is an obstacle to the possible extradition of terrorists. That is, however, an American problem. If the United States asks the entire world to make efforts in the war against terrorism, the United States itself will have to make an effort, too. (The efforts) cannot come from one side only,' Minister Verwilghen said to De Standaard yesterday. According to Verwilghen, it is European Commissioner for Justice Antonio Vitorino who left no doubt that the principle of non-extradition to a country that carries out the death penalty will be stipulated in the European arrest warrant. Verwilghen....is confident that there will be a political agreement over the European arrest warrant by the European Ministers of Justice council on December 6-7."
"Arafat Must Now Prove He Means What He Says"
Foreign affairs writer Ludwig De Vocht in financial De Financieel-Economische Tijd editorialized (9/26): "The shrewd Palestinian leader (Yasser Arafat) must now prove that he means what he says and act boldly against terrorist movements like Hamas and Jihad. However, if he succeeds in stopping those movements he will corroborate the Israeli claim that Arafat has always been in control and, consequently, could have stopped the terror much earlier. If he does not succeed, he will jeopardize his position of ally in the anti-terror coalition and somebody else will feel compelled to act against the Palestinian terror organizations in the framework of the coalition.... More than one year after the beginning of the second Intifada, concrete measures to breathe new life into the peace process are probably the only means to reduce Arab hesitations regarding an international coalition."
CZECH REPUBLIC: "Shame On Osama Bin Laden Or Campaign For Democracy?"
Jiri Pehe, political advisor of President Vaclav Havel, wrote in the right-center MF Dnes (9/26): "Since the dreadful terrorist attack on the United States, we have been witnessing ridiculous analyses and suggestions on how to deal with non-traditional enemies like terrorists, who are allegedly hard to identify.... The West should avoid any compromise and irresponsible solutions like the incomplete defeat of Iraq's regime ten years ago.... Those who claim that democracy has no chance in Islamic countries are racists in some ways. There are many people in Islamic countries, which would like to have free elections and speak freely.... If George W. Bush will abuse current configuration of the Western public and politicians to combat terrorism...the West will lose this part of the war on terrorism."
"Two-Fold Victory of the Terrorists"
The right-of-center Lidove Noviny noted in a column by chief commentator Petr Fischer (9/26): "Anxiety ... can lead to a flight from freedom and to new totalitarian control. Politicians--world and local--already know how to address the problem (fear of further terrorist attacks): stricter security measures of all possible kinds.... With the increased number of limitations and control mechanisms, the Big Brother concept is beginning to materialize.... The focal point of control will be everybody, and everybody is going to be a potential criminal. The state can do a lot for the security of its citizens; the army, functional intelligent services and police can build up its self-confidence; under the flag of war waged for enhanced security it can transform its citizens into non-free, non-independent and frightened individuals."
GREECE: "The Invisible...Order"
The lead editorial of leftist, influential, large-circulation Eleftherotypia said (9/26): "People with common sense all over the world have been watching with fright how alliances are being built and war operations are being prepared, not to fight terrorism, as is officially declared, but to protect huge interests (which are not named).... Scenarios have been unearthed, manufactured, and even adjusted to current reality aimed at consolidating the new order under Washington's leadership. The first step was to make people believe that this is 'a crusade for self-defense.' The second step purported to rally support from countries representing the 'good' against others which stood for 'evil.' Already, a universal alliance led by arch-general President Bush has been built in order to wage 'an invisible war.' .... 'Special analysts' in Washington still have old geopolitical fantasies, according to which he who controls Central Asia, controls the whole world, because there lie the biggest energy reserves of our planet. Naturally, terrorism will not be eradicated, even if the Taliban regime is toppled. If the plan for an 'invisible war' proves successful, the new World Order headed by the U.S. will be strengthened, with whatever that entails for peoples of the world."
HUNGARY: "The One Billion Worth Warning"
Senior writer Zoltan Farkas editorialized in leading Nepszabadsag (9/26): "No answers have been found yet to the biggest questions. What will happen next? What kind of a military action will the U.S. carry out and who will participate? How long will the 'war' continue? Oil prices drop, consequently the price of petrol goes down too. This is also a sign that the world fears a global economic recession."
"The Way Of Responding Splits America"
Junior defense writer Gabor Zord wrote in conservative Hungarian Magyar Nemzet (9/26): "There is tension within the Washington administration as regarding the ways and means of responding to the attack. The main dispute within the Bush cabinet is going on between Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Powell. It is interesting that Secretary Powell, who has extensive military experiences, takes a more moderate stance than Secretary Rumsfeld, who is more in favor of a military solution."
"The 'New War' and Hungary"
Respected Hungarian security policy expert Peter Talas viewed in prestigious Hungarian business/political Vilaggazdasag (9/26): "The fact that terrorism is unacceptable doesn't mean that the 'why' and the 'how' of it should not be explored. On the contrary, without thorough research a response can hardly be carried out successfully. It would not hurt if the Hungarian media occasionally made the public aware of the fact that the prospective terrorist threat to Hungary is no greater than it was before the September 11 attack against the United States."
"Embarrassing War In Afghanistan"
Historian and sociologist Zsolt Udvarvolgyi predicted in influential, liberal leaning Magyar Hirlap (9/26): "The counter-strike Infinite Justice will shake the very foundations of an Afghan society, threatened by famine, that has already been pushed back into the Middle Ages.... I think the failure of the Soviet ground intervention is a significant warning for the stratagems of the White House and the Pentagon. Following increased of deterrence efforts and spectacular air strikes, and the possible commando actions of the anti-Taliban coalition, some time will pass before the traditional ground intervention."
Columnist Julianna R. Szekely declared in influential, liberal leaning Magyar Hirlap (9/26): "On September 11, the cancer of terrorism attacked America. Laser surgery, chemotherapy, all the means of a targeted armed attack must be employed, but all that is hardly worth anything if...the leaders of the global world fail to direct a cold-blooded and penetrating look at themselves."
"The War And The Hungarian Far Right"
Historian Zoltan Ripp explained in independent Nepszava (9/26): "The war against fundamentalism declared in the name of Western civilization promises for our "Hungarista" [fascist] fundamentalists that soon all contradictions will become apparent that are inherent in the armed fight of the very visible superpower against the "elusive" enemy. That will be time when all their [Hungarian extreme right wing] views distilled from half truths and full lies truly bear fruit."
THE NETHERLANDS: "Notes On The Margins About Support"
Influential independent NRC Handelsblad had this editorial reviewing the U.S. governmental pledge of support for the financially troubled airlines, and how to apply the such support as well in the EU (9/25): "Furthermore all EU countries must observe the same rules for support. No one is interested in unequal competition. Finally companies and governments must realize this is a temporary arrangement. There is no question of a semi-permanent regulation, which would cost the taxpayer money. It is to be hoped that this stays this way. A new and not yet clearly visible situation would come about if government support is required in the long term and structurally, for other sectors as well."
"New World Order?"
Left-of-center Trouw wondered (9/26): "The United States are creating a broad coalition against international terrorism. It is finding new friends in places, until recently thought impossible. Is the U.S. drawing the lines of a new world order?"
Centrist Algemeen Dagblad had this editorial (9/26): "All figures indicate an American economic recession. Recovery seems far away. The question that rises is what governments could do. Central banks all over the world already lowered interest rates...but further steps are inevitable... governments, however, should be careful not to over do. Many of the economic problems already started before the attacks. Measures to, for example, rescue the aviation sector from total bankruptcy should ot result in rewards for poor management. America is best served by economic recovery and that requires intelligent measures not hasty ones."
"EU Can Create A Bridging Function Toward Muslims"
Centrist Haagsche Courant said in its editorial (9/25): "The EU was sensible in emphasizing that the combat against terrorism must ultimately be a struggle of the entire world community, and thus for the UN.... What the EU considers important above all is that the Americans will not have carte blanche for an indefinitely long time for military actions. That is sensible, because the current almost worldwide coalition against terrorism must be maintained. At that level there are also the best possibilities for the EU which can function as a bridge between the U.S. and the Muslim World. In that regard, the EU delegation which has commenced a trip to a number of Islamic countries, could be significant. While the U.S. is especially busy with the military side of the struggle, the diplomatic offensive by the EU is a welcome addition."
NORWAY: "Ready, Aim, Fire!"
In the independent VG, foreign affairs editor Svein A. Rohne commented (9/26): "For the Secretary of State the hectic international diplomacy in the wake of the terrorism atrocities in New York and Washington has meant a political comeback of importance.... The fallout from the first military attacks will decide what will happen in the next round. It isn't only about purely military results but just as much about the reactions from the rest of the world, and then especially among the Arab and Muslim countries, who demand proof from the Americans that Osama bin Laden and his network are behind this. That is why the U.S. government is considering making public a report with some of the proof that it has, but only some."
POLAND: "How To Respond"
Wojciech Gielzynski wrote in centrist weekly Wprost (9/26): "There can be no other answer to the war the Islamic terrorists declared on America but a massive counterattack.... The counterattack alone, however, will not be sufficient to erase the basis and roots of terrorism. This will need multiple and long-term economic and political moves, in addition to, first of all, some endeavors in the area of broadly understood culture. Still, a military riposte is indispensable."
"Who Is In The White House?"
Piotr Moszynski wrote in centrist weekly Wprost (9/26): "We were put in the situation which would require a big-caliber statesman in the White House, a man with great political imagination. The media were all too happy to ridicule George W. Bush before, but one should not assume the President will not live up to the challenge. For now, we are under the optimistic impression that he passed the [first] test.... Much will now depend on how fast George W. Bush, under the current circumstances, will forget that he is Texan or American, and will begin to see he is involved in determining the fate of a much bigger area: the world."
Commentary by foreign affairs editor Teresa de Sousa in influential center-left Público (9/26): "[...] Yesterday, before Parliament, [Prime Minister] Ant=nio Guterres removed any doubts and ambiguities that might persist...regarding the position of the Portuguese government in relation to the terrorist barbarity that fell upon America on the 11th of September.... It is legitimate to ask why Ant=nio Guterres waited so many days to transmit this message to the nation.... Domestically, it was necessary for [President] Jorge Sampaio to send a message to the Parliament and announce the convocation of the Councils of State and the Superior National Defense Council in order to give events their proper political dimension. The common position of the [European] Union, also unambiguous,...also helped Ant=nio Guterres. Finally, the fact that America itself reacted with the 'rationality' that the Prime Minister was appealing for yesterday -- rejecting the path of vengeance and unilateralism and leaving no argument for those here who needed some sort of 'vigilante attack' to justify their anti-Americanism -- allowed Guterres to advance on solid ground. In any case, we now know where we stand."
"The War of the Chameleons"
Commentary by President Sampaio's foreign policy advisor Carlos Gaspar in Público (9/26): "The American administration did not hesitate to call the unprecedented violation of its national territory an act of war.... [L]eaders in Europe consider the term 'war' inappropriate.... The divergence corresponds to the distinct experiences in the anti-terrorist struggle.... Of course, there had never been an attack on the scale of the World Trade Center.... Nevertheless, since 1968, terrorism has been a persistent reality in Europe and, while it was possible to destroy the most violent armed factions in Germany, Italy and France or in Portugal, the IRA and ETA continue to be operational. The more conservative reflex of the Europeans seeks to underline the duration of the struggle against terrorism, just as it devalues the terrorist threat and denies its political nature, relegating terrorist factions to the status of organized crime. This position is partially correct.... However it seems more difficult to negate the change and qualify the attacks in New York and Washington as a 'final stage of classic terrorism.' Beyond theoretical and political quibbles, fear has struck the city, where no one doubts the reality of war, which is also a war between bourgeois citizens -- modern individualists, skeptical and egoistic, for whom compassion is the limit to their capacity for intervention -- and the barbarian pariahs...warriors and fanatics, ready to die for glory and faith, who are now commanded by someone who knows the city from the inside."
Commentary by (opposition) Social-Democratic Party Eurodeputy Vasco Grata Moura in respected moderate-left daily Diário de Notfcias (9/26): "Lesser politicians don't want to hear talk about retaliation. That might lose them the approval of the Third-Worldist left, and they tremble with fear at the complications [that might ensue].... Whoever kills somebody risks 25 years in jail. But whoever kills more than six thousand defenseless human beings with one blow, in cold blood, must be spared retaliation! The only thing that must be done for this virtuous understanding, in the end, is simply to prepare the struggle against terrorism 'prudently'. Prudently, please note. Now, the Western world has two main tasks at this moment: the first is to retaliate wherever it can, and the second is to fight terrorism to the very last.... Retaliating, in these circumstances, is an imperative of both ethical conscience and of judicial conscience."
"The Privilege Of Dying for a Cause"
According to an op-ed by managing editor Oscar Mascarenhas in Diário de Notfcias (9/26): "The terrorists got two victories: they changed the face of New York,...and the changed the daily lives of the world, as if they had the power to set off earthquakes. That power was given to them by the nervous and security-crazy response of those supposedly in charge.... What more could the terrorists have asked for? Isn't their mission to terrorize? Didn't it suit them to have public forces leave their fellow citizens terrorized? You fight terrorism in two ways: draining the swamp where they hatch and proliferate--and following the lifestyle that they want to destabilize.... If a terrorist is ready to die for his barbaric idea, we have to say that other citizens are ready to die to maintain a convivial civic life without being watched. Because it's only worth living without fear."
"Terrorism And The Anti-Missile Shield"
An analysis by retired Admiral Reis Rodrigues in Diário de Notfcias (9/26): "It is understandable that the unilateralism of the U.S. in going forward with its MD program at any price...generates worry that it could put the strategic balance at risk.... It would, however, be much more positive and principally more useful if -- instead of taking simple positions against the American initiative--a concrete contribution were made to removing the circumstances that justify it. For that, it would suffice if Russia and China put a stop to technology transfer that has permitted the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles among pariah states; if the international community...united with the U.S. in an effort to eradicate international terrorism; and, finally, if the EU realized its so-often announced but always postponed initiatives in the realm of security and defense, thus freeing the U.S. from having to resolve European issues that only indirectly concern them. As long as this is not ensured, opposition to and reservations about making MD a reality will continue to suffer a sad lack of legitimacy."
SPAIN: “To Win The Arabs’ Trust”
Conservative ABC observed (9/26): “The key to the success of the international coalition against terrorism is the Arab countries.... The collaboration and involvement of these countries is indispensable for the long and massive fight ahead. To win the Arab countries’ trust we must present solid reasons, which contribute to their coming closer to our side.... In such a scenario, Europe has a key role to play, that must be performed intelligently. In a moment like this, when the U.S. raises resentments, the EU must take the maximum advantage of the diplomatic offensive that it is now a part of.... The White House must impose a new framework that then gives way to a political solution to the conflict [in the Middle East]. To do so, the United States has to stop Sharon’s impulse toward war and put pressure on Arafat so he roots out the terrorist poison spreading among his people. Without a solution to the Middle East conflict, Bush will be facing severe difficulties to build an international alliance. This is the commitment that both Bush and the EU must make to the Muslim world so it joins the coalition.”
“The Saudi Ally”
Left-of-center El Pais commented (9/26): “The U.S. government must be aware of the fact that under the current circumstances excessive pressure on Riyadh could undermine the stability of a key ally. Washington must not force Saudi Arabia to blindly line up with its targets without taking the risk that the measures adopted will discredit the regime and undermine a society marked by fundamentalism, which is much more fragile than is perceived from the outside. Unless Bush is ready to take the risk of losing the support of an important part of the moderate Muslim universe, the U.S. response should be a wise, prudent mixture of military and diplomatic tools.”
"The Money of Terrorism”
Left-of-center El Pais opined (9/26): “It is likely that there is not much money connected to Bin Laden in the U.S. financial system. However, the effort is worthwhile for two reasons. First, it discourages terrorists from making future investments in the United States, and second, it can push other countries where terrorist groups do invest into collaborating and punishing the terrorists in a much more painful way.... Nothing will be perfect, but it is possible to put such groups in real difficulty, if there is real cooperation. And yes, if for example, we go one step forward--in clear-cut cases--funds can be seized, pure and simple.”
TURKEY: "Lessons To Take"
Sedat Sertoglu wrote in mass-appeal Sabah (9/26): "FM Cem is finally going to the United States. Although late, it is better than not to have gone.... Reading FM Cem's words, the worry regarding the possibility of an operation against Iraq is clear. Turkey believes that terrorism has no geographic boundaries. Therefore if Saddam's Iraq is involved in this, Turkey should be even more active against it than it is now against the Taliban. This matter cannot be put aside by wishful thinking that Iraq is hopefully not a part of it. We better formulate our actions and move forward. Terrorism should be fully eliminated wherever it may occur."
"Events Which Make Us More Curious"
Cuneyt Arcayurek argued in intellectual/opinionmaker Cumhuriyet (9/26): "Powell invited Cem to the United States rather unexpectedly and literally all of a sudden. In the meantime, the content of the coalition's decree to allow Turkish airbases for U.S. operational use was reported as being classified. When you think of these two things together, curiosity increases.... I wonder will Secretary Powell ask Cem for Turkey's help for an operation against Iraq after the completion of the Afghan one. President Bush has already made it clear that countries supporting terrorism will be on their operation list. It seems the Pentagon has reached a consensus to go after Saddam following the operation against Afghanistan. ... I also wonder if this sudden visit to Washington is part of America's upcoming military operations in our own neighborhood?"
"Why The U.S. Benefits The Most?"
Huseyin Gulerce argued in pro-Islamic/intellectual Zaman (9/25): "By the help of popular support from emerging nationalism, the U.S. administration will be able to overcome the terrorism issue, and it will be even stronger than it is now. This will pave the way for designing the New World Order in the way that the United States always wanted... The war against Afghanistan is also making the Russian influence ineffective, not only in Afghanistan but also on the Turkic republics.... The United States, by taking Afghanistan under its control, is going to be the major player in Central Asia.... America stationed itself in the Gulf with the excuse of the Kuwait invasion. It is now about to station itself right in the heart of Asia."
Ahmet Tasgetiren wrote in pro-Islamic Yeni Safak (9/25): "I understand the pain and agony that the United States is going through, and I am against terrorism regardless of religion or faith.... Yet I do not think it is fair to put the blame on those who are being set up for this. The Muslims still haven't seen a hard proof or evidence to support the accusations against Taliban and bin Laden... I do not believe the Untied States intends a conflict of civilizations, either. But there is a bare fact: The United States is the 'boss' of this war and most of the countries to be bombed are Muslim countries.... The United States, despite the hawks' advice, better think more than twice. Hitting the wrong enemy will only make the real one stronger."
RUSSIA: "U.S. Roulette"
Boris Volkhonsky wrote in reformist weekly Vlast (9/25): "In the current war of nerves, the world has taken an attitude of expectation, waiting to see on whom the entire weight of American wrath will fall. And it is in Washington's interest to keep the pause as long as possible."
"Those Who Are Not With Them..."
Yevgeny Verlin and Shamsudin Mamayev wrote in reformist business weekly Expert (9/24): "Latest reports from Washington and other Western capitals indicate that the mood in favor of an early launching of the operation is ceding place to more balanced assessments of the situation (although the argument between the 'hawks' and 'doves' continues). The realization is coming that if some kind of a general consensus of the world community is possible concerning the 'Afghan nest' of terrorism and obscurantism, in the case of other 'several scores of nations' (we will again quote the US defense secretary) this is far from being self-evident."
"The Gray World"
"Anti-terror may be worse than terror," wrote Iskander Khisamov in reformist business weekly Expert (9/24): "The U.S. anti-terror may turn the planet over. Which, it seems, goes well with bin Laden's plans or those of others."
"Colin Powell Defense"
Reformist Izvestia's Maxim Yusin held (9/26): "Powell is too cautious man to make a careless gesture. This is no time for statements that the Kremlin can perceive with great sensitivity. The Americans are busy putting together the widest possible coalition to combat terrorism, inviting Moscow and its Central Asian allies to join. This is the chief priority of the U.S. diplomacy. It would be unpardonable stupidity to irk Russia in this situation. To do it on an empty place, without any pretext, and on the day when Putin actually promised his support to the U.S.... Naturally, he does not justify Moscow for its previous policy in Chechnya... Not everything at once.... But then there are no attacks on Russia now."
"Talibs In Isolation"
Reformist Vremya MN analyst Artur Blinov wrote (9/26): "Military preparations of the Talibs and their threats to punish the neighboring countries for supporting an action against bin Laden indicate that the anti-terrorist coalition will face a stiff armed resistance from them. The conclusion is clear: without a change of the regime in Kabul, it is impossible to put an end to Afghanistan being used as a bridgehead of international terrorism. Correspondingly, there arises the problem of looking, on the spot, for forces on which the anti-terrorist coalition could rely."
ALBANIA: "The Hour Of Settling Accounts"
Medium-circulation, pro-government Koha Jond ran an op-ed piece by former head of the parliament's foreign affairs commission, Sabri Godo (9/26): "The United States will attack Afghanistan within this week because the world opinion and especially the American one cannot put up with the delay of the counter-response against terrorism. The other reason is that the military actions could become more difficult with the beginning of the fall. The winter and the terrain are tougher and more difficult than those in the Balkans are. It has been said that by 26 September 2001 the American military will be ready awaiting an order of President Bush. The attack will occur on one of the days of this week, but not on Friday which is the prayer day for all Muslims throughout the world.... The main problem for the Americans is to separate Islam from terrorism, eliminating any possibility of any governments or terrorist organizations to interpret this as a war of the West against the Islamic world. President Bush himself visited a mosque in Washington and insisted in his repeated messages that the United States has nothing against Islam. However, how will the Islamic nations react, when the TV channels display images of the bombardment? It is in human nature to think about what happened yesterday, that is the terrorist acts of biblical dimensions that struck America on 11 September, and to start screaming for what it sees today. This is possible especially with nations that are not informed or involved such as Iraq, Iran or Libya and are ruled by fundamentalist regimes, but you cannot say that countries like Egypt or Pakistan are immunized. The former Soviet republics with a predominant Muslim population that lie in the north of Afghanistan are told by President Putin to stay quiet and not get involved.... All means and weapons should be employed against terrorism, except nuclear bombs as this would arouse the greatest anxiety and concern in the minds and spirit of the whole humanity. Militarily speaking, the United States is alone in the fight against terrorism, having England along its side. The European Union declared military support, but nothing has moved in terms of any military troops.... This does not mean that the Europeans are more accepting of Islamic fundamentalists whose sole goal is dominion over Arab countries from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean, under the flag of religious war. There is no doubt that America will be able to solve the problem itself regarding the military area, but the implications would be less and the results more quicker, if the entire world unanimously expresses its support.... Our government should cooperate with the neighboring countries in every aspect of the fight against terrorism and should try with determination to wipe out the slander network that is zealously wondering around Albania."
AUSTRIA: "Bombs And Supplies"
Senior editor Hans Rauscher wrote in liberal Der Standard (9/26): "Should the fight against terrorism turn into a humanitarian disaster for civilians, it will have failed its purpose in the eyes of the entire world. The Americans know that very well. The justified sanctions against Iraq had terrible consequences for its civilian population.... If the United States is dropping bombs on the centers of terrorism, they might as well drop supplies on the refugee camps."
"Stop The Bulldozers"
Foreign affairs writer Walter Friedl opined in mass-circulation Kurier (9/26): "In view of the situation (in the Middle East), it is in the interest of the West, the EU and the Untied States to put a curb on Ariel Sharon.... An escalation in the region is something President Bush cannot afford at the moment. The conflict must be brought under control. Therefore, the Middle East has to be given highest priority again, something the White House has rather inexcusably neglected lately. Luckily, something is now being done in that direction. Apparently, due to the intervention of Secretary of State Colin Powell as well as the EU, the meeting...between Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres will take place after all. Bush definitely needs this partial success in order to ensure the continuing support of the Arab countries."
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: "Justice: Responses Could Lead To Nuclear War"
Banja Luka-based weekly Reporter commented (9/24): "When Infinite Justice begins, common people will not think about their wages and prices of petrol any longer. They will just think about their safety.... Nevertheless, Bin Laden is only the main suspect of the terrorist attacks against New York and Washington. Weapons are ready for action, although there are no precise answers to the questions--who, why and what for.... Nobody has the answer to the question--what is the alternative to Infinite Justice? Being so powerful, the United States is not ready to face mistakes of its own foreign policy. There is no doubt that Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban government are some of those mistakes."
BULGARIA: "Is The Time Of The Hippies Coming?"
Left-leaning, stridently anti-American Monitor held (9/25): "In the U.S. retaliation strikes there will be both a winning and a losing side. On the losing side there will be the soldiers who will be sent as cannon fodder to the Afghanistan desert and will become easy prey to the Taleban. The Afghanistan population will also be among the losers, because more women and children than soldiers of Allah are likely to be killed. All people around the world who still believe that they have some human rights will lose as well. The winners will be those who will rearrange the spheres of interests in the world again. They have now their hands untied."
ESTONIA: "You Can’t Give Away A Country Like Spare Change”
Eerik-Niiles Kross wrote in second serious Eesti PSevaleht (9/25): “Ten days after the United States started its anti-terrorism campaign, Russia has played its cards as well.... Seems that the first target chosen has been Georgia.… They are blaming Georgia for ‘hiding international terrorists.’… In using Bush’s and Powell’s sentences it suggests that the Russians are using a ‘same standard policy.’ Meaning: If Washington can bomb Afghanistan as the backyard of bin Laden, then Russia can bomb Georgia as the backyard of Bassayev… The West must play its cards right in 2001, they must guarantee that if the West will take Afghanistan, Russia will not take Georgia. A free country cannot be traded for the freedom of another free country.”
IRELAND: "A Chance To Take A Stand"
Ryle Dowler opined in the centrist Irish Examiner (9/26): "Next week, Ireland assumes the chair of the Security Council. Al of the great powers have denounced the recent attacks on the United States. For the first time in half a century there is a chance of the Security Council taking effective action. Will our representatives try to play an effective role? Terrorism is a threat to everybody. Are we content to sit back and wait for some other fanatics to engage in germ warfare or even set off a nuclear device? The terrorists are undoubtedly developing such capabilities and we must face up to that reality. Providing landing facilities for those who are prepared to take up the fight is the least we can do."
"Gesture Over Our Airports Is Wrong"
Vincent Browne opined liberal Irish Times (9/26): "The decision to make airports available to the Americans, irrespective of what it is they are planning is wrong.... If what the Americans were now about was a credible 'surgical strike' against those they can show were responsible for the attack on New York and the Pentagon, that would be fine. If along the way the squalid Taliban regime was ousted in a coup in Afghanistan, that too would be fine. And even if the United States, in achieving these objectives, continued to operate double standards in its dealings with regimes and crises around the world, well it would be a pity but, what the hell, you can't have everything. However, we now know full well that the idea of 'surgical strikes' is nonsense.... Now it may be that the expectation of a repeat of what happened in Iraq and Yugoslavia is mistaken and that a more subtle campaign is under way, but does the Irish government know that, does Fine Gael know that and, if they do know that, why are they giving a blank check to the Americans to use our airports to do what they like in Afghanistan or perhaps in some other parts of the world? And if they do know it, why don't they tell us? By noon last Wednesday I had received a large volume of e-mails in response to my column of last week..... The response was two-to-one critical, most of the adverse comment assuming that I was sympathetic to the terrorists or that I was anti-American and believed Americans had them coming to them. Is it not impossible to admire America...while being critical of other aspects of American life?"
ROMANIA: "Confused America"
Independent Ziua ran this by political analyst and former FM Adrian Severin (9/25): “It wasn’t the simultaneous hijacking of several passenger jets which were turned into ‘human rockets’, it wasn’t the collapse of the two twin WTC towers in New York, or the deaths of thousands of innocent people, it wasn’t the relative collapse of the capital markets, the destabilization of industry and American air transportation, nor the threat over the dollar’s supremacy, all these were not the main consequence of the terrorist attacks that shook the United States and the whole world several days ago. It was the collapse of the Americans’ self confidence. The great American nation, which used to be very self confident, and gave tonic smiles to those who accused it of not getting involved enough or getting involved too much in different events, and was famous for its robust morale, and its strong, pragmatic and positive approach to any situation, now seems confused.”
"America--Symbol Of Civilized World"
Pro-government Cotidianul's political analyst Octavian Paler opined (9/25): “Let’s get down to serious business. Anti-Americanism, as a trend, is a branch of the fundamentalists’ rhetoric or that of European chauvinism, vain and blind. But there is also an upside-down type of fundamentalism, which only needs servile, admiring shouts, inappropriate, in my opinion, with the free American spirit. How can anyone forbid you to hold critical opinions, doubts or reservations regarding a civilization based on freedom? The tragedy that hit America on September 11, and the fight against terrorism led by the United States, are making me see America not only as a great nation, but as the symbol of the civilized world as well.”
"Old And New Spheres Of Influence"
In the pro-government Jurnalul National, editorialist Florin Diaconu commented (9/25): “There is another undeniable reality of international relations which will cost us, Europeans, a lot. Years, or maybe decades from now, the United States, Russia, and China will be de facto allies (and will probably become de jure allies soon) against radical Islam. But this alliance will end at a certain point. Right after that, a fight will start among the winners, a dreadful fight to regain old spheres of influence, as well as gaining new ones. This is how things went, in fact, after World War II, when the United States and Russia, the former main winners started jumping at each others’ throats for decades, during the Cold War. This is how things will go after the eradication of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism. And Europe, whether we like it or not, will be in the middle of the conflict again, but this time there won’t be a friendly America to support it during hard times.”
SWEDEN: "A New Bush Receives Support"
Per Ahlin wrote in liberal Dagens Nyheter (9/26): "The American approach in the fight against terrorism is a broad one.... President Bush wants to use financial pressure and military means as well as diplomacy, intelligence operations, and the judicial system.... The U.S. offensive has put to test the common foreign policy of the EU. And the Union now is better prepared than ever before. There are hardly any signs of the destructive discord that previously characterized the foreign policy of the union.... But the ones that were really put to test were the United States, and, in particular, its president. And so far, the result has been remarkable. The tone might have been a bit loud in pitch, and the wording was not always acceptable to European ears. But the contrast to the George Bush who campaigned for the presidency, and then made a flying start in the White House is quite noticeable. Then arrogance was the impression that dominated.... But now the Bush administration is being calm and methodical in its approach, and there is a sensitive ear, which earlier was conspicuous by its absence.... There is some disunity (in the world) on how to interpret the resolution by the Security Council, whether or not it is a war, or how to react properly, but, on the whole, the great support is impressive. That support would not have emerged if Bush had continued the way he started."
SWITZERLAND: "America and Roosevelt's Advice"
Deputy editor-in-chief Hansrudolf Kamer wrote in center-right, most prestigious Neue Zuercher Zeitung (9/22): "During the dark days of depression and war, President Roosevelt repeatedly warned the Americans not to seek counsel in fear. Whether an act of war or an isolated terrorist attack, the brutal murder of more than 6000 innocent people gives America every right to defend itself. However, the decision should not be guided by fear.... It is a relief to hear Washington declare that the goal is not to launch a few counterattacks, but to fight terrorism at every level over the long run. Voices holding America responsible for the hatred displayed in the attacks have become louder in the last few days.... It speaks for the president that he did not yield to the temptation of a quick punitive strike, and it gained him stature in American eyes. The hour of truth will come."
"Hesitation and Stalling in Kabul"
Cyrill Stieger, foreign editor of the center-right Neue Znrcher Zeitung, commented (9/21): "The council of clerics in Afghanistan has issued an edict in favor of asking Usama bin Ladin to leave the country, but they insist that his departure has to be voluntary.... The edict must be understood as another delaying tactic, but it leaves Pakistan facing a major dilemma. The Taliban are a creature of the Pakistani security forces, forged as an instrument to advance Islamabad's strategic interests in Afghanistan. But President Musharaff of Pakistan has pledged to cooperate with the United States.... If the result of the American pursuit of vengeance is the collapse of the Taliban in Afghanistan, a dangerous power vacuum will develop along the border between Central and South Asia. Even more threatening, however, is the possible destabilization of the atomic power Pakistan. The consequences of that for the embattled region would be incalculable."
YUGOSLAVIA (KOSOVO): “First American Attack Hits Terrorists’ Wallets”
Washington correspondent for independent Zeri had this comment (9/26): “The first American attack against terrorists has started, but this time with no guided missiles but by a signature of President Bush. On Monday President Bush signed an ‘executive order’ that hits the financial basis of the international terrorist network. This order freezes all funds and assets of the groups, NGOs and terrorist leaders and of those suspected of supporting the terrorists and groups that attacked New York and Washington two weeks ago.... Along with the intensive planning for a large scale counter-reaction on all fronts the American officials are taking care that their rhetoric and actions be not misinterpreted. Instead of taking hasty and unilateral action they have channeled their diplomatic energy to build international coalitions, including also Muslim countries for an anti-terrorist war that may last for an unspecified amount of time. Although there is a noticeable an anti-Muslim feeling the majority of the political leaders–from the president to the city mayors–are repeatedly warning that the Muslim-anism in general should not be accused. In order to avoid the impression that America has decided to attack Osama Bin Laden blindly and with no proofs, the leadership has announced that it will soon publish the information that puts the accused with the crime.”