|Office of Research||Issue Focus||Foreign Media Reaction|
Various themes continued to resonate in the foreign media as the U.S. pursues its coalition-building efforts. Following is a regional breakdown of views:
S. ASIA--PAKISTAN: Print media displayed little enthusiasm for carrying a war against terrorism into Afghanistan. General Musharraf's declaration of "Pakistan Solidarity Day" prompted Islamic and "liberation" groups to issue shrill rejoinders that received prominent play in the second-largest Urdu daily Nawa-e-Waqt. "Observation Of Solidarity Day For Infidels Is Haram (Forbidden)" read one headline; "The Government Is Observing Solidarity Day For Jews And Hindus" read another. The paper also front-paged the spurious news that the "Attack On U.S. Was Executed By Israel's Mossad." More moderate voices still advocated some kind of Washington-Taliban compromise and sought to minimize overt Pakistani military involvement. Several columnists, noting speculation that the U.S. was preparing to support the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, were disturbed by the prospect of a reignited Afghan civil war. Pro-Muslim League Pakistan inveighed against attempts to install a "puppet regime" and the Peshawar-based, independent Frontier Post warned that "the U.S. and the countries that have their own axe to grind against the Taliban would be committing the same mistake [as the Russians], if they chose to pat the back of one of the contenders to the seat of power in Kabul."
S. ASIA--INDIA: Most editorials remained critical of U.S. moves to engage Pakistan. Airing a typical view, the Mumbai-based Free Press Journal intoned: "No matter what the balance of international forces, Pakistan will always be used as a tool to hold down India." The populist Indian Express, however, encouraged readers to take a broader view, saying: "All this unhappiness is absurd and...comes from looking at the global fight against terrorism through the prism of India-Pakistan rivalry.... Combating terrorism is not one country's battle, it is every country's battle and no one can sit on the sidelines." The centrist Hindustan Times put forth its own theories as to who was responsible for the September 11 attacks, claiming that "American intelligence" had found "a link between the...attacks and Pakistan-based Kashmiri terrorists."
OIC COUNTRIES: Commentary continued to be shaped by anti-Israel conspiracy theories and fears that U.S. actions would result in collective punishment of Arabs and Muslims. Egyptian papers led the charge. Pro-government dailies again circulated the story about Israeli complicity in the WTC attack and called for the reopening of the investigation of the 1999 EgyptAir crash; an opposition paper wondered whether eventually "all the Arab money abroad" will be confiscated "under the pretext of drying up the resources of terrorism." English-language papers in Indonesia and Malaysia figured prominently today. The leading independent Jakarta Post worried about the security of Americans within its borders. A Malaysian paper railed that America's "new-found affection for Iran and Pakistan" for "as long as it needs their support" was manipulative and would only incur more wrath toward the U.S. from an already disaffected Arab/Muslim world. Domestic Saudi Arabian dailies stood alone in supporting a "firm anti-terrorism stance" and "cooperation" with the U.S.
EUROPE: Editorials in major NATO capitals and Russia again assessed the success of U.S. coalition-building. Papers across the political spectrum in Britain, Germany, Russia and Turkey credited President Bush's leadership to date--hailing his "measured words and deeds," his "sense of realism" and his speaking out against "anti-Islam or lynch-the-Muslim" backlash--for bringing together a broad array of potential allies in an anti-terror coalition. London's conservative Times noted the latest MORI poll (9/20-25) as proof of firm British public support for Bush, adding, however, that the extent of this support "will ultimately depend heavily on the faith which British citizens invest in the military and political strategy" of the U.S. administration. And some leading broadsheets in Britain and Germany warned that Washington needs to lay out a clear set of war aims as it edges closer to military action. According to London's centrist Independent, the "lack of clarity" about war objectives "will have to be remedied if Mr. Bush does not want to see the tiny fissures that are emerging in his grand coalition widening to more dangerous splits."
EAST ASIA: Regional media highlighted three themes, the role of the UN, that of China and Japan, and what kinds of sacrifices the U.S.' "friends and allies" might be asked to make in supporting the U.S. "war on terrorism." Official Beijing papers and a pro-PRC Macau daily insisted that the UN--rather than just the U.S.--should play a key role in the anti-terrorist campaign. Underlying this conviction was the suspicion--voiced by the Macau Daily News--that the U.S.' campaign would "go out of bounds" and threaten the "international order." On China's specific role, an Australian observer saw the PRC as "torn" between the desire to be a responsible international player and the temptation to seek "political and economic advantages" for itself in the aftermath of the attacks. Japan's media played up their prime minister's U.S. visit, and stressed that Tokyo should not be left out of global efforts to fight terrorism. In Australia, a financial daily worried about what the "war against terrorism...[would] mean for Australia's trade relationships."
[Note: An analysis of Western Hemisphere views is scheduled to be issued tomorrow.]
EDITORS: Kathleen Brahney, Katherine Starr, Gail Burke, Stephen Thibeault; The report also draws upon analysis provided by the Press Section in New Delhi.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This survey is based on 63 editorials from 20 countries, September 23-27.
Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "Creative Tensions"
The conservative Daily Telegraph opined (9/27): "Sixteen days after the New York and Washington bombings, the United States is almost ready for action. So far, the inter-departmental tensions in Washington seem to have had a creative effect. Nobody can tell whether that will remain the case if the fight against terrorism, as George W. Bush has warned, is protracted. But it is worth at this stage establishing a guiding principle for coalition-forming. In each case, Washington must first decide what it wants to do, then form a coalition for that purpose. Gathering allies without having defined a specific goal...will simply undermine American effectiveness. Coalitions, in the pragmatic plural, are better than a single grand coalition. There have already been hints of a dilution of purpose in the wooing of Iran and Syria, both of which will soon have to be confronted with their long complicity in terrorism. The jaw-jaw must serve the war-war, not impede it."
"Still A War That Has Few Clear Enemies And Still Fewer Clear Aims"
An editorial in the centrist Independent read (9/27): "'Phony war' is a phrase that has been employed a good deal recently. Perhaps the French equivalent from 1940, la drole de guerre, 'the strange war', is more appropriate. For it is quite extraordinarily strange--given the emotions naturally stimulated by the atrocities of two weeks ago--that America has still not fired a single bullet in response to these outrages. The world should be thankful that the Bush administration did not react with immediate violence, but instead followed its better instincts and proceeded with caution.... But if America's war aims have narrowed, they are not very much clearer than they were when Mr. Bush first declared his war on terrorism. This lack of clarity will have to be remedied if Mr. Bush does not want to see the tiny fissures that are emerging in his grand coalition widening into more dangerous splits.... The need for a clear set of war aims is becoming urgent as we edge closer to military action. What is the purpose of such action in Afghanistan? Which countries are officially regarded as 'harboring' terrorists? What demands will be placed upon them? Are we now going to depose Saddam Hussein? And where is the solid evidence that links Mr. bin Laden to the atrocities? Mr. Bush must not turn this strange, phony war into a real one until he can say what it is for."
"U.S. Comes Up Against Real World"
An article in the liberal Guardian by comment editor Seumas Milne asserted (9/27): "Few can seriously hope that waging war on Afghanistan or Iraq--or the death of Bin Laden, for that matter--will stamp out terrorism any more effectively than the alternative of legal, security and diplomatic action. But an end to the siege of Iraq, the use of Western clout to accelerate the creation of a viable Palestinian state and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Arabian peninsula would begin to relieve the political pressure cooker by tackling the most inflammatory sources of tension in the region. Conservative politicians in the United States are becoming impatient for the sound of gunfire. The Bush administration has a choice: it can go further in the direction it has begun tentatively to explore while assembling its coalition, for example over the Israel-Palestinian conflict, or it can cave in to the siren voices on its right and pour an ocean of petrol on the flames."
According to an editorial in the conservative Times (9/27): "Far from reconsidering its initial
assessment of the response which is demanded, there is evidence that the British public has hardened its resolve. As the latest MORI poll in Times this morning confirms, the prime minister's forceful stance over the past fortnight has solid backing from voters.... The extent of public support will ultimately depend heavily on the faith which British citizens invest in the military and political strategy of the American administration. The shift in attitudes here towards George W. Bush is striking.... Today Mr. Bush enjoys a status in this country which is almost as strong as that enjoyed by the prime minister. He could even be benefiting from the contrast between his firm but measured words and deeds since September 11 and the caricature of him as an ignorant Texan cowboy.... The disturbing aspect of this poll is the sudden collapse in economic confidence.... The real message of the polls, in Britain as in the United States, is that the majority of voters are more than prepared for combat and casualties, but that the 'patriotic' rebound for which Wall Street initially hoped is far from beginning to materialize."
FRANCE: "Europe United Against The Crisis"
Daniel Vernet wrote in left-of-center Le Monde (9/27): Europe can confirm its existence through action. This is why it is important that Europe act.... That it be active in the Middle East.... That is use its good relations with several Arab nations to enroll them in the coalition against terrorism. That it be able to engage in 'total solidarity' with the United States, while using this solidarity to make its voice heard on several issues on the international scene."
"The Meeting Between Arafat And Peres"
Right-of-center Les Echos held (9/27): "One of the first tangible consequences of the events of September 11. Ariel Sharon...was forced to give in to U.S. and European pressure to accept that Peres and Arafat meet. For Washington, the point is to convince the moderate Arab states to lend their support to the anti-terrorist coalition. And yesterday's meeting...marks a major turning point for Bush's America: a return to the international diplomatic scene."
GERMANY: "Time To Take Bush Seriously"
Washington correspondent Klaus Kleber commented on ARD-TV's (national channel one) late evening newscast Tagesthemen (9/26): "George Bush has fulfilled his first and most important task. He got the nation behind him, even with aggressive tones.... What is important is the substance and, with this respect, George W. Bush is cutting a surprisingly quiet and realistic figure. The hardliners in the cabinet have been cut to size, and the Bush team makes a professional sober and sound policy.... For us in Germany, it is now high time to throw away the magazines making fun [of the U.S. president]. Bush has grown with his tasks such as previous presidents, too. We must get used to the idea that we have to take him seriously."
Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger observed in an editorial in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (9/27): "The increasing warnings against a large-scale war triggered by a U.S. desire for retaliation have made us lose sight of the fact that the Bush administration is not limiting its anti-terrorism strategy to military options. The strategy will make use of many different tools in unconventional, but not irresponsible ways. A military mission will be part of this. It speaks in favor of Bush's sense of realism that he is preparing his country for the loss of human life even if the military actions will be limited. Moreover, Bush no longer subordinates his strategic-military thinking under the imperative that no U.S. casualties can occur."
"The Answer? Neither Hatred Nor Revenge"
Co-publisher and former chancellor Helmut Schmidt noted in a front-page editorial in center-left weekly Die Zeit of Hamburg (9/27): "Up to now, Washington has made no serious mistakes despite a high degree of nervousness. That also holds true for the president's powerful speech in Congress. The speech managed to strike a balance between global political reason and the willingness to take action and prepare militarily.... Our government--as well as those of other EU countries--and the German parliament are on the right track. They cooperate in the effort to identify terrorist cells; they are prepared and willing to join the fight against terrorism. They act in solidarity with the United States.... The U.S. administration and Congress can count on the solidarity of Europe and Germany. This solidarity could be compromised only if Washington reacted inappropriately or failed to provide information and opportunities for consultation. That is why a balanced and reasonable U.S. approach continues to be important."
"Strike Against The Unknown"
Wolfgang Koydl analyzed in an editorial in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (9/27) "U.S. troops are positioning themselves on a global scale, aircraft carriers leave harbors, fighter bomber squadrons are transferred to different bases, but the speech writers of the president are the ones who are really active. On the one hand, they must find new synonyms for the term 'patience.' The White House demands the Americans to show perseverance, stamina, steadfastness, but, on the other hand, these speech writers also write martial tones in the president's speeches. This contradiction between rhetoric and reality could develop into a problem for the administration, at home and abroad, because it reflects something Washington does not need at all right now: uncertainty. The best example are the contradictory statements on the fate of the Afghan regime. Thus far, George W. Bush has been praised for his restraint.... But the more time lapses before he strikes back, the greater will be doubts about whether his administration is able at all to let strong deeds follow strong words. Two weeks are a long time, including for the international community of nations. Some U.S. allies have already begun to minimize their oath of loyalty to the United States and even Washington is realizing how difficult it will be to maintain a coalition against terrorism in the long run."
"Information And Disinformation"
Holger Schmale had this to say in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung (9/27): "On TV, Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice described the ouster of the Taliban regime to be the prime goal of the campaign against terrorism. Secretary of State Powell denied the statement immediately. President Bush spoke of a 'campaign,' and withdrew this term a few hours later. What does this mix-up of scenarios, targets and terms mean? Is it an expression of helplessness about the right strategy? Defense Secretary Rumsfeld recently said that he does not want to lie to the public, but at the same time, he said he cannot always tell the truth. Thus the conclusion is probably more appropriate that we have to deal with a policy of clearly targeted disinfomation. Defense Minister Scharping demonstrated how well this works. In the morning, he called U.S. indications 'very likely' that the United States will submit sound evidence of the masterminds of the attacks [at NATO's meeting in Brussels]. But this was not true."
ITALY: “Few Trustful Countries And Elite Commandos”
Foreign Affairs editor Alberto Flores d’Arcais opines in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (9/27): “America will not involve NATO but will ask some Allies--Great Britain, Turkey and France--for ‘individual' help in the ‘war’ against Bin Laden and his terrorist network.... As this is mainly a ‘covert war’, the Americans will only give that basic information that is needed to ensure American public opinion. This is the reason why Defense Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz in Brussels asked and obtained the unanimous support from NATO, but did not urge
any specific commitment from all Allied countries. The United States does not blindly trust all European nations in the Alliance (with the exception of Blair) and knows that in a ‘war’ where intelligence plays a decisive role, it is necessary that everything take place under the strict American control.”
RUSSIA: "Predictions Of Apocalyse Groundless"
Political scientist Yevgeny Bozhanov wrote in reformist weekly Obshchaya Gazeta (9/27): "Predictions of apocalypse because Washington, consumed with a thirst for vengeance, would unleash war against the Islamic world which will inevitably develop into a world conflict, are in my view, without grounds. The United States is challenging not Islam, but international terrorism. It is not by chance that the Americans have got the support of an overwhelming majority of Muslim states beginning from Turkey, a NATO Ally, and ending with Iran's mullahs whom the United States has often accused of aiding and abetting terrorists during the past 20 years."
TURKEY: "Toward Days Of Heat"
Hasan Unal wrote in Islamic/intellectual Zaman (9/27): "It seems the first retaliation will be against the Taliban regime and Afghanistan. What it is unclear is to what extent the operation will limit itself to the Taliban regime.... The Pentagon group, led by Wolfowitz, is insisting on moving against others, including Iraq.... Under the current circumstances and the international situation, it is likely that Powell's arguments will shape the upcoming operation."
Izzet Sedes wrote in mass appeal/sensational Aksam (9/27): "The Bush administration paid attention to what Europeans had to say on the matter. Contrary to the common fear at the beginning, the U.S. administration managed to get rid of any kind of anti-Islam or lynch-the-Muslim feelings. The United States wants to act in concert with human rights. Therefore it seems the upcoming operation will work to bring justice, but not in a vindictive or vengeful way.... Common sense prevailed in Washington so that the Bush administration did not fall into the terrorist's trap. The U.S.-led international coalition will play the major role in ensuring the operation is not an international lynch mob. The civilized world wants to prevent terrorism, but not by giving up human rights and international values."
EGYPT: "A Serious Incident"
Senior columnist Mahmoud Moawad commented (9/27) in leading pro-government moderate Al Ahram the on the Israeli stand when it refused to hold Arafat-Peres meetings more than five times: “The question which remains is: Why did Israel take this stand? Is it because the U.S. has excluded her from the alliance? Or is it due to the suspicions which were raised when 4,000 Jews who worked at the World Trade Center did not come to work on black Tuesday? Or is it because of the Jews who were arrested today while taking photos of the burning building and expressing their joy with the fires and the killing of the victims?"
"Half A Word”
Influential and popular writer Ahmad Ragab wrote in centrist pro-government Al Akhbar (9/27): “The latest events in the United States demonstrate without doubt that the security measures in the airports are 'nil.' This fact calls for the reopening of the investigations in the crash of the Egyptian airplane.”
Senior columnist Magdy Mehana, writing in liberal opposition Wafd, said (9/27): “What is the fate of $1,500 billion of Arab assets in American and Western banks? What will the United States decide in this matter? Will this money be confiscated after Bush’s decision to confiscating bin Ladin’s money in the United States and also the money of 27 American organizations suspected of having a connection with bin Ladin while all are Arab and Muslim organizations? The Arabs and Muslims in the United States are afraid that the U.S. administration might expand this matter. Will the time come when all the Arab money abroad be confiscated under the pretext of drying up the resources of terrorism?”
JORDAN: "How The U.S. Patrons Terrorism And Corruption Important"
Columnist Rakan Al-Majali wrote in center-left, influential Arabic-language Al-Dustour (9/27): “A common Arabic proverb says: 'Some good may come out of harm,' and it applies to President Bush’s decision to freeze the assets of 27 organizations that he described as terrorist. It is interesting that all these organizations, that claim to be enemies of the United States, should have deposited their assets in financial organizations in the United States, as do all political leaders, big businessmen, mafia leaders, and money launderers. We hope sincerely that the president does not stop at freezing the assets of terrorists; we hope that the United States should bear its moral responsibility to fight corruption, a scourge just as terrible as terrorism. Unfortunately, we believe that it does not want to fight corruption and exploitation.”
"Regarding The Jordanian-American Summit"
Columnist Mahmoud Al-Rimawi wrote in semi-official influential Arabic-language Al-Ra’i (9/27): “We hope that the forthcoming Jordanian-American summit will persuade the United States to contribute once again, in view of its exceptional responsibilities, to reviving the peace process beyond the mere restoration of calm, to a comprehensive treatment of the conflict based on the principles and references of the peace process. At the same time, we are worried by reports that the campaign against terror may be drag on for a long time, and strike at many targets. We are worried because Arab targets may be included, in a situation that goes beyond the declared objective of creating a world coalition against terrorism. The summit comes at an encouraging time, just after the ratification of the Jordan-U.S. FTA. We hope that the Administration listens and hears the King’s message, that the Arab world has long been a victim of terrorism, and that it looks forward to relations with the superpower based on a new outlook [by the U.S.] that is based on understanding, not on launching military campaigns against us.”
LEBANON: "One Arab Language--When?"
An editorial by Rajeh Khoury in moderate, anti-Syrian An-Nahar said (9/27): "Where does resistance begin and where does terrorism end? This is an eternal question in the Middle East, and recently it became a nightmare!... Obviously, there is a great difference between the Arab and Western understanding of terrorism and resistance... The problem is that even Arabs do not have the same understanding of terrorism and resistance.... President Mubarak unintentionally linked resistance against Israeli occupation to terrorism when he remarked that without a solution for the Palestinians...we could witness a new generation of terrorists.... On the other hand, the Saudi Foreign Minister remarked that Israeli violence, and the fact that so far there is no solution for the Palestinian cause, is a justification that is being exploited by terrorism.... There is a big and dangerous difference between those two remarks; for this reason the Arabs really need to speak the same language."
"Bush, The New Pharaoh"
An editorial by Charles Ayoub in sensationalist Ad-Diyar (9/27): "God, who is our creator, did not say either you are with me or with Satan. He left us the freedom to believe in any way and in anything we want, whether through the Bible or the Koran or Buddha.... President Bush did not leave humanity a choice. He said either you are with the United States or with terrorism. There are many around the world who do not agree with the plan he decided to implement, but are also against terrorism and bin Laden.... Perhaps President Bush should ask what it is that pushed young Arab Muslims to drive civilian airplanes into windows and apartments?... The answer is that American planes, flown by Israeli pilots, are shelling the windows of houses in villages like Ramallah.... We are not sympathizing with bin Ladin...but the United States should realize...that day after day the world's sympathy could diminish, especially if civilians die as a result of its forthcoming retaliation.... Justice should not only take place in The Hague or in American courts. Justice is stopping injustice in the Arab world."
MOROCCO: "The Question Of Terrorism"
Front-page daily column in government coalition PPS Party, Arabic-language Bayane Al Youm said (9/27), "From the first glance at the U.S. list of terrorist organizations, it becomes clear that all organizations are Arab and Muslims which confirms that America is pushed to look for a pretext to show its teeth in the face of Arabs and Muslims.... Why were not Ariel Sharon, Ehud Barak, Benyamin Netanyahu and the list is long of Israeli leaders whose hands are still stained with the blood of Palestinian children and women included in the list?... Why weren't other European and American organizations, and others from the Far East not included on that list? Does America know that many organizations and individuals considered today as terrorist were fed by the United States?"
"U.S. Reprisals: Weak Chance For Success And Big Risks For A Larger Escalation"
Front page-commentary signed by Mimoune Habrish in Al Bayane held (9/27), "If fundamentalists were the real perpetrators of the two attacks, a fact yet to be proven, then they have achieved at least one of their goals: provoke a culture shock.... U.S. leaders risk to engage the Planet in a new cycle of violence nobody could measure its consequences."
SYRIA: "What About Israel"
Mohamed Khair Jamali, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra said (9/26): "Calling to combat terrorism and answering this call is a legitimate issue if it is based on objectivity and not on a double standard such as combating terrorism in some places and ignoring its causes in others.... It is true that there is unprecedented sympathy with America in the wake of the terrorist attacks, but it is also true that there are several states.. like the Arab states. and superpowers like China, Russia and some European states.. whose sympathy collides with the necessity of differentiating between terrorism and the legitimate right of resistance; and also collides with the importance of relinquishing double standards and avoiding a hasty U.S. response and presenting conclusive evidence on perpetrators of attacks."
"The Awaited Meeting And Peres Tricks"
Saleh Saleh, a commentator in government-owned Al-Ba'th, said (9/26): "The Peres-Araft meeting ended without achieving any clear results. What has already been agreed upon still needs long sessions to be settled.... The long experience with Peres and his tricks has taught the Palestinian people that Peres only carries tricks and deceptions. His task now is to market Sharon's criminal ideas."
SAUDI ARABIA: "Firm Anti-Terrorism Position"
Makkah-based, ultra-conservative Al-Nadwa held (9/27): "King Fahd's assurance to President George Bush to work with the United States to eradicate terrorism was a wise stand and also thwarted attempts by the enemies of Islam, who have tried to portray the emerging international campaign against terrorism as if it were a campaign against Islam. (This was) an image the terrorists liked and that was enhanced by the active Zionist propaganda attempting to place Islam in the cage of suspects. The Kingdom's support for the United States, in particular at this critical moment, represents a major guarantee for the emerging campaign, that it is not against Islam but against terrorism.... While the Kingdom offers its cooperation to the United States to remove causes of tension in the region, it also means that the United States should move seriously. It is high time to work out a final settlement for the Middle East crisis, so as not to give another excuse for the terrorists to embark on their brutal actions, blaming instability in the region."
"A Responsible Dialogue Between Riyadh And Washington"
Jeddah-based, moderate Okaz held (9/27): "Certainly, the responsible and insightful dialogue, understanding, and substantial bilateral discussions between King Fahd and President George Bush on September 25 was a clear example of the process of coordination to activate the bases of mutual cooperation which have existed between the Kingdom and the United States for more than half a century."
PAKISTAN: "U.S. View On Pakistan's Stability"
Sensationalist Ummat (9/27): "The U.S. has come to recognize that a stable Pakistan is necessary for a stable world. Under the present circumstances, those who trust the U.S. promises of friendship, help, and aid probably live in some other world. They are completely oblivious to the psychology, selfishness, and opportunism of the U.S. administration.... U.S. history is replete with instances where the U.S. left no stone unturned to harm Muslims. A majority of Pakistani citizens do not want to get entangled in this U.S. cobweb."
"U.S., Pakistan And Taliban"
Lt. Col. Motasim Billah wrote in leading, mass circulation Jang (9/27): "Historically, Afghanistan was never a friend of Pakistan. The Taliban movement is in the right, but they should demonstrate some farsightedness in saving the lives of Muslims from death and destruction. The Taliban have been able to form an Islamic society after great sacrifice and hard work. They need to maintain and prosper it, and not to make it a fodder of war."
"Is There Any Taliban Responsibility To Pakistan"
Irshad Ahmad Haqqani observed in leading, mass circulation Jang (9/27): "As a well-wisher of the Taliban, Pakistan is fully aware of all of its responsibilities and is trying to fulfill them. The question is whether the Taliban are also aware of the responsibilities that are imposed on them with regards to the security and interests of their benefactor Pakistan. The Taliban must realize that they should not directly or indirectly enhance the difficulties being faced by Pakistan. If we have an Islamic duty, they too have some duty toward us which they ought to fulfill. The Taliban should refrain from threatening Pakistan without any rhyme or reason."
"Backing The Wrong Horse In Afghanistan"
Karachi-based, independent, national Dawn opined (9/27): "The September 11 terror attacks in New York and Washington and American resolve to punish the Taliban government for harboring Usama bin Laden, 'the prime suspect', seem to have given the Northern Alliance a fresh opportunity for a renewed bid for power. Now they expect the U.S. to give them military help on a massive scale so that they can defeat and dislodge their adversaries. However, doing so would be a great mistake.... The best solution for the world community is to have a neutral and peaceful Afghanistan, and this will be possible only when the U.S. regards its campaign less a national retaliatory move and more a UN-led international campaign.... (What) Afghanistan needs is a partisan and factional government in power in Kabul."
"The Future Of Afghanistan"
The center-right, national Nation (9/27): "While President Bush insists he is focused on dealing with Usama and Al-Qaida, and that the overthrow of the Taliban is not his goal, members of his Administration have dropped hints that they might support the Northern Alliance.... Islamabad rightly thinks that the best way to deal with the religious militia is to engage them rather than fight against them. It is through a judicious mixture of political pressure and patient engagement that the militia can be made to cooperate in nabbing those accused of involvement in the recent terrorist acts. It is through dialogue that the Taliban can also be persuaded to practice more moderation, or perhaps even change their leadership. The campaign against terrorism must not provide any fresh cause to terrorists. The disintegration of Afghanistan could be one."
"Time To Move On"
The centrist, national News (9/27): "Why did the Americans take the trouble and incur the expense of assembling an international coalition and mobilizing a formidable force in the first place. Doubtless, it is ostensibly for capturing or killing Usama Bin Laden. But if Islamabad thought that the entire western fraternity was uniting to fight only one person it was mistaken.... For Pakistan to remain fascinated with the Taliban is now atavistic. Time and the world have moved on. So should Pakistan. Whatever weight it might still have should now be used to initiate the processes of justice and fair play for all the Afghans, without any state acting as Afghanistan's Big Brother."
"An Imminent U.S. Military Action"
Jassim Taqui asserted in Islamabad's rightist English language Pakistan (9/27): "The U.S. means business this time. The terrorist attacks have shaken the entire American financial and military system. They have also demoralized Washington in a big way. Therefore, American retaliation is imminent.... If it turns out that the FBI has in fact managed to break part of the network and that the networks had some knowledge of each other, the additional teams might feel compelled to move more quickly than originally planned in the face of potential capture. That would imply that a campaign might be imminent as the teams faces a 'use it or lose it' scenario."
"Time To Nurse Hope"
A. B. S. Jafri commented in Islamabad's rightist English language Pakistan Observer (9/27): "The Pakistan mission in Kabul has been targeted more than once. One has to recall with much regret that the Taliban in Kabul did not even care to say 'sorry'.... And it is just as well for our ardent Taliban-fan Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar to remind himself that he has all along insisted that the Taliban 'control 90 per cent of the territory'. Attacks on the Pakistan mission right in the heart of Kabul do not speak of much Taliban control in the capital, not to speak of control in Afghanistan's rugged countryside.... At such long last, and for once, our Foreign Office has taken a correct line. What remains to be seen is if it has the courage to stay the correct course. Its record does not encourage much hope. But at this crucial moment we have no choice but to go on hoping against hope."
"A Dangerous Game"
The Peshawar-based, independent Frontier Post (9/27): "No country in its right mind would allow its security to be jeopardized at the alter of some other country's wish or whim. The Pakistani establishment is, therefore, showing signs of unease as the reports of increased military aid to the Northern Alliance are pouring in via the international media.... The Untied States and the countries that have their own axe to grind against the Taliban would be committing the same mistake [as the Russians] if they chose to pat the back of one of the contenders to the seat of power in Kabul.... It is perfectly understandable that grievously infuriated as it is, the U.S. may want to use every tactic available to it to achieve its target of getting Usama. Care should be taken that in doing so, it may not plunge that country into instability that could in turn adversely affect the regional security paradigm, especially that of Pakistan."
"Is Democracy Restored"
Karachi-based, right-wing, pro Islamic unity Jasarat (9/27): "The U.S. is about to lift the sanctions that were imposed by it in 1999 when General Musharraf took power. The lifting of these sanctions has been linked to the restoration of democracy. Now it seems that with the support of President Musharraf to the U.S. cause, democracy has been restored in Pakistan. Despite the fact that democracy and human rights are so dear to the U.S., if its interests so demand it becomes completely oblivious to the worst human rights violations and anti-democratic setups."
"Help To Northern Alliance And Blockade Of Nuclear Pakistan"
The second largest Urdu daily Nawa-e-Waqt stated (9/27): "America has told the world in categorical terms that it considers jihad in Kashmir as terrorism and wants to install the government of Burhanud Din Rabbani or Zahir Shah in Afghanistan.... In his televised speech, General Musharraf made it a point to say that if Pakistan had not decided to cooperate with America, the Kashmir cause would have been jeopardized. But after Colin Powell's statement and Bush's declaration of helping the Northern Alliance, the chances of harm to Kashmir cause have increased.... How strange that America has pushed us into circumstances that are completely at odds with our interests and future well-being, which could endanger our nuclear program and pave the way for an end to the jihad in Kashmir. We would not be able to protect our Islamic identity either."
"Designs To Install Puppet Regime In Afghanistan"
Pro-Muslim League Pakistan editorialized (9/27): "It is surprising that no lesson has been learned from history. Despite the Soviet Union's failure to install a puppet regime in Afghanistan, some circles are suggesting that through groups of choice a government of personal liking could be installed in Afghanistan. It will not be difficult to occupy Kabul and other big cities with a huge war machine, but that will not solve the problem. God forbid if this dangerous path is taken and the Afghan people are pushed into a new civil war. A completely new situation would emerge. In such a scenario, the issue of terrorism will go into the background; there will be strong negative reaction in the Islamic world and importance will be given to anti-America elements who claim that America wants to overpower the Islamic world."
"Another Worry for Pakistan"
Popular Din stated (9/27): "There is no doubt in the fact that Pakistan's Afghan policy so far has been unsatisfactory.... Pakistan should work for the formation of a broad-based Afghan government that is acceptable to all ethnicities and that can rid the country of civil strife and domestic unrest. Most importantly, it should be a government that does not threaten its neighbors on all sides; this government should also give the Afghans something more than just two square meals, i.e. all modern amenities that are available to other nations around the world."
"Day of Solidarity And The Poor Nation"
Ashraf Shareef commented in popular Din (9/27): "Dear President [Musharraf], the nation stands by you at this critical time, but the government must also prove that it is supporting the nation. Measures like impounding public transportation so it may be used on the Day of Solidarity [September 27] will not be helpful in creating solidarity in the nation. This will affect the common man who is not visible to anyone; he will break his centuries-old silence and start screaming. Do us a favor, Mr. President. Save us from commemorating these 'Days of Solidarity.' We no longer want to express our solidarity with the Kashmiris, the Arabs or the Palestinians. Please release the public vans and buses seized for Solidarity Day, we cannot walk on an empty stomach and with empty pockets to please America."
INDIA: "Kashmiri Terrorist Links To WTC Attack"
According to a news article in the centrist Hindustan Times (9/27): "American intelligence has finally found a link between the World Trade Center attacks and Pakistan-based Kashmiri terrorists. On September 11, the British police detained Mufti Mohammad Jameel on arrival in London from the United States at Heathrow airport. Jameel is a leading member of the Jaish-e-Mohammad, a terrorist group whose members have often been involved in suicide attacks in Kashmir."
"Take The Broad View"
The populist Indian Express' editorial held (9/27): "Discomfiture in India at being consigned to the small print while Pakistan grabs the headlines in the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism is plain to see in official and non-official circles.... Members of the cabinet, among others, are still apparently smarting from the perceived U.S. rejection of India's offer of bases and logistic support. When the United States published a list of terrorist and other organisations whose assets were frozen, the cry went up that India's concerns were ignored. All this unhappiness is absurd and unnecessary and comes from looking at the global fight against terrorism through the prism of India-Pakistan rivalry. A mature and self-confident country would take a different view of the political developments of the last two weeks.... Jaswant Singh was quite right to declare India's support to the United States promptly and unequivocally, to offer bases and other kinds of assistance if and when required. Combating terrorism is not one country's battle, it is every country's battle and no one can sit on the sidelines.... To close down networks of arms suppliers, financiers and operatives which are spread across many countries will require the involvement of many governments and intelligence services, banks and financial institutions and other agencies. This is where the action must be long after commando operations against known terrorist bases."
"What About Other Jehadis?"
The Mumbai-based, left-of-center Free Press Journal argued (9/27): "The U.S. decision to freeze the assets of terrorist groups is an urgently needed measure which should have been taken immediately after the black Tuesday. While India welcomes the step, India has cause to
be concerned about the non-inclusion of the most muderous terrorist groups like Lashkar-eToiba and Hizbul Mjuahidden, both of which have been behind hundreds of murder in Kashmir and both of which function from Pakistan."
"Musharraf, The Biggest Terrorist"
An opinion-page article by veteran journalist M.V. Kamath in Mumbai-based, left-of-center Free Press Journal contended (9/27): "For over a decade India has been the object of attack by Pakistan-supported terrorists but the entire world--especially the West led by the United States--preferred to look the other way round while thousands of innocent people in Jammu & Kashmir got killed.... Obviously Indian lives do not matter.... No matter what the balance of international forces, Pakistan will always be used as a tool to hold down India."
"A Friend Indeed And A Friend In Need"
Washington-based Diplomatic Editor K.P.Nayar opined on the front page of the centrist Telegraph (9/27): "Pakistan has grabbed everything that it has been offered in terms of lifting of sanctions, economic aid or legitimacy for its military junta and is asking for more and more. India, on the other hand, is not even asking
for proof that Usama bin Laden was behind the attacks in New York and Washington this month. Like a reliable friend of the United States who is standing by in case of need, India is taking America's word at its face value and is of the view that proof or no proof, the Taliban, Usama bin Laden and religious extremism in South Asia are evils which have to be rid of. Nothing serves India's interests better."
"Terrorism And India: The Seed Remains Within"
This edit-page article by Sabyasachi Basuroychowdhury, Professor of Political Science, ran in Calcutta's Bengali-language Ananda Bazar Patrika (9/27): "Continual arms collection and war preparedness are not sufficient to contain the newest image of terrorism. The need is to relentlessly discuss the menace of terrorism within and without the country.... The seed of terrorism is in fact woven within. A militant neighbor only helps it grow to a big tree. To root out militancy the economic basis should be strengthened from within the country and the democracy should be developed by erasing all disparities. The sense of security this process provides is more long-lasting and far-reaching."
An editorial in the Bangalore-based, left-of-center Deccan Herald stressed (9/27): "The exchange of views between National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra and senior American officials in Washington has provided New Delhi an opportunity to express its concerns with regard to the fight against terrorism and the future of Indo-U.S. relations.... What the United Staes is doing now appears to be an appeasement of Pakistan.... The fact that it is rewarding the very country that fostered Taliban cannot be ignored by India.... The United States must act decisively against all the terrorist groups operating from Pakistani soil. That will go some way towards convincing India that the United States is committed to a long-term relationship with this country."
"After Taliban, What?"
An editorial the leftist News Today emphasized (9/27): "It is not yet clear what the U.S. response will be to Pakistan's statements...that it would not snap its ties with Kabul.... This has to be stated because the United States is planning to restore Zahir Shah to the throne."
"A World War Against Terrorism"
An editorial in the Mumbai-based, liberal Afternoon Despatch and Courier judged (9/26): "Pakistan has had no choice it had to side with the Untied States. It has terrorist hideouts and it is also one of the countries harboring terrorists. It has made a good bargain with the United States and earned its goodwill. Pakistan has not only escaped an attack but also gained a hefty useful financial and military package from the United States."
"A Saner Perspective"
An editorial in the centrist, Guwahati Assam Tribune concluded (9/23): "The xenophobia currently gripping the United States and other Western nations is but another form of terrorism and equally condemnable.... More insidious...is the possibility that the retaliatory steps planned by the U.S. might lift the paradigm on to a broader plane and make it appear to be a Christianity versus Islam conflict. George W. Bush's inappropriate choice of words while describing the retaliatory strikes as a 'crusade' might veer away from punishing 'terrorists' and instead assume communal overtones.... The catastrophic impact such a schism might make upon world future is too terrifying even to contemplate. The onus of preventing the shift in attitude lies squarely on the U.S. government."
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: "Thinking Beyond The Battle"
In an op-ed for the business-oriented Australian Financial Review (9/27) former ministerial trade adviser John Kunkel asserted: "Two things are certain after the terrorist attack on the United States: America will launch a global war on terrorism, and its friends and allies, including Australia, will be called on to make sacrifices to support this war.... We will want to be assured that America is not backing away from global trade commitments. So far the signs are positive.... But a key longer-term issue concerns the use of economic sanctions in this war against terrorism and what this will mean for Australia's trade relationships.... For Australia the coming debate on sanctions is no abstract issue.... At the moment there are resounding pledges of support for the US. But inevitably even friends and allies, like Australia will be tugged by their desire not to damage trade relations. And while there may be agreement on the ends in combating terrorism, there are likely to be legitimate disagreements about the means. Australia's interests need to be protected in these debates."
"The Eagle And The Tiger Hunt Together, For The Moment"
John Schauble, China correspondent for the leading, liberal Sydney Morning Herald observed (9/27): "China finds itself torn between a desire to be seen as a responsible international citizen in response to the terrorist attacks and the prospect of seeking political and economic advantages in their aftermath. As a friend of Pakistan, with close links to many countries shunned by the United States.... China's attitude and responses are being watched closely in Washington and elsewhere. So far it has made all the right noises.... For decades the Chinese have been schooled to see 'the U.S. side' as hegemonist, imperialist and an aggressor. The United States as victim is a whole new concept."
CHINA: "World's Bulwark Against Terrorism"
Wang Hui commented in the official English-language China Daily (9/27): "In a major address to the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for the countries of the world to use the UN for a 'long-term struggle against terrorism.' Indeed, there is no international organization other than the UN that could shoulder such a heavy
responsibility.... The fact that even the United States, the world's most advanced country, could not be immune from terrorist attacks has demonstrated that terrorism has become a major threat to international peace and security. To safeguard the common interests of our global village, it takes all countries in the world to make joint efforts in this battle to defeat terrorism. Yet if humankind is to finally win the war against international terrorism, the full authority of the UN over the endeavor should be widely recognized first."
"Why Has U.S. Agreed To Pay UN Arrears?"
Li Peichun commented in official Beijing Youth Daily (Beijing Qingnianbao, 9/27): "On September 24, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously agreed to pay $582 million arrearages to the UN. The media believe that this decision has a direct connection with the Untied States current fight against terrorism. The United States is now eager to improve its relationship with other UN members in return for the full support of the international community for its war against terror."
CHINA/MACAU S.A.R.: "Terrorist Attacks' Profound Impact On International Law"
The pro-PRC, Chinese-language Macau Daily News intonted (9/27): "The horrible attacks have given the United States an excuse to hold up the banner of anti-terrorism. Under this banner, efforts to crush international terrorism can easily help the United States win the support and sympathy of other countries. It has already declared that it will carry out a comprehensive war. And it has also claimed that any country that is involved in the terrorist attacks will be dealt a merciless blow. This implies that the United States' anti-terrorist campaign may go out of bounds, which would have a new impact on international order, peace and regional security.... The international community should let the UN fully exercise its leading role and lay down a united, comprehensive international anti-terrorism pact."
INDONESIA: "Police Cowardice"
The leading independent English-language Jakarta Post asserted (9/27): "Spokesman for the National Police Saleh Saaf told reporters in Jakarta that in this era of democracy, there was little the police could do to stop people from expressing their views unless laws were broken.... Any kind of search for Americans in public places would fly in the face of President Megawati's promise to American business people in Houston that Indonesia would guarantee the security of investors in this country, and even more so after Ambassador Gelbard himself has asked the police to protect U.S. investors and its citizens in Indonesia. Under the circumstances, it is difficult to escape the impression that our national police are trying to find excuses to cover up for their lack of courage to act. It is the duty of our law enforcement apparatus to lend credence to our president's words."
"U.S. Attitude And The Global Coalition"
Pro-government news weekly Gatra, in a column by Ibrahim Yusuf, argued (9/29): "To move in-line with international efforts, we would still need to stick to our fundamental, free and active foreign political principles, and to follow the multilateral procedures under the supervision of international bodies like the UN and its affiliations. Presumably, we need to avoid conflicting with other countries' unilateral acts. At the moment, a view that humanitarian intervention and exercise of universal jurisdiction are necessary has been the rallying cry against countries or individuals under charges of human rights violations. We had bitter experiences with East Timor, whereas, the problems in Aceh and Irian Jaya are still unresolved."
"To Be A U.S. Ally Is To Take Side With Israel"
Muslim intellectual Republika pointed out (9/27): "Reluctance in many countries to join the United States at combating terrorism is very understandable. Once they join the United States, they plunge themselves into the Israel side, with their ruthless terror against Palestinians. The strikes and defeat of Afghanistan by the United States would pave the way for the entrance to Central Asia of former Soviet Union--a 'new' region outside the 'traditional' ones. To join a coalition of the United States and its allies, are the Arab nations going to share the influence in that new region? Not for sure. Those countries would only fall the suffering objects burdened with all kinds of conditions in return to the U.S. protection."
"It Is Our Duty and Responsibility to Deter Innocent People From Falling Victim"
Leading independent Kompas asserted (9/27): "We can understand that American people are furious. In their homeland, before millions of viewers, they witnessed the falling of great U.S. political and economic symbols. However, should the anger be materialized ruthlessly? Should the fury be vented on other nations? Wasn't the September 11 terror, as President Bush said, done by an individual not a country? The U.S. can use the incident as a pretext that a particular country has harbored and been involved in sheltering terrorists, so that it can then be regarded as supporting terrorism and terrorist acts. But, a country is different from a nation. The policy of a country is determined more by the government than the nation. It is difficult, therefore, to accept as fact that the whole nation must take the responsibility. In connection with the call for Jihad from the Indonesian Ulamas' Council (MUI), we see it as a firm and strong Muslim stand to warn the U.S. not to attack Afghanistan. It is not necessarily a call to take up arms. All sorts of good deeds can be made under Jihad. VP Hamzah Haz was right that we must see all the problems in a more proportional manner. We cannot take action too far so that it could bring harm to all of us, such as the plans to do sweeping against U.S. citizens or other foreign nationals during the latest developments."
JAPAN: Media Coverage
Lead stories (9/27): Thursday morning's conservative Sankei gave top play to the Japan's decision to use JASDF C-130's to transport relief supplies for Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Moderate Yomiuri front-paged a report from Islamabad that FBI officials presented Pakistani officials with evidence linking bin Laden to the recent terrorist attacks in the U.S.
"Mr. President, You Are A Marshal Fighting Evil"
Liberal Asahi editorialized (9/27): "Prime Minister Koizumi (likening President Bush to the heroic marshal in the classic Western film 'High Noon') said, 'Mr. President, you are a Gary Cooper who is fighting evil. But (unlike Cooper's character in the film) you are not alone in fighting evil. We're right behind you.'... It was significant that the two leaders confirmed their strong resolve to fight international terrorism. Best of all, during the 'emergency' Japan-U.S. summit was that the President did not ask the prime minister to fight along with the United States."
"A Friend In Need, a Friend Indeed"
According to an editorial in business-oriented Nihon Keizai (9/27): "PM Koizumi and President Bush confirmed a united front against terrorism.... Will Japan be able to act on the saying 'A Friend in Need, a Friend Indeed'? Should Japan go back on its pledge, it would not only be left isolated from the global community but also become an easy target for terrorism. Japan must join the world in fighting terrorism. This is history's lesson for the first half of the 21st century."
MALAYSIA: "Sympathies May Change To Anger"
The government-influenced English-language Star ran this (9/27) by staff writer Shamsul Akmar: "Washington has lifted sanctions on two Muslim-dominated nations, Iran and Pakistan, but only because they have agreed to cooperate in its efforts to 'combat terrorism'. If in the past, these two nations were sanctioned for undemocratic rule, human rights abuse and suspicion for promoting terrorism, they are today forgiven. The maxim of the U.S. government is obviously to 'punish the crimes of enemies and reward the crimes of friends.' It is clear that the lifting of the sanctions is merely to serve U.S. interests and nobody else's, and its new-found affection for Iran and Pakistan will likely last only as long as it needs their support. Apart from Iran and Pakistan, the anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan, known as the Northern Alliance, are being 'groomed' by the United States to assist in its war on terrorism. If anything, the United States does not seem to have learnt from history and the use of 'local operatives' in dealing with regimes targeted for 'action.'"
"In the face of such a sweeping generalization of the war against terrorism, it is any wonder that the United States is the target of hatred? As repeatedly stressed by leaders of Muslim nations, the biased U.S. foreign policies are no justification for the attacks on New York, but the fact remains the underlying sentiments have been 'nurtured' for years. At the same time, whether the U.S. government likes it or not, public opinion among Muslims, including those from sympathetic nations, have started to shift against it. The pendulum is swinging to the other end simply because the West is perceived as being biased towards Muslims and has made accusations against certain people without providing any evidence. Then the threat of attacking the Taliban and others whom the United States decides are harboring terrorist have made many cringe at the arrogance of the world's lone superpower."