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Commentary from ...
Middle East
East Asia
South Asia
Western Hemisphere
September 28, 2001



S. ASIA--PAKISTAN:   Media focused on what should be Pakistan's level of participation in the U.S. effort against terrorism.  Editorial writers emphasized that Pakistan will not participate militarily in any action against Afghanistan, and that this decision is "welcomed" by the people of Pakistan.  Many dailies again stressed that the U.S. should avoid "any massive military attack against the Taliban," and concentrate instead on negotiations with the Afghan regime.  In a breaking story, sensationalist, Urdu-language Ummat ran an "exclusive interview" with the "renegade" Saudi, in which he claimed that "the attack might have been carried out by...American Jews who were angry with President Bush after the Florida election scam."  Sensationalist, Urdu-language papers were the sharpest critics of the U.S., holding that the "real target of the U.S. is Muslims."  On the torching of  the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, the rightist Pakistan Observer called the act a "provocation," adding:  "The Taliban should try to defuse the situation, rather than escalating it."


S. ASIA--INDIA:  Editorial opinion ran the gamut, with some papers expressing contradictory views on their editorial and op-ed pages.  The nationalist Hindustan Times' editorial, for example, voiced the highest praise for the "maturity" and "restraint" shown thus far by the U.S., while an op-ed piece in the same paper contended that "given its ill-defined objectives," there was "no assurance" that the planned U.S.-led operation would be a "just war."  The Urdu-language press also put forth a range of views.  Independent Rashtriya Sahara and Pratap were critical of the Indian government's support for the U.S., with Pratap urging New Delhi to instead forge its own alliance with Russia, Iran and Tajikistan  Independent, Urdu Akhbar-e-Mashriq, while harshly critical of the U.S., nonetheless urged the Taliban to put forth a "dignified confession of defeat" rather than risk further devastation to Afghanistan.  Disinformation also popped up in an Urdu biweekly, which contended that "Zionists and only Zionists...were responsible" for the September 11 attacks.   


MIDEAST:  There was no available commentary in the Arab press today as the Palestinians mark the Al-Aqsa intifada's one-year anniversary.  In Israel, the press mood was downbeat, with writers contending that Israel is now under "heavy American pressure" to bring calm to Israel and the occupied territories so that the administration can carry on with its anti-terrorism campaign.  Popular, pluralist Maariv ruefully opined, "The Arabs are demanding of the U.S. that their 'Absolute Justice' [sic] will include the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and if they play their cards right, they can win the jackpot."


OIC COUNTRIES:  Muslim voices outside the Arab world nervously wondered how to avoid a U.S. military response.  Writers in Indonesia, Malaysia and Cameroon called for restraint and reason, not only on the part of the U.S., but also from the Muslim world.  As a Malaysian columnist intoned, "The only meaningful alliance that can be one based on...universal justice." Op-ed pieces in Nigeria's press, however, held to Arab/Muslim post-Sept. 11 assertions that U.S. policies engender hatred of America.


EUROPE/CANADA:  In media from leading NATO capitals, praise continued for Mr. Bush's handling of the post-September 11 crisis.  He has so far acted with "a newfound lucidity" and "steely determination," declared some leading French, German and Canadian papers.  But editorial satisfaction with the administration's "restraint" was increasingly mingled with uncertainty about how it intends to pursue its ambitious anti-terrorist war.  London's liberal Guardian, a frequent administration critic, e.g., expressed disquiet with what it saw as lack of clarity in U.S./UK war planning, arguing that "if Blair is determined to take this country to war, he has a fundamental duty to justify such action, to set out clear aims and objectives."  The level and type of participation that will be required of NATO Allies was scrutinized.  For a handful pundits in Italy, Germany and France, the recent NATO defense ministers' summit "answered a few questions about the Alliance's immediate future"--namely, that the U.S. intends to rely on only selective and limited Allied support for now.  This caused a degree of consternation in some quarters that Washington was prepared to "act alone" without adequate consultation with, or the "direct involvement" of, European Allies.  Russian publications, meanwhile, held that it was in Moscow's self-interest to sign on to the U.S.-led coalition, particularly if it mutes international criticism of Moscow's actions in Chechnya.  In this vein, some welcomed the U.S.' calling on Chechen leaders to sever "all contacts with international terrorists."


EAST ASIA:   Key allies Australia and Japan weighed in with support for the U.S.', albeit with some reservations.  The business-oriented Australian Financial Review was staunchly behind any contribution Australia might make in the "war" against terrorism.  The liberal Sydney Morning Herald, while praising the U.S.' apparent "retreat from an all-out ground war" in Afghanistan, nonetheless saw "confusing" signals emanating from Washington and warned of the danger of inadvertently unleashing a terrible "global conflict."  Official Beijing media, as it has earlier, again promoted role of the UN and UNSC in anti-terrorist efforts.  


LATIN AMERICA:  Independent and pro-government media in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Panama voiced support for a U.S.-led anti-terror coalition, primarily arguing that there was no other option "but to join President Bush's campaign."  Some stressed that the problem of terrorism was not confined to the U.S.  Papers in Mexico and conservative dailies in Brazil --where concerns about sovereignty infringements ran high--were more begrudging, if not reluctant in voicing support.  Mexico's nationalist El Universal captured the sentiment of ambivalence, declaring:  "We are in complete solidarity with the American people, but we should not follow any steps contrary to our laws."  Some found the apparent uncertainty vis-a-vis military actions in Afghanistan unsettling and feared that the U.S. and NATO were not equipped to deal with an elusive enemy.


S. AFRICA:  A number of South African dailies exuded a palpable sense of relief that the superpower did not appear poised to "strike blindly and bluntly" in retaliation for the September 11 attacks.  Many urged against rash action, stressing instead the need for the U.S. to take time for "introspection" and reflect on the reasons why "there is anger and antipathy" directed against America.  The independent Financial Mail judged that the U.S. should proceed cautiously, particularly with those Arab regimes that are "experiencing a crisis of legitimacy."  The liberal, independent Cape Argus warned against suspending civil liberties too capriciously, insisting:  "The world must be vigilant that basic human rights are not trampled in the rush to protect those same rights."


EDITORS:  Kathleen Brahney, Katherine Starr, Gail Burke, Diana McCaffrey, Irene Marr




EDITOR'S NOTE: This survey is based on 85 editorials from 23 countries, September 26 -28. 

Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:  "Don't Give More Money To Intelligence Failures"


The centrist Independent opined (9/28):  "The more we learn about the attack on the World Trade Center was prepared, the more the early, harsh verdict on the performance of the intelligence services, in the United States and Britain in particular, seems justified.  Obviously it is wise to tighten security at airports and airplanes.  But it will not be possible to guarantee that no plane will be hijacked ever again. Nor can the threat of other diabolically imaginative acts of mass murder absolutely be protected against.  The first and most important line of defense must be good intelligence."


"Intelligence Needed"


The conservative Times opined (9/28):  "From all over the continent evidence is emerging of cells and agents, 'sleepers' and organizers.  European publics are growing aghast.  Not only have the freedoms of Western societies been used to mask a terrible conspiracy of destruction, but those employed to guard these freedoms have signally failed to do their job.  The worst lapses have been in intelligence and counter-intelligence.  Hindsight underlines blame but clarifies the need for action....  The vital pooling of information between and among all Western security services, now so evident, must be institutionalized.  And Parliament must look hard at what legislation, now hampering investigations, may need to be suspended or repealed.  A new war demands new weapons. Intelligence is by far the most deadly."


"Weapons Against Terrorist Funds"


The independent Financial Times presented this lead editorial (9/28):  "On Monday, President Bush declared that the war on terrorism had begun with the stroke of a pen.  He immediately froze the U.S. assets of 27 people and organizations and urged other countries to do the same.  If they refused, he threatened to freeze their banks' assets and transactions in the United States.  This first strike in the president's war was astute.  The United States deserves support for its action, which should throw some sand in the works of terrorist networks.  There will be complexities but costs should not be excessive.  But the United States must realize that it cannot completely eliminate the financing of terrorism.  The list of individuals and groups...also creates significant difficulties.  Many countries are not able to freeze accounts under existing laws.  The solution is for countries to sigh up to a binding international treaty.  Fortunately, one already exists.  In 1999, the [UNGA] adopted the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism....  Until there are internationally agreed mechanisms to hinder terrorist finances, Mr. Bush may win an early battle but is unlikely to progress far with his war."


"Mayhem In The Making"


The liberal Guardian expressed this view (9/28):  "If Tony Blair is determined to take this country to war, he has a fundamental prior duty to justify such action, to set out clear aims and objectives and to explain the likely consequences.  Only in this way will public support be maintained.  Two weeks after the U.S. attacks, there is universal agreement on two points. One is that the culprits must be caught and punished; the other is that international terrorism is a scourge and must be defeated.  Beyond these salient facts, this geopolitical black and white, however, matters grow murky.  Osama bin Ladin's guilt is widely presumed and asserted; and without a doubt, he is the most likely mastermind.  But despite a global intelligence sweep, this indictment still rests on an assumption based on a suspicion leading to a hunch.  Colin Powell promised a damning dossier would be produced.  But it was not and now, apparently, may never be.  In Pakistan, in other Muslims countries and in the Arab world, this will never do.  They demand proof positive in return for their support.  Without it, the international coalition that Mr. Blair says grows stronger by the day will not flourish.  The very moment that the U.S. and British troops touch Afghan soil, they will face a fanatical regime bent on martyrdom or victory.  At that point, what's the plan?  Perhaps, chillingly, there is as yet no plan at all.  To be blunt, all this smacks of muddle and has the makings of mayhem.  Even a supposedly 'new kind' of conflict can be mismanaged like any other.  Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush need to sort out their ideas, clarify their aims, and submit their plans to the people who elected them before going any further down the road to war."


FRANCE:  "President Bush's New Found Lucidity"


Jean Daniel judged in left-of center Le Nouvel Observateur (9/27):  "The president of the United States is no longer threatening anyone.  Instead, he is thinking.  He speaks less of war and more of a response.  He listens to the wise Colin Powell as much as he does to the impetuous Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.  He carefully reads Putin's messages, where the Russian president warns about the Afghan quagmire and implores the United States not to compromise Russia's ties with central Asian nations.  Most of all he understands like his father before him that, even among the most supportive of European nations, there could be periods of doubt.  He also understands that you cannot do anything against an Arab or Muslim country without the support of the majority of all other Muslim nations.  All of this complicates his task considerably, but grants him a new level of lucidity."


"The Need For Quick Decisions"


Catherine Nay aired this view on privately-funded Europe One radio (9/28):  "For the time being the United States does not want to suffer the encumbrance of slow-moving heavy consultations....  This show of American scorn (toward Europe) can be explained in various ways: either the response is still in the information-gathering stages, in which case total secrecy is required....  Or a very targeted military response is about to take place with the sole help of British forces: a simple operation for which decisions must be taken quickly and without lengthy discussions.  Colin Powell surely remembers France's reticence before its commitment to the Gulf War."


"The President's Cautiousness"


Jean-Jacques Mevel held in right-of-center Le Figaro (9/28):  "The enemy has been identified, probably also the battlegrounds.  American forces are ready, or almost.  The world is holding its breath.  The time is near.  Yet, as the New York Times queried, one wonders whether there is a plan.  To ask the question is enough to cast doubt and all of a sudden many certainties become less certain....  The sudden reserve adopted in Washington is all the more surprising because the Pentagon is full of 'hawks' who are normally less diplomatic than Colin Powell. Those who are expecting to see fireworks over Kabul could be disappointed.  Unless of course there is a huge disinformation campaign including in the highest ranks of American government."


GERMANY:  "U.S. Willing To Forge Alliances"


Business daily Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg observed (9/28):  "In its fight against terrorism, the United States will forge alliances with anyone willing to help, with NATO partners, but also with other countries, depending on the situation.  The Europeans can only hope that the United States will provide them with better information via NATO than it is willing to share with other anti-terrorism partners.  There are two good reasons for the U.S. strategy:  The war in Kosovo, led by the Americans from within NATO, is not a pleasant memory for Washington.  The military planning with 19 countries made compromises necessary that, from a U.S. perspective, affected the quality of the attacks negatively.  The second reason is more important.  NATO is not prepared for the upcoming military strikes....  It is unjustified to fear unilateral U.S. action because the United States did not accept NATO's offer to help.  So far, Washington has acted carefully.  If the terrorist attacks had happened on this side of the Atlantic, no country in Europe would have been able to react militarily and diplomatically.  If the Europeans want to guarantee their safety in times of new threats, they have only one option:  heightened cooperation in military matters, reconnaissance, the secret services, and in police work on NATO and EU levels--along with significantly increased budgets for security and defense." 


"Bush's Opportunity"


Christoph Rabe had this to say in an editorial in business daily Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf  (9/28):  "These coming days will be decisive for George W. Bush becoming a great U.S. president or not....  He has the opportunity to make an imprint on the new order of the world.  Rarely before have so many nations backed the fight against terrorism.  But more can grow from this international fight against terrorism.  This requires a careful orchestration by the United States and a clear notion on the character of a new world order.  It should not become a plaything for Washington but must reflect the political, economic, and cultural diversity of peoples.  But the United States can take a leading role.  However, the fight against terrorism should not be the only common denominator for a new world order.  The crass differences in wealth between the industrialized and developing nations do not offer too great a scope of action for tough endurance tests of the framework for this new order.  In this respect, one thing is also true:  'America first' is not a sound leitmotif.  For instance, the strategists in Washington should keep this in mind when entering into the decisive talks for a new global trade round.  A

liberalization of global trade can be an instrument for a fairer distribution of wealth....  To create a new world order also means to rethink the structures of international organizations,  This refers to the UN but also to NATO and the composition of the G-7."


"Wise President Bush"


Herbert Kremp said in an editorial in mass-circulation, right-of-center tabloid Bild-Zeitung of Hamburg (9/28):  "U.S. President Bush proved wrong all those who considered him a wild cowboy, an avenger who shoots from the hip....  Bush is not firing random shots but is searching for a global alliance against the terrorist danger.  He acts with circumspection, farsightedly and prudently.  His policy is long-term....  This moderation does not mean abandoning plans for military strikes.   But they are not the first and last weapon in the fight against an enemy who remains in the dark."


ITALY:  "NATO On Standby"


An analysis in elite, classical liberal Il Foglio read (9/28):  "The meeting of NATO Defense Ministers in Brussels has answered a few questions about the Alliance's immediate future, and has opened new prospects for the longer term....  There will not be, for the time being, any direct military involvement by NATO in support of operation 'Enduring Freedom.'...  Wolfowitz cooled expectations that had developed in Alliance circles: the United States wants to maintain a certain flexibility and freedom of its options--both on the military and the political level--without being tied to the NATO scenario....  For the time being, Washington prefers targeted, bilateral collaboration, resorting to intelligence operations and British special forces, and using bases in Hungary and Turkey.  Wolfowitz's speech got a mixed reaction by the Europeans: some of them sighed with relief, concerned as they were that they would see NATO dragged into a new task for which it is not prepared....  But some, such as The Netherlands, for example, were disappointed about this step backward with respect to Article 5, and proposed creating a new working group on terrorism."


"Why The United States Wants To Act Alone"


A front-page commentary by Renzo Foa in Rome's center-right Il Tempo observed (9/28):  "The only certainty at the present time is that President Bush and his administration prefer to reserve for themselves the right to define the timing and the strategy of the anti-terrorism campaign.  There are many possible explanations for that.  For example, the need to be the only protagonist, if not the main protagonist, of the reaction to an attack that caught the United States by surprise and risked putting them on their knees.  Or the proud belief--anti-Americans would call it 'arrogance'--that they can freely exert all the powers deriving from being the only superpower left.   Or else the need to redefine global strategies in order to adapt them to a world that is continuously changing....  These are possible explanations.  But there are also questions.  The first one is 'will America alone be enough?...  And why does the United States not feel the need for an active and direct involvement by Europe that would go beyond solidarity and the use of bases in a NATO framework?"


"Disconcertion In The United States As Well"


Special correspondent Augusto Minzolini wrote on the visits to Washington this week by EU President Prodi and the Belgian prime minister in centrist, influential La Stampa (9/28): "Prodi and the Belgian prime minister returned to Brussels with the U.S. blessing, but without really knowing what is cooking in Washington.  These are the limits of a Europe that speaks with different voices and has participated in the procession to the White House of many other leaders.  After all, in the wake of the revolution caused in U.S. foreign policy by the attacks against the Twin Towers, Europe is considered a loyal ally, but Washington's attention, at the present time, is more focused on other interlocutors, such as Russia and, perhaps, China."

RUSSIA:  "Berlin Connection"


Alexander Drabkin wrote in neo-communist Pravda (9/28):  "The coalition is indeed big and patchy. The NATO countries, Russia, India, China, Pakistan, Israel and other states (including Muslim) have found themselves 'in one boat'.  Each participant in the 'common cause' has its own problems.  With Russia, for instance, it is Chechnya and NATO's enlargement to the East, the ABM Treaty and economic difficulties.  China has a 'Chechnya of its own': the Muslim Xiangiang where Islamic separatists are engaged in a struggle for independence....  The West criticizes the central Chinese leadership even stronger than it does Russia on Chechnya.  Maybe, faced with a common enemy, it is worthwhile to somewhat moderate the criticism?"


"World Coalition Stands At Attention" 


According to Yevgeny Grigoryev in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (9/28): "As we see it, the world disturbed by the challenge from international terrorism, is on the move. This offers the chance that, after retaliating for the monstrous crime in America...the world coalition, as it strengthens mutual trust and interaction, can indeed create a really solid foundation and become an insurmountable wall to stop international terrorism."


"U.S. Decides It Needs Allies" 


Vladimir Mikheyev wrote in centrist Trud about the West's response to developments in Chechnya (9/28):  "The Bush administration demanded that the Chechen leaders forthwith and with no preconditions interrupt all contacts with international terrorists....  It looks as if, following the loss of an illusion of invulnerability, the United States decided that it needs allies.  After the barbarous attack on New York skyscrapers, the geopolitical context of the 'residual confrontation' between the West and Russia has clearly changed.  And with this new international background, Vladimir Putin's team obtains a natural space for maneuvering."


"Now America Hates Khattab Also" 


Maxim Makarychev argued in official Rossiiskaya Gazeta (9/28):   "George Bush...has called on Chechen separatists to cut all links and contacts with Osama bin Ladin....  It is characteristic that the statement was made public by Bush two days after Russia offered its support to the Americans by joining anti-terrorist coalition. It is gratifying that the U.S. leadership, which for a long time viewed the 'Chechen problem' only in terms of 'violations of rights of innocent people,' has finally admitted that the 'Chechen terrorists' are not in any way different from the organizers of the monstrous blasts in America and thus 'must face trial.'"


CANADA:  "U.S. Waging Psychological War At First"


Editorial page editor emeritus Haroon Siddiqui commented in the liberal Toronto Star (9/27):  "There is no clearer moral and strategic goal than attacking the evil of terrorism, forthwith, with all the might at our command.  Yet, despite the daily drumbeat of war for a fortnight, there is little discernible military action--no cruise missiles flying, no tanks rolling, no soldiers marching.  This makes hawks, in particular, impatient, antsy and angry....  Mercifully, the Bush administration understands this and is moving cautiously but with remarkable clarity and a steely determination.  It knows that since the Gulf War was waged by a grand coalition of 33 nations of the East and the West, the world has shrunk so drastically that Washington can do little without a cascading domino effect. International politics has shifted so dramatically that former foes must be befriended and old friends re-wooed....  In the post-September 11 fear of possible reprisal attacks, new batches of panic-stricken Afghans have been pouring out....  The last thing America needs is to take action that is seen to be adding to the misery of innocents.  It wants to be seen augmenting its significant and admirable humanitarian effort.  This explains why Secretary of State Colin Powell and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, veteran strategists, are waging a psychological war first, even while repositioning the American armada across the region, and landing elite units in Tajikistan.  They are trying to jolt the Taliban into reality and giving up bin Ladin, as a start."


"Canada Is Harassed"


Paule Des Rivieres opined in Montreal's liberal, French-language Le Devoir (9/28):  "We will have to wait and see what the government will do to diminish the porosity of its border with the United States.  We can bet, that in light of the avalanche of American complaints falling on Ottawa, the stricter measures being contemplated will not satisfy those on the other side of the border who want a continental perimeter of security....  It is clear that the introduction of a common perimeter would require major adjustments to the Canadian legislation on immigration.  Parliament can go on passing laws, but the day that it adjusts to American realities, it will have abandoned part of its sovereignty....  The fight against terrorism must become a real priority for the Canadian government, but this does not mean following in the footsteps of the White House, which does not seem to be overly troubled by civil liberties these days."




ISRAEL:  "The Check Will Come"


Senior analyst Hemi Shalev opined in popular, pluralist Maariv (9/28): "There is a known cliche saying that  every one knows how to start a war but not how to end it....  [But] one thing is certain, Israel would be involved--one way or the other--if not in the fighting, god forbid, then in its aftermath.  Just as the Gulf war led to the Madrid convention so can this new war against terror lead to a new international, American initiative never seen in Israel before.  The Arabs are demanding of the United States that their 'Absolute [sic] Justice' will include the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and if they play their cards right they can win the jackpot.  After leaving Israel alone on the rooftop, the United States just might come and serve Israel, of all places, the check."


"The Right Path"


Independent Ha'aretz editorialized (9/28): "The meeting on Wednesday between Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat does not necessarily usher in a new era, and it is still early to determine whether it will ever be remembered as a turning point.... The meeting was the result of heavy American pressure that sought to gain calm in the area so that the administration could carry on with it plans for an operation against elements of international terrorism and those who sponsor them.... The new international situation created on September 11 is being imposed today on Israel and the Palestinians, and allows the two sides to put an end to the cycle of terrorism and violence.  Hopefully the American and European pressure in favor of dialogue -- together with the wish of significant portions of the Israeli and Palestinian people to resume normal lives -- will mark the right path for their respective leadership."


 "Learn From Oslo's Mistakes"


Conservative independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (9/28): "The collapse of Oslo and the events of September 11 demand that Israel and the United States not make the same mistakes again. Just as the United States is changing the rules regarding terrorism globally, Israel and the United States must change the rules regarding what is tolerated locally, on the Israeli-Palestinian front.  The litmus test for whether the rules have really changed should not only be zero terrorism and incitement, but attention to an element that Oslo brazenly ignored:  the need to 'educate for peace.'  There is little point to returning to the negotiating table if the Palestinians are not willing to do what Israeli society has been doing for years:  preparing the public for making compromises in order to achieve peace.  Incitement is the opposite of 'educating for peace.'  We've seen what happens with one; now, if we have the chance, let's insist on the other."




PAKISTAN:  "Both Have The Same Fate"


Sensationalist, Urdu-language Ummat commented (9/26):  "For the United States, the fate of both Afghanistan and Pakistan is the same; that is, if one is harmed then the other will be weakened.  The real target of the United States is the Muslims.  It is not possible for the United States and its western allies to accept a staunch government like the Taliban in any part of the world....  Pakistan should realize that as long as there is a Taliban government in Afghanistan, it will remain strong and stable."


"U.S. Must Find Attackers From Within:  Usama bin Ladin"


A news story in the sensationalist, Urdu-language Ummat said (9/26):  "The Saudi renegade Usama bin Ladin has said that neither he nor his organization Al-Qaida had anything to do with the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, adding that the United States must find the attackers from within itself.  In an exclusive interview with Ummat, he said that the attack might have been carried out by those who want to make this century a century of confrontation between Islam and Christianity.  He said that American Jews who were angry with President Bush after the Florida election scam must have carried out these attacks."


"What Will The U.S. Do?"


In the view of Karachi-based, right-wing, pro-Islamic unity, Urdu-language Jasarat (9/28):  "It is likely that the United States will elect to incite rebellion against the Taliban government in the Afghan public.  Since the Afghans are facing acute famine and hunger, it seems as it will be rather easy for the United States to provoke them against the ruling Taliban militia.  But the demonstration held Wednesday in Kabul proves that the majority of the Afghan people are still with the Taliban."


"Contradiction In Terms"


The center-right national Nation observed (9/28):  "The best and the safest course is to engage the Taliban in negotiations though, keeping in mind the Taliban's intransigence that they be provided credible evidence of bin Ladin's involvement in New York-Washington outrage, it would be too optimistic to assume that it will lead to common ground and a resolution of the problem."


"Failure Of Nerve"


An op-ed by M.A. Niazi in the center-right national Nation read (9/28):  "It is becoming clear that this 'lack-of-choice' decision will probably end up sacrificing all those national interests in the name of which it was taken, and was probably the result of a failure of nerve rather than a cool evaluation....  Pakistan should have cut its losses, not capitulated.  Its Afghan policy was blown.  It was time to save the rest....  There are only two possible hopes for the future.  First, that the United States does not pound Afghan civilians too hard.  Second, that enough Pakistanis, especially non-Pashtoons, go to Afghanistan and die fighting the invaders."


"Pak-U.S. Divergence"


Peshawar-based, independent Frontier Post held (9/28):  "American interest in seeking out and capturing or eliminating Usama bin Ladin may be better served by a judicious mix of targeted, relatively small scale special operations, combined with a whole plethora of political, diplomatic and economic measures that could help build the international coalition against terrorism without invoking the widely expected backlash throughout the Muslim world, but particularly in Afghanistan, Pakistan and this region, against any massive military attack against the Taliban....  Pakistan's interests and security come first, every right thinking person in the country is hoping that these goals are pursued without too much loss of face, national dignity and sovereignty....  The Americans for their part, are stirring up a storm to rival the hatred against them in the past, when the epithet 'ugly American' was commonplace in the Third World.... Visceral sentiments are by no means confined to Afghanistan though.  The religious and fundamentalist parties and groups are unequivocally opposed to giving succor or support to the American plans."


"Burning Of U.S. Embassy"


An editorial in Islamabad's rightist, English-language Pakistan Observer held (9/28):  "Understandably, public emotions are high in Kabul due to United States' threats of impending punitive operations against the Taliban for harboring Usama bin Ladin....  But there is hardly any justification for torching the [U.S.] Embassy building.  It rather constitutes a provocation.... There must be a realization of the dangers looming large over Afghanistan.  The Taliban should try to defuse the situation, rather than escalating it."


"A Wise Decision"


An editorial in the centrist national News commented (9/28):  "The decision of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain, to extend full support to the global community's anti-terrorism campaign is in sharp contrast to the stance adopted by some other organizations, especially the religious parties...suggests that an effort is underway to create a national consensus on the issue at a time when it is direly needed."


"Pakistan Not To Participate In Any U.S. Action Against Afghan People And Afghanistan"


Second-largest, Urdu-language Nawa-e-Waqt asserted (9/28):  "The Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson's statement that Pakistan will not participate in any action against Afghanistan or the Afghan people is a good omen.  The people of Pakistan will welcome the announcement....


"Instead of finding facts, the United States is still rubbing the idea of Afghanistan and Usama bin Ladin's involvement in the terrorism....  China's cautious policy should be worth following for us.  The European Union has also asked America to furnish the evidence of Usama and Afghanistan's involvement in the tragedy....  The decision to stay away from any action against Afghanistan and Afghan people is good, but this nonparticipation should be visible and backed by evidence." 


"Action Against Afghanistan and Pakistan Clear Viewpoint"


Sensationalist, Urdu-language Khabrain observed (9/28):  "Pakistan has adopted clear a stand and Pakistan's cautious policy is easily assessable.  It is encouraging to note that Pakistan?s policy also includes the protection of the interests of Afghanistan and its people....  We believe that all the impartial and friendly countries appreciate Pakistan's policy....  This strategy is in our interest and it should be continued with confidence." 


"Pakistan's Explanation And Complex Situation"


Editorial in the popular Urdu-language Din contended (9/28):  "The Government of Pakistan has explained that though we are a part of global alliance against terrorism, we will not practically participate in military attack on Afghanistan and there should not be any confusion in this regard.  Now those spreading rumors should be more responsible and stop their disruptive activities....  The opinion leaders of most Muslim countries have reached a consensus that if the United States acts without solid evidence and a UN endorsement, it will be considered a 'war against Islam.'  President Bush's slogan 'Either you are with us or against us,' is a slogan of a country intoxicated by power."


INDIA:  "Long Road To Peace"


An editorial in the nationalist Hindustan Times emphasized (9/28).  "The American response to the September 11 carnage has shown a remarkable level of maturity....  The way it is proceeding demonstrates that it is fully aware of the pitfalls of hasty action....  For the moment, therefore, the Americans are engaged in the undramatic, but ultimately indispensable, task of coalition-building.  Since the focus in this effort is to rally the Muslim countries, the United States has first ensured that at least Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres will shake hands, even if unsmilingly....  What the United States is now aiming at is to prepare the world for a long campaign, which will involve new complications like the Russians belatedly trying to seek revenge for their own humiliation in Afghanistan."


"Enduring Antidote"


The centrist Times of India held (9/28):  "In a complete volte-face, U.S. President George Bush has announced that the campaign in Afghanistan is being primarily undertaken to eliminate suspected international terrorist Osama bin Ladin and the Al-Qaida network, and not to oust the Taliban regime.  The course correction is being viewed as an attempt to ease tension in Pakistan....  Countries such as Iraq, North Korea and Afghanistan that have been targets of U.S. aggression and which have been subsequently left alone to pick up the pieces have produced rogue regimes.  If the stated purpose of 'Enduring Freedom' is to eliminate the scourge of terrorism, the United States must make both doctrinal and tactical adjustments in its foreign policy and address regional conflicts in a non-partisan manner....  A stable and moderate Afghanistan will deprive Pakistan of the 'strategic depth' that the Taliban provides to meddle in Jammu and Kashmir. This in the long run will only be to India's advantage."


"The War In The North"


Security analyst G. Parthasarathy put forth this view in the centrist Pioneer (9/28):  "There is needless controversy about providing military facilities to the Americans in their operations against the Taliban.  We will at most be asked for turnover and refueling facilities at some airbases for U.S. aircraft and berthing facilities for U.S. Navy ships.  India has never hesitated to provide such facilities when its national interests so demanded....  It is time the Vajpayee Government explained clearly and precisely to the public and Parliament in India how vital national interests are served by assisting the United States led international effort to eliminate the Taliban."


"Terrorism, U.S. And Kashmir"


Independent, Urdu-language Rashtriya Sahara's editorial contended (9/28):  "The Indian government's hasty decision to support in totality the U.S.-declared war against terrorism was imprudent and politically immature....  We are virtually inviting the United States to land on our soil and accepting its self-appointed policeman role without realizing its awful consequences for our own integrity, sovereignty and national dignity."


"Our Freedom, Their Terror"


Columnist Praful Bidwai had this to say in the nationalist Hindustan Times (9/26):  "The United States inflicted unspeakable horrors upon the people of Afghanistan in the '80s through the Mujahideen in the 'larger' cause of 'freedom' (read, Cold War victory), and then abandoned them.  When it sets out today to defend 'freedom' again, it doesn't appear credible to the world's most impoverished and devastated people....  Given its ill-defined objectives, targets and methods, there's no assurance that today's 'anti-terrorism' operation will be a just war waged in just ways and that other realpolitik-based considerations will not get padded on to it. The worst of these would be oil and gas....  The new 'Great Game' is all about that."


"Economic Of Terror"


An analysis in pro-economic-reforms Economic Times held (9/28):  "Building an international coalition does also have its costs.  And these costs could be accentuated by the U.S. tendency to first forge ahead and then expect its allies to fall in line....  As the economic war against terrorism gathers momentum the choice before the Bush administration is clear.  It could take heavy economic casualties in an effort to impose its leadership on the world. Or it could accept a more consensual and decentralized leadership in an effective economic battle against terrorism."


"India Should Aim For Separate Alliance With Russia, Iran And Tajikistan"


Right-of-center, pro-BJP, Urdu-language Pratap's editorial intonted (9/28):  "India offered all kinds of operational and military assistance to the United States to prosecute its planned war but the latter has not yet responded positively to the proposal.  If the United States wants to launch its military campaign with the help of Pakistan, Japan and Britain, let it do it.  India should launch a separate drive in alliance with Russia, Iran, Tajikistan and the Northern Alliance of Afghanistan....  All the four have their common enemy in Taliban and hard-core religious leaders in Pakistan ... If the Untied States doesn't need India, the latter should not sit as a mere spectator."


"Zionists Alone Are Responsible"


Independent, biweekly, Urdu-language Dawat claimed in a front-page article (9/28):  "It is the Zionist and only the Zionist forces which are responsible for the tragedy who aimed at avenging with the current administration. In addition to the revenge, the attacks were also aimed at turning American people in particular and the West in general against Islam and Muslims."


"Time For Taliban To Take The Right Decision"


Independent, Urdu-language Akhbar-e-Mashriq maintained in an editorial (9/28):  "President Bush is determined to target Afghanistan in revenge for the tragic attack on the cities of the US, unmindful absolutely of whether the identity of the culprits are justifiable established or not. Given the comprehensive seige being laid against Afghanistan, it would be wiser for Taliban to take bold decisions to save their country from total destruction ... A dignified confession of defeat so that they could focus all their energies on the development and reconstruction of their country will be far wiser a strategy with far reaching benefits for the country in the long run. It is time to be realistic rather than rigid and egoistic."


"Disinformation War"


The centrist Pioneer's editorial declared (9/28):  "Terrorist incidents in the Valley have not actually declined to the extent we assumed they would after September 11....  Reports about terrorists moving out of the Valley to join the jihad in Afghanistan were either clever plants on the media by the ISI, or followed nanve assessment made by an enterprising journalist....  With the Pakistan Army and the ISI forced to chaperone the Americans around in Afghanistan, terrorist groups in Kashmir will have to make do with downgraded across-the-border support in the next few weeks.  This is the best time to strike.  We must launch a sustained military campaign against terrorists and their harborers, including the likes of the Hurriyat as a legitimate part of the global war on terrorism. India has to fight and win its own war and not rely on outside forces."




AUSTRALIA:  "Loyal Little Australia, The Ignored, Invisible Ally"


In his "Washington Observed" column, Peter Hartcher opined in the business-oriented Australian Financial Review (9/28):  "In the great contest for recognition in the American capital, Australia has won a prize....  OK, Australia didn't win first prize, but it rated a mention [in President Bush's address to Congress.]...  Since the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, Australia has all but been invisible in the U.S. media....  If it weren't for the work of Bush's speechwriters, the fact of any Australian response whatsoever to the terrorist attacks would have been all but invisible in the country Australia is trying so hard to help."


"Chinks In Our Armor"


An editorial in the business-oriented Australian Financial Review observed (9/28):  "Soon, very soon, when the call comes from President Bush...John Howard will announce the deployment of limited ground, sea and possibly air forces to the uncertain and open-ended U.S.-led war against international terrorism.  The deployment will enjoy virtually universal support: the horrendous attacks on the United States were attacks on civilization itself and the perpetrators have to answer for their crimes.  Although the Australian deployment will be only a tiny contribution to the emerging international force, it will be a military expression of the federal government's prompt and proper decision to invoke the ANZUS Treaty commitment to act to meet a common danger."


"A Land Hard To Take"


An editorial in the leading liberal Sydney Morning Herald stressed (9/28):  "The retreat from a U.S.-led, all-out ground and air war against Afghanistan's ruling Taliban is an encouraging sign that cooler heads prevail in the Bush administration, at least for the time being....  [President Bush's] decision now to precisely target the hunt for bin Laden and members of his al-Qaeda network and to take up the invitations of dissident Afghans to do much of the fighting shows just how far official U.S. thinking has sensibly shifted."


"War As Last Resort"


An op-ed in the leading liberal Sydney Morning Herald from former head of Sydney Olympics defense security, Brigadier Adrian D'Hage, gave this assessment (9/28):  "The United States is at war.  Australia is also at war.... Four out of five Australians are solidly behind the prime minister's declaration of support for the United States.  In the meantime, the signals from Washington are on one hand confusing and on the other unequivocal....  There is danger of escalation into global conflict in a form the world has never experienced...  War should be an absolute last resort.  It is time to take a step back.  It is time for a change of policy.  Engage these desperate communities. Construct schools and hospitals.  Instead of spending $200 billion trying to get two rockets to intersect in the stratosphere...put it into food, training and agriculture. Start a dialogue. Find out 'why.'"


CHINA:  "Four Opportunities For President Bush"


Zhang Guoqing commented in the Nanfang Weekend (Nanfang Zhoumo, 9/27):  "The fight against terror, a special and unprecedented war in history, has pushed President Bush into the position of a 'crisis president.'  The September 11 incident has become a turning point in his presidency.  However, the incident has also provided four opportunities for him.  First, an opportunity to strengthen national solidarity.  Second, an opportunity to readdress his internal policy.  Third, an opportunity to readjust America's international relationships.  Fourth, an opportunity to revitalize the U.S. economy."


"Tragedy Prompts People To Think"


Chen Xiaowei commented in the official, English-language China Daily (9/28):  "In the midst of the current military frenzy, neither the White House nor the Pentagon mentions anything about the NMD system.  Naturally, it would be on the back burner.  But in the dozens of news briefings the White House and the Pentagon have held since the incident, no one has asked: 'After the projected billions of dollars we will spend on military responses, are we still going to build the NMD?'"


"Spokesman Stresses Cooperation On Terrorism"


Jiang Zhuqing wrote in the official, English-language China Daily (9/28):  "China reiterated yesterday that it opposes all kinds of terrorist activities and that international cooperation should be enhanced.  Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao, at a regular press briefing, said the UN and the UNSC should play a dominant role in anti-terrorist efforts.  He said the Shanghai Cooperation Organization hopes to play a unique role in maintaining regional and internal peace and stability."


INDONESIA:  "Purifying The Essence Of Jihad"


Independent afternoon daily Berita Buana maintained (9/28):   "As far as Jihad is concerned, for us to gain broader sense of it--the Jihad seeks to advance peace and social piety.  Why must we use the Jihad term in a narrow-minded sense?  We believe at best that God will not turn a blind eye to those going on Jihad in this broad sense of the meaning.  There are lots of issues to overcome at home, such as fighting poverty, stupidity, obstinacy, even fighting corruption such as collusion and nepotism and drug abuse."


JAPAN:  "Both Ruling, Opposition Parties Must Share A Sense Of Global Crisis"


Top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized (9/28):  "The government of Japan, both ruling and opposition parties, must share a sense of crisis so that they can make all-out efforts to overcome these difficulties.  International terrorism is a grave threat to world peace and security.  We fully support Prime Minister Koizumi's Diet speech, emphasizing the need for Japan to take the initiative to join a global war on terrorism.  The JSDF's logistical support for the U.S. military, though not mentioned in the prime minister's speech, could be the main pillar of Japan's assistance to an expected U.S.-led campaign against the terrorists.  Japan can no longer repeat unrealistic defense debates based on past developments. Constructive debate is necessary to make the dispatch of JSDF troops overseas effective."


"Can Koizumi's Optimism Alone Overcome Crises?"


An editorial in business-oriented Nihon Keizai observed (9/28):  "In an apparent departure from past government positions, Prime Minister Koizumi made clear during Thursday's Diet speech his resolve to fight terrorism.  The prime minister's stated determination also suggested that the government is trying to enact a 'new anti-terrorist law' and revise the JSDF Law.  Should Japan fail to deal resolutely and effectively with terrorism, the world recession and its stalemated Asia diplomacy, Japan's raison d'etre in the international community would be called into question....  Mr. Koizumi needs to set aside more time to tell the nation what his government should and could do to overcome crises facing this country and the world."


MALAYSIA:  "Don't Carry Out This Senseless Bloodshed In Our Name"


The government-influenced English-language New Straits Times ran the following commentary by its columnist Mr. Farish A. Noor (9/28):  "As the hawks of war gather to shed the blood of innocents once again, we are forced to hear our names being mentioned as the intended recipients and beneficiaries of such barbarity.  While leaders of Western governments talk about launching 'crusades' in the name of 'humanity' and 'civilization,' equally opportunistic self-proclaimed 'leaders' of the Muslim ummah have begun to call for a jihad in the defense of Islam.  What is blatantly clear for all to see is how the language of politics is being used and abused by politicians--be they dressed in suits or the mantle of the Prophet.  And with this abuse of political discourse comes the utilization of key terms and signifiers that have all but lost their meaning....  So when the leaders of the United States talk about shedding innocent blood 'for the future of humanity,' who are they referring to?  Are they referring to their own supporters who are braying for the blood of others to be shed for the sake of vengeance?  Or do they take into account the thousands of Americans who have come out openly in solidarity with others and who have called on their own government to choose the option of peace and justice?


"'Humanity' means much more than what the president of the United States may think, and 'Islam' certainly is too big a concept to be grasped by the narrow minded mullahs of the Taliban and Usama.  Should conflict occur--and the likelihood is that it will--the people of the world must come together to build and strengthen the bonds of common humanity that cut across the barriers of politics, religion and race.  The only meaningful alliance that can be built in the midst of this confusion is one based on a common understanding or universal justice that unites communities rather than drives them apart and against each other.  Muslims in particular must realize that our true allies are those peace-loving advocates of democracy and justice in the West, and not the mullahs who call upon us to murder others in the name of our religion.  We may not be able to stop the abuse of political language, and no doubt there will be plenty more 'crusades' fought in the name of civilization or religion in the years to come.  But we need to make this point clear at least:  war-makers and terrorists of the world may well fight till the last man and the last victim, but this senseless bloodshed should never be carried out in our name."




CAMEROON:  "Religious Fundamentalism: The Rewards Of Suicidal Sacrifice"


Columnist Asong Ndifor opined in the Yaounde-based opposition, English-language tri-weekly Herald (9/28): "The world is yet to recover from the satanic attack at America's military and financial soul.  But as civilized mankind mourn thousands from some 80 countries who perished in the macabre disaster, Muslim fundamentalists in the Arab world celebrated in fanfar....  What could have propelled people, some of them...having good jobs... to plunge into that suicidal misadventure?...  They are driven by religious fundamentalism....  (They are) convinced that they are victims of an Israeli-American conspiracy and that is the best possible ground for fanatism.  They think it's a conspiracy against Islam....  The terrorist is first brainwashed in fundamentalist mosques to hold the unwavering conviction that once he volunteers his life in a 'holy war' he is guaranteed a comfortable paradise after (his death).  The bomber believes all his sins will be forgiven as well as those of seventy members of his family.  That explains why when a bomber dies, his relatives jubilate rather than mourn."


"How America Nursed A Monster"


Columnist Njei Moses Timah wrote in the Buea-Based opposition, English-language weekly Post (9/28): "If the American government makes a soul-searching analysis of its past policies, it will be clear that some of those policies are responsible for creating monsters that have inflicted untold pain and suffering to humanity.  From the Somoza and Pinochets in Latin America to the Mobutus and Savimbis of Africa to the Usamas of the Middle East, their trademarks have always been 'Sorrow, Tears and Blood'...  One of these monsters have visited America at home in a most vicious way....  This particular monster is hydra-headed and not quite visible.  It is employing unconventional methods in stamping its trademark....  The disruptive effect it has caused to the world economy in just less than a week is running into tens of billions of dollars.  There is every indications that this is just the tip of the iceberg.  We hope we will come out of this outgoing conflict in one piece so that we can learn from it."


NIGERIA:  "September 11 And Huntington's Prophecy"


The Abuja-based Daily Trust (9/26) carried this op-ed piece by Mohammed Haruna:  "Actually, Muslims have no difficulty in coping with democracy.  The problem, paradoxical as it may seem, is that the ruling classes in the West do not want Muslim countries to be truly democratic, with all the implications this has for Western control over oil as the strategic lubricant of Western economies and their military machines.  This is why they have always propped up feudal rule and dictatorships in the Middle East.  It is also why they have often instigated the military to abort the success of so-called Islamic fundamentalists at elections in countries like Algeria and Turkey....  Above all, it is this concern over Middle East oil which has made Americans to support Israel blindly in its conflict with its Arab neighbors.  This blind support has resulted in


American double standards in the region which is the source of the Arab frustrations that have made heroes of the bin Ladins of this world....  While America continues to punish Iraq for allegedly possessing weapons of mass destruction, it continues to pretend that it does not even know that Israel, alone in the Middle East, possesses nuclear weapons, the mother of all weapons of mass destruction....  More than anything else, it is this blind American support for Israel and the deliberate distortion of Islam by Western propagandists which have been responsible for September 11.  This is not to say that its perpetrators should not be identified and punished.  They should.  After all Islam abhors the taking of innocent lives even in wars.  But as I said last week, beyond identifying and punishing the perpetrators of September 11, we must ask why anyone would think nothing of taking his own life and those of other innocent people."


"U.S. Reprisal Attacks, Any Option"


The Abuja-based Daily Trust also had this op-ed piece (9/26) by Musa Umar Kazaure:  "As America and the rest of the 'civilized' countries prepare for the invasion of Afghanistan, perhaps the supporters of such move should all look at some of the implications for the United States in particular and the world in general....  It has been established already by U.S. intelligence that bin Ladin's group (if they ever exist) operate in 'cells,' each independent of the other yet intricately connected by the same goal.  These cells, according to U.S. intelligence, are scattered around the world especially in Europe and the Middle East.  If Afghanistan is invaded and bin Ladin killed, that will not stop the cells from operating and further fuel their zeal to avenge their leader.  What we will end up achieving is breeding more bin Ladin's, this time invincible bin Ladin's, full of hatred against the liquidation of their leader and ever ready for suicidal attacks on any U.S. interest around the world....  One sure way for the United States to help the entire world stamp out terrorism is by being 'fair' in its dealings with all countries, tribes, religions and ethnic groups in the world.  Unfortunately 'fair' is not in the dictionary of modern-day diplomacy but 'permanent interest,' which by all religions' interpretation, breeds selfishness, greed and above all self- destruction.  We pray this is not the beginning of the end."


SOUTH AFRICA:  "Days Pass, A World Exhales"


According to the liberal, independent Cape Times (9/28):  "No retaliatory shot has yet been fired in the 'war against terror', and already one can sense that the world is beginning, gingerly, to exhale.  Not because it is believed that this war might somehow go away, but because it has not started in the manner, or at the time, that many expected.  With each day that passes itseems less likely that the wounded superpower will strike blindly and bluntly.  With each new dawn it seems more likely that this war will be one of focused, drawn-out attrition, rather than one beginning the razing of Kabul....  We do not truly know how fierce is the hunger among the U.S. citizenry for a vengeful demonstration of military might, nor do we know whether...Bush believes he can risk not delivering it.  But we must hope that he does take that political risk, and the American public will understand that restraint and patience can indeed be an indication of strength rather than weakness."


"The Souls Of The U.S."


Political commentator Drew Forrest argues in the liberal Mail & Guardian (9/28):  "The United not the Great Satan of radical Islamic demonology.  It is the most brilliantly creative and energetic civilization the world has produced, and its effect on every human being--including the world's Muslims--has been profound....  Underlying its strength and resourcefulness is a Promethean vision of individual human beings as equal to any challenge, unfettered by the past and unafraid of the future....  It remains a society that encourages individuals to invent themselves.  Much the same applies to American's popular democracy....  Most Americans feel they own their government, and identify passionately with the flag...  The underlying unity of Americans of all classes, inexplicable to Marxists, flows from the deep-rooted Puritan ideas of self-reliance, self-improvement and the equality of believers.


"But there is another, darker legacy of the founding fathers that does much to explain America's troubled relationship with the outside world.  It is the idea that the world is divided between God's chosen and the spiritually lost, and that material success is a mark of God's favor....  Judging by video-taped interviews, Bin Ladin is a heartless ideologue in the Pol Pot mold who applauds and considers American civilians legitimate targets....  But not a shred of evidence has linked him to this particular outrage....  The complexities of Afghan politics and society also seem to be lost on the United States....  Americans lack a sense of tragedy. Their optimism and confidence is a key source of their strength.  But they have little insight into the flawed nature of all human beings and human projects, and particularly of their own moral deficiencies...  Americans are a great people, and their economic power, vitality and libertarian traditions have a potentially huge role in making the world a better place to live in.  But large questions have been raised by the U.S. government's approach to the Cold War and response to terrorism.  Does it have the spiritual and moral vision to provide the right kind of world leadership?"


"Beware Of Patriotism"


In his regular column, Howard Barrel, editor of the liberal Mail & Guardian, commented (9/28):  "In my experience, patriotism and its tunes attract scoundrels, much as the sound of flushing toilet draws a sewer rat from his hideaway....  It is the image of the malevolent imbecile that most readily springs to my mind when, in the wake of the atrocities in New York and Washington on September 11, I see the flag-waving, hear the war hype and read that George W Bush has recoined one of the more celebrated and dangerous idiocies to scar human history: if you are not for us, you are for them.  I feel some of the anguish of those who lost loved ones on September 11; I feel considerable respect for American's anger; I agree with Bush's mission--though I hope sane voices help him understand that to wipe out the terrorist threat will require more creative political dialogue with the terrorists' potential support base, than it will military force.  Yet there seem to be something profoundly sick in the collective willy-wag in which world leaders have striven to join in response to the atrocities of September 11....  We will have to watch this drive to patriotism, to purpose, to war.  It risks making imbeciles of us all."


"U.S. Should Employ Smart Pressure In Dealing With Terrorism"


Ian Urbina, editor of Middle East Report and based in Washington D.C., opined in the liberal Mail & Guardian (9/28):  "The United States is about to run into a minefield that could have catastrophic ramifications across the globe.  Escalating military threats are increasing regional instability, as many populations are growing resentful of U.S. ultimatums....  It may be time for the international community to step forward before the US makes matters worse...  The perpetrators of this heinous crime must be brought to justice and their support networks taken out of operation permanently.  The exact opposite will be achieved by a U.S. military response....  The alternative is to employ smart pressure.  That means acting through the law, not above it.  Bring forward the evidence, which surely exists, and indict Bin Laden as a mass murderer....  If the United States drops its war rhetoric, governments in the Middle East will be much more inclined to cooperate with requests for assistance in tracking down and arresting Bin Laden and his associates...  To win the fight against terrorism, the United States must stop approaching it as a war and begin attacking it as a crime."


"Crude Division Won't Wash"


Academic Larry Benjamin contended in the independent Financial Mail (9/27): "By presenting the nations of the world with such a stark choice, the United States may unwittingly be sowing the seeds of division among states, especially those in the Middle East....  What is already apparent, however, is that the attacks on America have begun to transform geopolitical realities and some the traditional political alignments in the Middle East...  Even with allies such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia, Washington is likely to find itself at odds over the question of which organizations are terrorist and which are engaged in a just struggle against oppressive or 'occupying' regimes.  It ought to be noted that many Arab governments are experiencing a crisis of legitimacy and that the most popular alternative to incumbent secular regimes are Islamic opposition parties....  The leaders of such states run the risk of further alienating their people and weakening their support base by being seen to slavishly acquiesce in America's demands.  Washington, therefore, needs to demonstrate greater sensitivity to these realities by being less prescriptive and more consultative.  Failure to achieve this may result in the unintended consequence of pro-Western regimes being toppled and replaced by ones that may, at best, be less inclined to co-operate in the war against terrorism and, at worst, be inimically hostile to the interest of the West."


"Waiting for action"


Independent Business Day declared (9/27):  "The careful efforts to build a broad alliance against terrorism are beginning to pay off, but it also places limits on U.S. options....  This broad alliance could not survive military action that kills innocent civilians....  This war must consist of careful detective work...and intensive intelligence work...  The kind of targeted military measure required would then become clearer....  The struggling world economy would be deeply damaged by anything approaching a wider war.  A more targeted, more effective campaign would mean an earlier end to the recession.  That is the kind of leadership the world needs today.  Bush continues to surprise with his cautious approach thus far."


"A Case Of My Enemy's Enemy Becoming My Friend"


Freelance, diplomatic correspondent J.J. Cornish commented in the liberal, independent Star (9/27):  "The reaction to the terror attacks...proves once again that countries do not have friends, only interests....  What's in it for Beijing?  Greater understanding of its nascent Islamist problem in its westernmost province of Xianjiang, for starters....  Americans sources are mystified as to why [South African] Foreign Minister...Zuma should declare her government's unwillingness to supply military assistance to the United States.  They are amused to observe how...Zuma committed one of the oldest political faux pas: answering a hypothetical question.  The United States has not even asked South Africa for military aid--neither is it likely to."


"Lynch Justice"


The independent Daily Dispatch charged (9/26):  "The very arrogance towards other nations and other people, the threatening behaviors by what many people perceive as a bully-boy superpower, having an interest in the well-being of others only when the United States' self-interest is served....  America's notion of justice...needs to be the subjects of serious introspection by Americans. Not everybody loves the Americans....  Americans should spend more time...discovering why there is this anger and antipathy, and take steps to rectify the bad blood between them and many nations and individuals....  Bush must not be swept along by the popular swell of baying for blood, but must exercise true leadership and guide his people to a measured, appropriate response to the terror attack.  At the moment, Texan Bush is portraying himself most realistically as a Wild West cowboy heading an unruly lynch mob."


"The Erosion Of Civil Liberties"


The liberal, independent Cape Argus stressed (9/26):  "The war against terror has weakened principles, turned villains into friends and given invasive laws and powers a new sheen of respectability....  Nations suspend civil liberties at their peril....  When the dust settles draconian state powers remain on the statue books.  The abuse of such powers is a temptation few states have been able to resist for long.  Terrorism does need to be vanquished--but not at all costs.  The world must be vigilant that basic human rights are not trampled in the rush to protect those same rights."




ARGENTINA:  "Musharraf At A Crossroads:  U.S. Signals Confuse Military Regime"


Oscar Raul Cardoso, leading Clarin international columnist, on special assignment in Islamabad, opined (9/27):  "Pakistan, or its military regime, is apparently starting to feel certain uncomfortable perplexity vis-a-vis U.S. demands for assistance to fight 'the first war of the 21st century' and not precisely because they are impossible to satisfy.  Very often, these requests are clearly contradictory, or require decisions which, if made in Islamabad, could jeopardize the regime's stability.... There is growing suspicion here that in Washington there is a larger degree of uncertainty than there appears to be regarding the next step, and that this has led the crisis to an impasse.  The signals on the future scenario of the military operations against the Afghan military regime and Bin Ladin's organization are confusing.... Pakistan and predominantly Islamic countries which joined Bush in his war cries, are specially interested in finding a justification for the eventual military actions in Afghanistan in order to limit the accusation of treason by their societies.  The apparent 'lack of sufficient information' also adds to the general concern prevailing in Islamabad.... The impression is that... at present, we are facing two complicated scenarios: Musharraf's impression that perhaps it will be impossible for him to fulfill all the promises made to Washington or that, within the military, a clear opposition to the U.S. option might be slowly developing."


"Open Society And Its Enemies"


An editorial in liberal, English-language Buenos Aires Herald read (9/27):  "The question whether an open society must necessarily be the first victim of terrorism deserves analysis at another level.... The idea has been advanced that terrorism can operate with far more freedom in the open society it tries to destroy -- hence the widespread fear of basic liberties being curtailed in a security backlash.  But it can also work the other way around.  Globalization and openness might increase the scope of terrorism but they could also supply the antidote--opening up between countries would remove the obstacles which hamper joint action against terrorism and permit the world to present a far more solid front.   In the immediate wake of the Twin Towers horror some well-meaning souls...spoke of opposing hate with love yet in terms of fighting the likes of Bin Ladin, Hussein, Hitler or Stalin with love is most vapid absurdity... But to speak of fighting terrorist secrecy with transparency makes rather more sense. In a word, not only can terrorism be fought without sacrificing the values invoked against it but these values might even be enhanced."


"In Search Of 'Enduring Freedom'"


An editorial in independent La Prensa said (9/27):  "This is the Western world's present dilemma: starting a war without knowing the methods to end it at some point in the future. The secretary [of defense] realistically declared 'It is a different kind of war and we must get used to thinking about it in different terms.' It will be a long war in search of 'Enduring Freedom.' We're all asking ourselves how we're going to achieve this."


BRAZIL: "Great Maneuvers"


Rio's independent Jornal do Brasil held (9/27):  "The tri-border of Brazil-Argentina-Paraguay is an example of the instability which may spread if it's not restrained immediately.  There was detected, among nuclei of Arab immigration, suspects who gave logistic and material support in the attacks on the Israeli Embassy and Amia, in Buenos Aires, in 1992 and 1995....  The Amazon is a huge unguarded border which makes Brazil vulnerable, especially to destabilizing foreign actions such as narco-trafficking, mining, arson and other ecological aggression."


"The Plunder Of Rome"


Conservative O Globo's byline said (9/27): "It's important to apply justice to the perpetrators and their commanders, try to dismantle the deadly weapons.  It's a work more of the  intelligence services and small command units than of fleets of atomic aircraft carriers and hundreds of thousands soldiers. Even more important will be to disarm the exasperation of the excluded  ones, to strengthen the alliances with globalized or semi-globalized Islamic countries, Egypt, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.... The self-immolation problem will only be solved when most of those who  find themselves excluded, may be included, though in an imperfect way, in our globalized civilization."


"Compensatory Policies"


Carlos Geraldo Langoni, director of the Center of World Economy of Getulio Vargas Foundation  judged in conservative O Globo (9/27):  "The attack on New York will deepen the world's economic cooling off  period, postponing recovery until the middle of next year.  Brazil will be severely affected...  It is essential that Brazil reduce its private sector dependence on foreign  resources."


MEXICO: "Absolute Respect For Principles"


An editorial in nationalist El Universal stresed (9/27):  "The current globalization process makes one's problems the other's problems, as the September 11 terrorist actions demonstrated.  This is the reason for the emergence of voices in the U.S. demanding the complete support of the Mexican government.  However, the Mexican government must act within absolute respect for Mexican laws and foreign policy principles....  Terrorism is indeed a common enemy of mankind, but one should not resort to equally contemptible methods to fight it.  We are in


complete solidarity with the American people, but we should not follow any steps contrary to our laws....  It is true that we are one of the major U.S. trading partners, but this is not sufficient reason to lose our uniqueness and the respect for the Mexican people." 


"The Foreign Policy Myth"


Jose Antonio Crespo states in nationalist El Universal (9/27):  "Current Foreign Relations Secretary (Jorge Castaneda) is also a victim of the terrorist attacks against the United States….  He has to reconcile antagonistic postures such as being in good terms with the U.S. government and also with the Mexican people regarding the U.S. military strategy....  If Castaneda wants to convince the Mexicans that our full support for the U.S. is the most rational and beneficial thing to do he would have to do so in such a way that this strategy would seem to be reconciled with the mythical but traditional foreign policy principles of non-intervention and self-determination." 


"Global Disorder And Terrorism"


Adolfo Sanchez Rebolledo asserts in left-of-center La Jornada  (9/27):  "Bush said, 'with us or with terrorism,' but the cause of civilization cannot merely be the obsession of the person who wants to take revenge under alleged divine inspiration, and thus becomes the big brother of everything he watches.  Aren't the victims of New York already enough of an increase the list of innocent people killed?  Who needs another dirty war in the world?"


"Defining Terrorism"


Monterrey’s leading independent El Norte carried this commentary by Zidane Zeraoui, Director of International Relations at Monterrey Tech (9/27):  “With all the confusion about the term terrorism, we could wonder if Bush’s statements about war include the ETA, the Britons, Chechens, Kosovars, the IRA, etc.  Or do his statements simply refer to Bin Ladin?…  It is necessary to first identify the enemy, without doing so one could find that the enemy is so diffuse that there would be no chance of success.”


"The Answer"


In another commentary in El Norte, Gabriela de la Paz noted (9/27): “The world can think what it pleases; if there is no action in time, this could become the beginning of the end for U.S. hegemony and it would have failed twice:  first in preventing the attack and second in properly responding to the aggressors....  For the Untied States, today more than ever, the end justifies the means.”


CHILE:  "The Reasons Behind Muslim Rancor"


Conservative, influential, newspaper-of-record El Mercurio ran an article by journalist Katherine Bauerle (9/27):  "Powerful as few in history.  Unreachable in its economic, political and military might.  Unstoppable in its cultural influence, the United States is bound to have opponents worldwide.  But what causes this resentment to be expressed in a particularly violent way from a sector of the Muslim world?...  The United States represents the epitome of all the damage the West has caused.  This has been the argument used by terrorist groups, such as Usama Bin laden, to get support for their violent actions. But it is not an argument used only by these groups.  Popular Arab culture, and many intellectuals too, resent the superpower they view as aggressive, manipulative, and a subjugator of the Muslim world....  The globalization of American culture is viewed as an invasive and liberal force... that erodes the principles of traditional Islamic civilization.  To say that Muslim antagonism toward the United States and its policies is a 'clash of civilizations' perhaps farfetched.  But this does not stop some from trying to portray this as the true problem... That is clearly the case with Bin Ladin...  The attempt to provoke an American retaliation which does not make any distinction between fundamentalist

Muslims and other Muslims would give Bin Ladin a supreme victory: to make the Islamic world truly believe this is a clash of civilizations."


"The True War Against Terrorism Is On The Intelligence Front"


Conservative El Metropolitano editorialized (9/27): "Let's be honest.  Afghanistan is a desolate territory and its only advantage is that it is an attractive route for trade.  Therefore, how can the demolition of a country that the UN has classified as the world's third poorest contribute to peace?... The true war against terrorism is on another front, intelligence."


"Symbolic Coalition"


Conservative, afternoon La Segunda ran an editorial stating (9/26): "Before calling on the Armed Forces of Latin America, there are other intermediate stops - NATO- that should be called."


"Concept Of Sovereignty Has Changed"


In its prime-time newscast, conservative, Catholic University Television Channel 13  featured international commentator Karin Ebensperger, who characterized the latest events (9/26): "It is being said that the world changed for ever because the terrorist attack affected the concept of security....  But security cannot be improvised, and not everybody can be a suspect.  It is necessary to have professionals with the legitimate authority. Beyond the numerous criticisms of United States' foreign policy, one must acknowledge the American people's trust in their authorities and Armed Forces....  The concept of sovereignty has changed... There are international threats such as terrorism."


COLOMBIA:  "Colombian Territory Undone"  


Leading El Tiempo editorialized (9/27): "What could happen if as a result of the worldwide offensive against terrorism, the United States begins to attack the FARC and the paramilitaries?  It is time for the country to convoke a crusade against narcotics trafficking and the crime of armed groups.  It's not enough to negotiate peace if nothing is done to remedy the economic, social and political causes that have torn the country apart."


PANAMA:  "Afghanistan, The Eternal Struggle"


Carlos Christian Sanchez' op-ed ran in independent El Universal de Panama (9/27):  "Those who think that Afghanistan will be an easy piece to be taken by the United States are wrong.…  A military intervention in Afghanistan is a real strategic suicide."


"The Only Lie"   


Independent La Prensa carried Sabrina Bacal's oped stating (9/27):  "The United States runs the risk of losing some of the privileges and values that her enemies have promised to destroy."

"The Recent Terrorist Attacks"


 Pro-government La Estrella de Panama carried oped by Col. (R) Amador Sanjur (9/27):  "We have no other way but to join President Bush's campaign if we want to eliminate all these criminal activities....  We congratulate President Bush for his brilliant speech... The terrorists have made the greatest error of their lives."   



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