|Office of Research||Issue Focus||Foreign Media Reaction|
The outpouring of sympathy for the U.S. and pan-American solidarity flowing from the the Latin American media after the September 11 terrorist attacks has given way to more nuanced assessments following President Bush's call for an international anti-terror coalition in his address to Congress. Uncertainty surrounding the U.S.' "next step," the absence of the anticipated "conclusive" evidence fingering Usama bin Laden as the chief culprit, and fears that a "spectacular" U.S. military retaliation was imminent fueled doubts and anxiety in many quarters, and some critics bristled at the "bellicose discourse of the first days." As the week wore on, more commentators--including some of the most strident critics--appeared to be reassured that the U.S. was taking a more cautious and measured response, and others were seemingly caught off guard by the U.S.' "exemplary patience." The liberal Folha de Sao Paulo, which usually sides with the anti-Yankee camp, has now applauded the Bush administration for its "praiseworthy and unexpected concern with diplomacy." Others, including leftist dailies in Nicaragua and Ecuador, credited Secretary of State Powell for Washington's restraint. Quito's center-left Hoy, usually loathe to compliment the U.S., now allowed: "Secretary of Powell for one...shows a balanced peaceful discourse, far from any arrogant warlike position." While a majority of analysts were still casting about for answers--aware that the war against terrorism was anything but conventional--a number of writers stressed the need for more effective intelligence gathering, a bigger role for the UN and multilateral institutions and for a greater understanding of the root causes of anti-West sentiment believed to be fuelling terrorism. Commentary highlights follow:
WITH THE U.S.: By and large, government-owned, conservative, independent and business-oriented outlets in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay provided the most consistent support for the U.S, with many attempting to sway public opinion opposed to any form of military action. A majority emphasized, however, that "international collaboration," not "unilateral indiscriminate intervention" was paramount. Leading independent dailies in Brazil also leaned favorably toward the U.S., but were careful to couch support in terms of the national interest. Others made the case that the danger was not confined to the U.S., as did Rio's independent Jornal do Brazil by pointing out that "the tri-border of Brazil-Argentina-Paraguay is an example of the instability which may spread if it's not restrained immediately." Rallying behind the U.S., Asuncion's ABC Color asserted: "The U.S. and its allies have a moral obligation to hunt down the terrorists who sit in their barracks in Afghanistan and destroy them there or bring them out to face justice. And they should do the same to the complicit Taliban regime." A Honduran daily echoed the sentiment of solidarity: "The attack was a crime against civilization, a stab in the back of humanity." Taking it as a given that the anti-terror campaign would trump all other issues on the U.S.' Latam agenda--from the war on drugs-to free trade-to immigration reform--many observers also prepared to adjust to a "new international order" and a changed "geo-political checkerboard."
MAYBE, MAYBE NOT: While mostly supportive of the U.S. anti-terror initiative, the press in Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru was somewhat fickle, vacillating between condemnations of the terrorist acts to suggestions that the U.S. was reaping what it sowed. Some papers passionately promoted an international response against terrorism, while others fueled fears of U.S. interventionism by forewarning of a possible increase in the U.S. military presence in the Western Hemisphere. Peruvian dailies made a point of stressing that support for the U.S. should not be "unconditional." Meanwhile in Colombia, where questions over the definition of terrorism raised hackles, leading El Tiempo worried, "What could happen if as a result of the worldwide offensive against terrorism, the U.S. begins to attack the FARC and the paramilitaries?
JUST SAY NO: Left-leaning, liberal and nationalist papers in Mexico and Nicaragua and across the spectrum in Brazil provided the most dissident voices, ranging from arguments against joining the coalition to the recycling of grievances against past U.S. policies. Mexican and Brazilian dailies cited sovereignty concerns and non-intervention policies as excuses for remaining on the sidelines. Mexico's nationalist El Universal captured the sentiment of ambivalence sprouting up in some corners, declaring: "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." With the memory of U.S. support for the Contras a heavy chip on his shoulder, a Sandinista writer in Managua implored, "Don't combat terror with terror; not imperialism disguised as anti-terrorism." A Venezuelan daily also took a swipe at the U.S. by suggesting that the UN was the first "victim" of the American response, and went on to say that "making the UN subordinate to the U.S. is probably the road to ruin for all collective security mechanisms, leaving the world subject to the will of a superpower whose decisions will not always be totally accepted."
EDITOR: Irene Marr
EDITOR'S NOTE: This survey is based on 229 editorials from 15 countries, September 28-21.
Countries are as follows: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.
ARGENTINA: "U.S. Signals Confuse Musharraf's 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'... 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 Laden'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 Laden, 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): "The U.S. is aware that this is not a conventional war and that patience is needed, because the characteristics of the enemy--terrorism--will mark the direction of the actions and here's the Gordian knot of the problem... The best prepared men for battle and those countries with the most destructive weapons will have to face a slow battle, with many surprises, as presented by terrorist techniques. The U.S. and NATO forces are ready to smash the visible enemy in a matter of days, but terrorists operate by undermining the enemy or by forcing it to use its forces incorrectly. This is why U.S. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said that this war may go on for years, though looking for permanent results and that there will be no 'D-Day.' 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 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."
"Arabia Cuts Ties With Taliban And U.S. Tightens Noose"
Ana Baron, leading Clarin Washington-based correspondent, wrote (9/26): "President Bush obtained a great diplomatic victory yesterday when Saudi Arabia decided to cut diplomatic ties with the Talibaan regime. This is a remarkable 180-degree turn in the geo-political checkerboard which was completed with the decision by five Central Asian nations--mostly Muslim--authorizing the allied operation to overfly their territory. Saudi Arabia's government decided to cut ties with the Taliban government for 'not paying attention to their requests to stop protecting terrorists and criminals'.... The Saudis' decision practically closed the circle around Afghanistan and increased the legitimacy of the coalition organized by the White House against international terrorism.... Nevertheless, while the international coalition consolidates and continues deploying U.S. military forces in the region, it is not clear yet what the target will be, in case of a military attack."
"Towards Stability In The Gulf"
Claudio Mario Aliscioni, leading Clarin international columnist, opined (9/26): "Possibly, Saudi Arabia's decision to leave the Afghan Taliban on their own, after years of open support, was made with their eyes set on two clearly defined horizons: the historic alliance with the U.S. which they wish to maintain, and the royal family's future political stability in view of a population with strong ideological and affective solidarity with the Afghans, (their brothers in the faith). Riyadh's resolution is a U.S. victory in its attempt to commit Saudi Arabia even further in their open fight against terrorism although, up to now, the royal family has resisted Bush's claims that the peninsula be used as a platform for air raids against Afghanistan. The Koran bans foreign troops from stepping on holy land--cradle of Islam--but King Fahd is also looking at his people--particularly the most orthodox sectors--that do not forgive his tolerance with the 5,000 U.S. soldiers stationed in the Gulf since 1991.... All in all, the complex scenario does not end here. In this 'give and take' which explains Saudi Arabia's decision, we would not be surprised if there was a claim for Washington to put an end--for once and for all -- to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For the oil monarchies in the Gulf, an intensification of the hostile atmosphere, at this time, would be an anticipation of the most intolerable nightmare."
"Information Control Will Be Washington's Key Weapon"
Maria O'Donnell, daily-of-record La Nacion Washington-based correspondent, said (9/26): "The Bush administration says that most of the evidence incriminating Bin Laden is classified information which the U.S. is unable to disclose because it would jeopardize its intelligence methods. With this explanation it rejects insistent requests from other countries regarding the grounds Bin Laden is accused on and, from the Pentagon, they conceal information which in other conflicts was made public, saying that this is no conventional war. Rumsfeld's attitude triggered alarm among journalists assigned to the Pentagon, who were informed that they will not be able to accompany troops like they did during the Gulf War. Will the government eventually lie to the media in order to lead the enemy off the right trail?, journalists asked. The Secretary of Defense reminded everyone of Winston Churchill's words. He once said that sometimes, truth must be carefully protected with lies, which means that lying about the date of a military action, is legitimate. But Rumsfeld promised that lies will not be part of his military strategy."
"News From Nowhere: U.S. Gets Ready For War Of Lies"
Soledad Gallego Diaz, New York-based contributor, writes in leftist Pagina 12 (9/26): "At present, one of the key concerns of U.S. journalists is how to prevent the recent wave of patriotism which is sweeping the country now, from jeopardizing the quality of their job.... People also need to get ready for another conflict which, according to some military sources, will be accompanied by an 'information war of high intensity': big lies and disinformation. Many believe that this new and strange war against terrorism will be even worse--from an information point of view--than the Gulf War. During the past days, print media and TV have exercised self-regulation by avoiding the most terrible images and the most sensationalist angles of the coverage.... The problem of combining patriotism and information will undoubtedly become worse in the next days and weeks, depending on the evolution of the military clashes.... The team leading this conflict, headed by Cheney-Powell, is exactly the same one that turned the Gulf War into one of the most opaque and friendly wars Washington's government had in U.S. history."
"New Threats, New Concepts"
Daniel Gallo, daily-of-record La Nacion's international columnist, asserted (9/25): "Fernando de la Rua's definition that terrorism is a foreign attack could change Argentina's military scenario.... (Therefore) new threats to security will involve Argentine armed forces by terming international terrorism as a 'foreign attack'.... Yesterday, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that the U.S.' goal is to reduce world terrorism and not to eliminate it completely, since it would be impossible. It is following this line of thought that one should analyze security actions in Argentina. The Argentine military are not thinking of directly searching an unknown enemy. There is no repetition of the '70s. The military do want to reinforce strategic positions. Because there is no specific combat against our country, but it could be one target in the struggle simply because it is part of the world, the strategy wanted by the Argentine military is to turn an attack against Argentina less profitable. Their purpose is to deter any terrorist cell by hampering a criminal assault."
"Bush Launches A Financial Attack Against International Terrorism"
Ana Baron, leading Clarin's Washington-based correspondent, wrote (9/25): "Through an executive order to freeze all funds belonging to Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda and other 26 terrorist organizations, President Bush opened a new front in the U.S. anti-terrorist war - the financial front. Bush explained that in general all these terrorist organizations have more accounts in foreign banks than in the U.S. This is why he also ordered to freeze the funds of all foreign banks not doing likewise.... Some European countries will have to change their banking laws to satisfy the demands of this order. According to Bush, the objective is double. On the one hand, the U.S. will trail the money to discover where terrorists are, and, on the other hand, they will freeze the funds to hinder their actions."
"A New Overcoming Order"
Daily-of-record La Nacion carries an opinion piece by Juan Gabriel Tokatlian, professor of international relations at Universidad San Andres, who emphasized (9/25): "After the U.S. counterattacks in answer to the atrocious terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, we'll be entering a new international order.... During the Cold War, the 'Realpolitik' pragmatic code led to undesirable consequences. For example, in order to answer to the USSR control in Afghanistan, the USG protected, funded and justified the Taliban regime and Osama Ben Laden. In the post-Cold War something similar happened, the 'Ideal politik' of humanitarian interventions to protect human rights in the framework of multilateral institutions such as the UN was broken by NATO's solitary and disproportionate action in Kosovo.... The new era will have to consolidate a new and legal order, but above all it will have to be fair. In this way, the result of the collective fight against terrorism may not reverse the world's democratization process, break the rule of law or stigmatize any human group. The new international order needs more democracy, more legality and more pluralism. Argentina can contribute a lot to building rules, institutions and values. More than ever, an active, responsible and competitive diplomatic deployment is urgently required: we must help build that new world order. We cannot be spectators and receivers of a structure that without the cooperation of intermediate countries will be designed to the measure of powerful countries."
"What Does America Mean?"
Michael Soltys, liberal, English-language Buenos Aires Herald's executive editor, held (9/25): "The lavish use of the world 'war'... hardly clarifies the issues at stake in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. Far too many people in the region still confuse anti-terrorist action with sending troops and generally question such a sacrifice in spirit of latent anti-U.S. feelings combined with overt fears of thus being dragged into a U.S. conflict. This perception is wrong at a number of levels. It is not a question of entering into conflict - global terrorism is already here. Nor does it only affect the U.S.... But above all, nobody is talking about Latin American troops.... Rather than sacrifice, nothing more is required of Latin American countries than some enlightened self-interest in controlling terrorism within their own region. Yet even this is not as simple as it sounds. Firstly, the lack of any specific demand for troops by the US should not be confused with the lack of any need for commitment. On the contrary, the onus is on Latin Americans to show that they are just as good at rallying around their fellow-Americans as NATO allies have already been... Indeed too much indifference would not only place Latin America behind Europe and Canada in the queue but also the likes of Russia and perhaps even Iran. Secondly, the notion of security beginning at home rather than in unfamiliar terrains does not necessarily make life easier for Latin America. If the main front is domestic, what is the best role for the military given the region's coup-studded history? The pressures to combine defense and security forces are huge, given the new face of warfare, but so are the dangers."
"The Pope's Warning"
An editorial in daily-of-record La Nacion held (9/25) "In these hours of anguish and uncertainty humanity is experiencing in view of an imminent armed punitive action whose extent is unpredictable, John Paul II's dramatic call to avoid the outbreak of a war by all means has a profound spiritual impact.... In this way, John Paul II has made the first formal call to defend peace amid the world's crisis... No one identified with free world values may want that the attack against the WTC and the Pentagon remains unpunished. But that does not mean that war operations should be encouraged and that the attacked nation will use force beyond necessary limits to bring those responsible for the attacks to justice."
An editorial by Eduardo De Simone, business-financial Buenos Aires Economico's senior managing editor, read (9/25): "(Regarding the hypothesis of Argentina eventually sending troops supporting the US anti-guerrilla attack) no one has asked us for that from abroad... In Argentina, Foreign Minister Rodriguez Giavarini has led a position based on the rule of law.... With the motto of not going a step ahead or a step behind the U.S., regional solidarity was mobilized and the debate on domestic security was revived. This is, in fact, the bottom line of Argentina's responsibility in the new context after the September 11 attacks... Argentina should provide certainty to the documentation it issues, under the risk that the U.S. again rightly demand visas for Argentines traveling to the US. But the country should also contribute to strengthen control on the Triple Border with Brazil and Paraguay... Correcting the domestic deficiencies will be the best way to protect the community from new terrorist attacks... But it will also be the most effective way to conclusively accompany the US in its strategy against terrorism."
"Lamentable Focus Points"
An editorial in business-financial Ambito Financiero held (9/25): "A junior Argentine government officer was fired for having justified the Islamic terrorist attack on the US.... By firing a low-ranking government officer, Argentina attempts to disguise many important Argentines' anti-humanism.... The De la Rua administration wants to disguise its own lack of definition in face of the September 11 tragedy.... This is the lamentable scenario of politicians, government and institutions with which Argentina will inevitably have to count on in this world war on terrorism... What makes even sadder our panorama in this complex fight is that we have been one of the few countries in the world... that suffered similar bloody attacks on two occasions.... We should be the first in contributing experience, dexterous investigators, clear definitions and self-assured decisions due to our double experience in having suffered criminal attack
"The Offensive Against Terrorism"
An editorial in leading Clarin read (9/24): "The world is on the verge of a probably long conflict of uncertain consequences. This is why world leaders, capable of making military and political decisions, must act -- though in an understandable state of indignation and desire for justice--with the necessary prudence. Only by doing this will we able to thwart the terrorists' purpose of turning the world into a scenario of hatred and mutual destruction and of neglect for human life."
"Bush Thinks This Is What God Has Asked Him To Do"
Ana Baron, leading Clarin Washington-based correspondent, opined (9/23): "During the first days of the crisis.... Bush was not up to the level of circumstances.... Nevertheless, as days went by, Bush appeared more reassured and, undoubtedly, during his Thursday speech in Congress when he announced that the U.S. was ready to start actions, a new president was born. Bush, calm and determined, had a very clear and simple message: 'In the end, we'll win this war.' We could say that the change was a result of his image advisors who prepared him before delivering his speech. But, according to his closest advisors, the 180-degree turn is because Bush believes the attacks confronted him with the true meaning of his life, his destiny as president and the mission for which he will be judged and described.... A friend of him, quoted in the NYT, said, 'he thinks this is what God has asked him to do'.... Everything indicates that Bush's dilemma is, for one part, the need to resort to his religious beliefs in order to fight this war, and on the other hand, the need to avoid transforming this conflict into a war of religions."
"Aiming At An International Coalition"
Telma Luzzani, leading Clarin international columnist, commented (9/24) "Saying 'No' to the U.S. is very difficult. Moreover when George W. Bush drew a line between pious and sinners with his threatening phrase 'either you're with us or with the terrorists.' But the truth is that an important number of countries in the world expressed in an educated manner their reserves regarding 'an advanced commitment with the U.S.' in terms of a military retaliation against Afghanistan. One of the arguments which made support for the U.S. more moral than effective was the lack of evidence to prove that Bin Laden is the brain of the attacks.... Many world leaders agreed that the death of thousands of victims in New York and Washington deserved an unquestioned response but, against whom? and, reasonably, they warned about the terrible consequences the war against an unidentified enemy could have. The other doubt, not expressed by the governments for obvious reasons but disclosed by the media, aimed at Bush's capacity to lead, not only his country, but the world, into war.... This doubt was neutralized by Bush's speech in Congress which launched him, amidst a great 'mise en scene', to the level of a statesman.... Powell's promise (to hand over evidence on Bin Laden's involvement in the attacks) is aimed at making it easy for many governments to cooperate (in a military retaliation.) If there is evidence, support is almost an obligation and will be better tolerated by Europe's electorate. In addition to clearing the way to an alliance, Powell 'the moderate' cabinet member, will play his domestic card in the internal fight against the administration's hawks.... Powell is in favor of a selective, minor scale response. Clearly, it will be possible to put together an international coalition if there is a defined target and a clear military and political objective. In making the evidence public, Powell is trying to achieve this."
"Bush And The Moral Weight Of Leadership"
An editorial in daily-of-record La Nacion read (9/22) "President Bush's vibrant speech in Congress on Thursday expressed the vigorous spirit of unity with which the country is responding to the fierce aggression by international terrorism.... We now have to ask ourselves about the meaning of this support and, also, of the support other countries in the world have given the U.S. It is an invigorating institutional alignment for the U.S. people and for President Bush, but it would be a mistake if we fail to realize that all these expressions of solidarity also mean a tremendous responsibility for the world's first superpower and its leader. We can clearly see, at this critical time, the obvious moral price of historical leadership: today, the U.S. has the obligation to face an artful and perverse opponent, but it also has the duty to show that the free world uses different methods than those used by Fundamentalists during the attacks in the U.S. Today, President Bush has a very heavy burden on his shoulders. His government cannot remain inactive vis-a-vis such a bloody action which severed so many human lives but, at the same time, he has to show, with his actions, that the U.S. global leadership is not only based on overwhelming warlike supremacy but also on the fidelity to ideals of harmony, justice and respect for human dignity. The future of the high values which the free world has traditionally upheld as banners and in the name of which it fought terrible wars during the 20th century, depends, to a large extent, on the balance and clarity of the actions carried out by U.S. authorities these days."
"Bush Obtains Overwhelming Support, Which Up To Now Had Been Elusive"
Maria O'Donnell, daily-of-record La Nacion Washington-based correspondent, wrote (9/22): "Everybody praised Bush's speech in Congress.... It is true that the President was facing a highly supportive audience, which needed to find reassurance in their leader... It is also true that Bush, who arrived in the Presidency after the most questioned election process in the history of the U.S. and without any experience in foreign policy, overcame doubts and found, with this crisis, a tone which his people find reassuring.... In addition to 'connecting' with his people, Bush aimed, perhaps, at a more ambitious goal: explaining to the American people who the enemy is, with what forces and how he plans to face him. In order to fight--as he intends--a long war and with methods which are not always conventional, he needs to maintain in the long run the people's present support.... It is a major challenge because retaliation has not started yet and, for the time being, the costs--either in terms of the lives of soldiers as much as civilian victims abroad and in terms of divisions in the present coalition--are only hypotheses."
"The President Also Asked for 'Blood, Sweat and Tears'"
Oscar Raul Cardoso, leading Clarin international analyst, wrote (9/22): "For someone who has been terribly criticized for his weak oratory and for his lack of knowledge of the most elemental aspects of international geography, Bush's grave speech was that of a statesman, and which was almost as somber--in its gravity -- as the famous piece of oratory in which Winston Churchill promised the English people only 'blood, sweat and tears.' No trivial 'Bushisms' leaked into a carefully written and delivered speech. In fact, he became the first president of the post-Vietnam war era to present the idea of 'human losses' as an inevitable consequence of the fight against terrorism.... Perhaps, because no one--neither Bush or his strategists -- can tell how long this perspective will maintain the present condition of 'acceptable cost' in U.S. society... the hypothesis of a 'Third War' which appeared in his first declarations after the tragedy, disappeared.... But this re-adjustment reflects another dimension in domestic politics. Within the Republican administration there seems to be an intense debate on whether the terrorist aggression deserves a military response or another one... in terms of a global police action.... No one can deny the intense organizing effect of Bush's words, within and outside his country, but for someone with this immense capacity to influence the course of global history, his position is still quite vulnerable."
"The Military Offensive's Limits"
International editor Marcelo Cantelmi wrote in leading Clarin (9/21): "Last night, the U.S. military operation...received an impetus that eliminates any retreat but it can turn the German warning of not embarking in adventures into a fulfilled prediction. A datum that suggests that the scenario ahead is complicated... is Afghan leaders' reluctance to turn over Usama bin Ladin, which they justified not with fundamentalist arguments but with the lack of conclusive evidence on bin Ladin's link with the attacks. The United States is unlikely to gather that conclusive evidence... That would imply a negotiation not in tune with the White House goals, pressured by the casualties of the attack: Washington needs a defined enemy.... Last night Bush promised to use 'all necessary war arms' and to point them to the governments that harbor terrorism, clearly referring to Iraq. The possibility that his operation includes that other target is tempting Washington's 'hawks'... But there is not European consensus on that.... Neither bin Ladin's arrest or elimination nor Saddam Hussein's overthrowal will guarantee the end of terrorism. Rather than solving the Afghan labyrinth, Bush's challenge is to understand that a new chapter has started and that old strategies probably sank under New York rubble."
"Bush: 'With U.S. Or With Terrorism'"
Daily-of-record La Nacion's Washington-based correspondent Maria O'Donnell commented (9/21): "In his address to the U.S. Congress, George W. Bush warned that the Taliban regime should immediately turn over Osama Ben Laden and all the members of his network, and eliminate training fields in their country.... The campaign targets... raised strong debate between Powell and Pentagon number Two, Paul Wolfowitz, who also wanted to attack Iraq.... From Bush's tone, Powell's position seemed to have prevailed. In order not to complicate the international coalition, he suggested a first stage focused only on Ben Laden and his network.... The importance of Bush's speech...was compared by analysts with the one Roosevelt gave after the Pearl Harbor attack to bring the Unite States to the Second World War. However, to Bush, it was important to emphasize once more that this one will not be a traditional war and that it cannot be compared with any other in history."
BRAZIL: "The UN's Role"
Lead editorial in liberal Folha de Sao Paulo (9/28) commented: "The uncertainties hovering the world are gradually dissipating. The catastrophic scenarios are becoming unlikely. The search for a minimum international consensus vis-a-vis the U.S. action is now almost an imperative.... The U.S. has so far shown an exemplary patience and has not responded emotionally to the terrorist attacks... The Bush administration has shown praiseworthy and unexpected concern with diplomacy and the legal aspects of a possible retaliation. The bellicose discourse of the first days has been replaced by words such as 'consensus' and 'alliance.' It is in this scenario that the United Nations gains importance. It is clear that the U.S. has the power to act without the UN's approval or to convince the Security Council to approve its positions, especially when it has moral reason on its side... It is highly desirable that the White House continues articulating a anti-terrorism coalition within multilateral organizations such as the UN."
"The Day The World Changed"
Columnist Joao Mellao Neto comments in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo (9/28): "It would be very tranquilizing for all of us if we could convince ourselves that the terrorist attacks were just an isolated case, or that bin Laden is only a megalomaniac psychopath. The problem is that reality is much more sinister than fiction. Bin Laden is far from being a lone fanatic... It is not a matter or anti-Americanism. The WTC towers represented all the system of beliefs and values that supports Western civilization... We would like to wish bin Laden were the only one. But he is not. There are millions of others watching around every corner on Earth. And we are realizing this only now. September 11 was the day the world changed."
"Bush In Porto Alegre"
A conservative O Globo byline by Luis Fernando Verissimo stated (9/28): "Don't expect to see Bush giving a speech against predatory capital in upcoming World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, but at least he has already adhered to one of the demands of globalization, in the good sense. Bush also thinks that a better world is possible with transparency and control of transactions with volatile capital which, in the same way it finances terrorist attacks, it also destabilizes governments and kills entire economies without getting the blame.... The tragedy brought to the Republican Government--that had been elected only to decrease the taxes of the rich, favor mining and oil...maintain the war industry...and not interfere with free enterprise--a debate about public and private interest with an unthinkable urgency. The urgency may put an end to much of what was best about the U.S., such as protection of individual rights...but may also make it re-evaluate its priorities.... The best news from the U.S. lately was not duly noted: That...the lack of an spectacular military action...and the apparent caution to re-introduce the U.S. in the world that Bush despised and was on the verge of withdrawing from, are good signs. The Congress almost unanimously approved payment of the country's old debt with the United Nations, something that was being blocked by conservative for years. One still doesn't know who will win the fight between hawks and moderates in the government, or how the government will respond to the attacks, Seeing Bush in Porto Alegre next January may not be so unthinkable after all. In fact nothing is unthinkable nowadays."
"A New War"
Lead editorial in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo said (9/27): "President Bush excludes the hypothesis of using large conventional military actions in Afghanistan. Any alternative would cause a great number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan; would not guarantee the eradication of terrorist bases; and would have a boomerang effect... In addition, there would be the risk of another Vietnam. The idea of a massive attack, including the invasion and occupation of the enemy's territory, had been discussed by the USG's toughest sectors.... Saudi Arabia's decision of breaking relations with the Taliban is the divorce between the strictest Muslim nation and the most brutal Muslim fundamentalist movement. It represents an unquestionable message that cannot be ignored by any Arab or Muslim government: contrary to what extremists have said, the anti-terror fight is not between Allah's followers and infidels, but between civilization and barbarism... Another U.S. victory was yesterday's meeting between Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat. The Middle East is another scenario of the new war against terror."
"The Enemy At Home"
Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo's columnist Eliana Cantanhede averred: "It is very strange that the U.S. mobilizes its Air Force and Navy to the Persian Gulf while being incapable of finding the enemy in its own home... The suicidal terrorist had logistic support in the U.S. It was a planned operation with obvious human, material and financial help in key points inside and outside the U.S. Without finding out who was responsible for the attacks at home, George Bush cannot invade other nations... The terrorist did not leave any message or clue explaining their action. It is implicit that the plan is not over. It has just begun. It is unlikely that the terrorists have not outlined the scenarios of the U.S. reaction and, based on them, planned their counter-reaction. And if the U.S. attacks Afghanistan and a second terrorist squad decides to explode baseball and football stadiums and contaminate metropolitan water services? So far Osama bin Laden is an assumption, almost a mirage. The enemy may be comfortably at home."
"U.S. Pays High Price for Coalition"
Center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo Paris correspondent Giles Lapouge held (9/27): "George W. Bush is not stupid, contrary to what France and part of Europe had believed. His actions following September 11 have not been calamitous... Either due to President Bush or Secstate Colin Powell, the U.S. has refrained from adopting furious and blind retaliations. Both have...made the wise decision of not hurrying up... The coalition is an achievement that must be admired, but also creates anxiety... Actually it was thanks to a pathetic review of all its principles that the U.S. diplomacy has obtained this success... Rogue states seem no longer worry the White House....The lesson is clear: in view of the emergency and need, the U.S. has completely changed its diplomacy in two weeks... It was an indispensable attitude, but the price Washington had to pay for such a re-organization is too high, with the risk that it may influence the entire world's geopolitical scenario."
Editorial in liberal Folha de Sao Paulo asserted (9/27): "The cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians is a weak one, but is still the only hope for peace in the region; therefore it is key to the present international crisis. It is impossible to ignore the link between the tensions in the Middle East and the attacks against the United States.... The U.S. must show it is possible to keep the Palestinian territories under in check. They need Arafat's support and the Israelis moderation to put together an anti-terror coalition with the Islamic nations. And the persuading powers of the United States should not be underestimated, especially since the White House owns an explanation to the American people."
"Firm And Clear"
Article written by Brazilian foreign minister Celso Lafer wrote on the op-ed section of liberal Folha de Sao Paulo (9/27): "The rightful repulsive reaction expressed by Brazil to the criminal attacks of September 11 should not be confused with an automatic adhesion, as many who put prejudice and ideology before reason and human rights, were quick to say... Brazil's call is that of a peaceful country and it has a long and consistent history of considering violence and disproportionate use of force repulsive... There is no place for sugarcoating when it comes to the mass murder of millions of innocent human beings. Between the terrorists and those opposed to them there should be no question about in which side Brazil stands."
Rio's independent Jornal do Brasil editorialized (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 FBI and the Brazilian Federal Police are dedicating special attention to the region based on the information that terrorists are sent there after being 'burned'[used] in other parts of the world.... National security...demands permanent action at all of its borders, from Foz do Iguatu to the Amazon.... 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. Certain conflicts demand intervention of smaller well-trained groups. The solution is professionalism, with political transparency and a high sense of international solidarity when dealing with a hidden enemy like high scale terrorism."
"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."
A byline by Carlos Geraldo Langoni, director of the Center of World Economy of Getulio Vargas Foundation in conservative O Globo stated (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: World trade will grow at about 2% this year, making the expansion of our exports difficult, despite exchange devaluation. The fear of risk and preference for liquidity will reduce capital flow at long-term and increase difficulties to access international financial markets.... It's essential to reduce Brazil's private sector dependence on foreign resources.... This would be a compensatory, efficient policy, absolutely consistent with fiscal austerity and monetary discipline; its goal is to preserve the Brazilian private sector, making future resumption easy without sacrificing the fluctuating exchange rate.The Real flexibility represents an essential device that will enable us to live in a world where economic instability may represent a new behavior pattern."
"Fanaticism and Hatred of the U.S."
Lead editorial in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo (9/26) commented: "Bin Laden's faxed message must not be underestimated by the West. Arab populations in most cases and fundamentalists without exception do not have the slightest doubt that the U.S. wants to dominate their nations... Those who hate the U.S. envy its prosperity and its democracy, which, despite its deficiencies, is the world's least imperfect regime. And those who attack the U.S. for its current or past actions as the Western world's leader should think about Winston Churchill's statement that the Americans almost always do the right thing--after having tried all alternatives. This is something unimaginable and hate-provoking for any fanatic."
"Peace Against Terror"
Columnist Luiz Weis commented in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo (9/26): "Religious fanatics are admired even by non-fanatics because they attack the U.S. Maybe this aversiom would not have been transformed into insane violence if the U.S. had not destabilized--with its economic, military and technologic hegemony, as well as its popular culture--traditional Muslim societies. Or if the U.S. were not an unconditional defender of Israel.... The popularity of extremist Muslims would surely suffer a blow if the U.S., under the guidance of Secstate Colin Powell, decided to work for the resumption of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.... Now, more than ever, restraining the terror will have to include the Middle East peace process."
"Between Life and Death"
Columnist Jose Neumanne stated in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo (9/26): "Neither the CIA nor the FBI noticed any sign of the presence of the 19 terrorists in the U.S.... What is even more serious is that anyone of us anywhere in the world may become the next victim, but no one has a precise idea of the terrorists' reasons... They simply explode the house of those who do not follow their faith.... Their goal was to break U.S. self-esteem by reducing the WTC to ruins. Wasn't the demolition of the giant Buddhas in Afghanistan a sinister warning of what would happen? Obviously, their crime must be punished; otherwise no one can sleep tranquilly on Earth.... But a military retaliation cannot destroy the little known evil.... Unfortunately, we know very little about them.... In this war, the victims' first enemy is their ignorance about the aggressor."
"A Changing Discourse"
Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo columnist Fernando Rodrigues filed from NYC (9/26): "There is a clear change in President Bush's discourse on the U.S. retaliation.... He began speaking with a tough tone... Perhaps poorly assisted, perhaps without sufficient information, or both, Bush made all of us think about a bloody and generalized war ahead. Now he is changing the scenario.... Now the president seems convinced that it is better to go along with his more moderate advisers."
"Closing the Circle"
An editorial in independent Jornal da Tarde said (9/26): "Now that Saudi Arabia withdrew its support, all of Islam is against the Taliban. Also left behind are the intellectual terrorists who tried to blame the victims for the attacks. This unanimous reaction confirms the precision of the strategy adopted by the U.S. government and its serenity in dealing with the problems caused by such barbarous acts."
"Between the Difficult And The Impossible"
Lead editorial in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo commented (9/25): "Pacifist demonstrations in many Western nations have led public opinion to inadvertently believe that the U.S. is ready to set fire to the world in retaliation for the attacks it suffered. Despite differences between moderate and radical members of the Bush Administration on the anti-terror strategy to be adopted...the main concern in Washington is with its enemies' build up. From the first attack on the WTC in 1993...what has changed is not the quality of terrorism, but its intensification. The U.S. is right to fear chemical and bacteriological attacks, and is mobilizing its forces without hysteria but realistically for a long campaign. On the other hand, those who blame the victim for its suffering and deny it the right of legitimate self-defense seem more disturbed by an imaginary retaliation by the U.S. than by the terrorists' bestiality and devastating power."
"Who The World Must Fear"
Lead editorial in independent Jornal da Tarde commented (9/25): "Despite the international left wing's efforts to blame the victims for the terrorist attacks they suffered, and its suggestion that the world has more reasons to fear a blind U.S. revenge than the intensification of terrorism, the world's temperature diminished significantly last week. The USG is showing a mature serenity while analyzing the situation, and has reiterated that it does not and will not confuse fundamentalism with Islamism.... This does not mean that the U.S. is giving up the right of self-defense that those who are trying to justify the attacks as having been 'provoked' want to deny it.... All Islamic nations have been victims of their own fundamentalist radicals. And all of them fear more than the West the tragedy that this implies. But they cannot contribute more explicitly to the international war against terror because this might transform them into targets of the beast living in their neighborhood. It is on this razor's edge that the U.S. will have to walk."
"New International Relations"
Article written by law Professor Ricardo Seitenfus in the op-ed section of liberal Folha de Sao Paulo said (9/25): "Not only do they fail to achieve international peace, but countries like the United States, through their actions and inactions, contribute to the perpetration of injustice and wars around the world, serving their own strategic goals. A perfect example is the support given by the Americans to the Taliban itself in the fight against the Soviets. Neither war nor an attack against the Islamic world will detain this fury. A military reaction by the West will only greatly increase it. What good will it do to bomb Afghanistan? The one effective way to fight terrorism brings no electoral advantage nor does it produce quick results. That would be to declare war on misery and intolerance."
"This Is An Impertinent Act Associated With Capitulation."
Conservative O Globo byline by journalist Elio Gaspari about a recent report of the Secret Service opening an office in Sao Paulo (9/25): "Things are beginning to look bad. The American Embassy's Press Section has informed us that the GOB and USG have negotiated the opening of a [U.S.] Secret Service office in Spo Paulo....This is an impertinent act associated with capitulation. The American Embassy explained that this office has nothing to do with the Central Intelligence Agency, which has little or nothing to do with the Secret Service.... What's intended here is to pass to a third party--through means of a concession to a foreign nation - information in [Brazilian] national territory. The DEA and FBI already operate in Brazil. On its turn, CIA has always had offices in Spo Paulo, Brasflia and Rio de Janeiro.... Through pure weakness, the GOB is allowing a concession in its sovereignty. There is no guarantee that these gentlemen will ostensibly establish a branch of their Secret Service in Brazil to collaborate with [local] law and order....The war against terrorism, led by the United States, deserves the most comprehensive collaboration, provided that each
country preserves its sovereignty.... One might admit...that the Secret Service could be more rigorous than the Federal Police and the Central Bank. But even so, sovereignty is sovereignty. Let the USG publicly denounce policemen and Central Bank's bureaucrats who don't fulfill their duties. They known very well where the nests of corruption are.... Besides following the old, enduring official and public action, there's nothing more to do. Also because, to refresh the memory of Americans, one may well remember that an American President (Richard Nixon) has already tried to use the CIA to carry out a money laundering operation in Mexico to uncover misdeeds practiced in Washington. True, he did not succeed and the campaign owes this to its Vice-Director, General Vernon Walters, who happens to be the attachT who released the smugglers."
From independent Jornal do Brasil, byline by Joao Sayad, Secretary of Finances and Economic Development of Sao Paulo City Hall (9/25): "News is censored during wars. Even without censorship, American TV and newspapers have avoided transmitting shocking images of maimed bodies from the World Trade Center debris. Last week, the TV program 'Politically Incorrect' was rude as they called the terrorists brave and American soldiers cowards. It immediately lost its sponsors and was pulled from the air.... I prefer a lie to unanimity.... Unanimity is inert, powerful and smart. It goes unnoticed. We still undergo unemployment and crisis resulting from the euphoria of the 'end of history', the fall of the Berlin Wall, the hegemony of neo-liberal thinking. With war declared, world liberals should promote multiple versions. For each X theory, the National Science Foundation should finance a research on the plausibility of a non-X. The U.S. Film Academy should give an Oscar to the best foreign film, preferably Iranian. The Democrat Party should incentive the re-launching of the American Communist Party. I prefer censorship to unanimity. Censorship excites black sheep from the flock and, as a closed door, creates the temptation to look peep through the keyhole."
"Terrorism Of No Return"
Independent Jornal do Brasil ran a byline by prominent intellectual and member of the UNESCO International Council of Social Sciences, Candido Mendes (9/24): "The holy war seems inscribed today in the bruised collective unconscious [of man,] in which a haughty religion...rebels at the will of the Prophet. Bush's atomic shield becomes useless.... The declaration of war, as abstract as it is determined, accelerates the war of the worlds far beyond that which Welles and Wells had predicted. And it frightfully challenges the splendor of a civilization that had the World Trade Center."
University of Rio de Janeiro Professor Alberto Oliva says in independent Jornal da Tarde (9/24): "Terrorism is no longer a fight for power, but an insane fight against the power.... By destroying lives at random and without a defined ideological identification, it is the most savage way of making evil banal, and will unleash the war gods' uncontrolled wrath. The U.S. is not only a market economy hated by those orphans of central planning. Despite all its imperfections, the U.S. social experience provides the highest level of freedom ever enjoyed by citizens. Different cultures are not forced to convert themselves to this view of the world. But the questioning of the U.S. foreign policy does not give fundamentalist terrorists permission to blow up a form of social organization that is among those that most respect individual rights. America's internal vulnerability derives from the fact that it has become a powerful nation without being a police state.... Terrorism wants to undermine the Western way of life."
"The Essential In Everyone"
A conservative O Globo (9/23) byline by Luis Fernando Verissimo said: "Bush has also taken refuge in his own tribe. His administration is more reactionary than one feared it was, and one can't expect any other attitude from an administration dominated by Dick Cheney.... For them the essential is an idea of American exceptionality that has some of the same lethal conviction of the Islamic fundamentalists - both tribes consider themselves superior to others, evidence of God's preference, that gives them license to do whatever they want in the world - with the exception of the nature of the God that has chosen them for the mission."
"How To Explain The Inexplicable"
Conservative O Globo (9/24) ran a byline by journalist Sandra Sanches: "Bin Laden's execution or imprisonment is far from a victory in the monumental battle of good against evil, as Bush has defined it, simply because there isn't only one Osama in the world.... Bush should also look with the same effort for the roots of the hate against the U.S., nurtured by the many Osamas spread throughout the world.... To discuss the deep causes of terror that frightens all of us is the best way to extinguish it, once for all, from the face of the earth."
University of Rio de Janeiro Professor Alberto Oliva said in independent Jornal da Tarde (9/24) that "terrorism is no longer a fight for power, but an insane fight against the power.... By destroying lives at random and without a defined ideological identification, it is the most savage way of making evil banal, and will unleash the war gods' uncontrolled wrath. The U.S. is not only a market economy hated by those orphans of central planning. Despite all its imperfections, the U.S. social experience provides the highest level of freedom ever enjoyed by citizens. Different cultures are not forced to convert themselves to this view of the world. But the questioning of the U.S. foreign policy does not give fundamentalist terrorists permission to blow up a form of social organization that is among those that most respect individual rights. America's internal vulnerability derives from the fact that it has become a powerful nation without being a police state... Terrorism wants to undermine the Western way of life."
Conservative O Globo editorialized (9/23): "The enthusiastic, moving reaction of the U.S. Congress to Bush's speech...was a sign of what would be the country's response.... Bush undoubtedly said exactly what the Americans wished to hear: there will be no limits...in the reaction to the terrorist attacks. "....[Bush's] demands are unacceptable for the Taliban.... Therefore, the military action is imminent. The U.S. counts on Great Britain's and Israel's total support. The other important allies are solid - but their discomfort with the idea of victory at any price is evident and natural. Does the use of 'all weapons 'include nuclear bombs? Which countries would be included in the list of Bin Laden's friends, chosen as targets of retaliation? An invasion of Afghanistan would have exclusively military objectives? Would the Americans take food and other types of assistance to civilians....? The questions do not decrease USG's right to have international solidarity, nor do they make any form of drastic action less necessary. But the wake before the battle is an anguish for the whole world."
"Disease As Metaphor"
Using the cancer analogy, conservative O Globo (9/23) ran a byline by journalist Fernando Pedreira: "President Bush seems small and hardly suitable in view of the huge responsibilities on his shoulders. But I don't think he is taking the wrong way or failing to fulfill his duties of a leader. Washington must demonstrate its power and strength, especially to please its domestic public, and in this sense an offensive concentrated on only one target, duly personalized as Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, is without a doubt skillful and effective, although...it won't solve the problem in its entire dimension."
"Peace And War"
Independent Jornal do Brasil's editorial held (9/23): "Bush's speech is a war call to Taliban, but its implications go beyond a mere ultimatum, as it establishes premises of diplomacy, justice, financial influence.... The new demands to Afghanistan are reasonable....Bush has demanded that Talibans take a position vis-a-vis terrorism. Today it's no longer possible...to coexist with countries that practice a double game: They condemn terrorism rhetorically and finance them behind the table. This attitude includes Saudi Arabia, an important U.S. ally in the Middle East, whose huge resources ended up by producing...the poison that feeds their own enemies. The world won't be the same after the barbaric action committed in the heart of U.S.... No region [in the world] is immune to its direct or side effects, as one can see in the triple frontier between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, under suspicion of sheltering terrorist cells.... Terror has no nation. Or better yet: its nation is the world."
"Illness as Metaphor"
Center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo columnist Fernando Pedreira commented (9/23): "Terror has become anti-American... [As a result] the eyes of the U.S's many enemies throughout the world and of the Cold War's widows, including the media, shine with satisfaction and joy... Terror is essentially a Muslim problem that can only be resolved by them. All the West can do now is to pressure the Islamic nations (by military, economic and diplomatic means) to force them to face this serious internal problem. Bush is not taking the wrong tack or failing with his duty as a leader. Washington must demonstrate power and force, especially for domestic consumption. The concentration of its offensive on a sole target, such as Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, is unquestionably competent and effective, although it does not resolve the whole problem... Terrorism is an illness, a kind of cancer that can be fought through several means. In any case, the treatment cannot be done without the patient's will. Cooperation by interested governments and peoples is indispensable. This is what makes things complicated and difficult."
Lead editorial in independent Jornal da Tarde (9/23) says, "President Bush's speech marked a change in the balanced tone with which the USG had been analyzing possible developments of the terrorist attacks. His demands to Afghanistan seem to remove the last hopes that the war against terrorism will be limited to intelligence services... The civilized world fears U.S. military power, but respects its example of democracy and respect of human rights... Murderers such as those who attacked the U.S. and the governments that support them must not be treated with good manners. But a long term political and diplomatic action will be more effective in fighting terrorism than violent military action."
"The Cockroach and the Cannon"
Columnist Carlos Heitor Cony comments in liberal Folha de Sao Paulo (9/23) that "the use of one hundred warships or nuclear weapons is useless in the fight against terrorism. The most intelligent-not the strongest- will emerge as the winner... It seems this is not the path the United States is choosing. The attack against the WTC took years of planning. The response to terrorism should follow the same pattern... The fact that the rightful feeling of revenge of the American people is being used as an excuse to reopen the military and industrial complex of the Cold War is one more reason to consider the United States the newest and most successful incarnation of Satan."
"Retaliation? Brazil Can Be Counted Out"
Article by Paulo Sergio Pinheiro in the op-ed section of center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo asserted (9/23): "If the United States and European countries...go to war, the Brazilian government should make it clear that we refuse to associate ourselves with punitive military missions of retaliation. Brazil cannot support military attacks, which are state-sponsored terrorist acts against the poor and hungry people of Afghanistan or any other country... We stand by the American government and the American people as they mourn their dead. But we should keep a distance when it comes to the retaliation and revenge against women, senior citizens, children and innocent miserable people."
"Retaliation? Brazil Can Be Counted Out"
Article by Paulo Sergio Pinheiro in the op-ed section of center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo (9/23): "If the United States and European countries-as is likely-to go to war, the Brazilian government should make it clear that we refuse to associate ourselves with punitive military missions of retaliation. Brazil cannot support military attacks, which are state-sponsored terrorist acts against the poor and hungry people of Afghanistan or any other country.... We stand by the American government and the American people as they mourn their dead. But we should keep a distance when it comes to the retaliation and revenge against women, senior citizens, children and innocent miserable people."
"Brazilians Are Opposed to Retaliation"
Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo published the results of an opinion poll conducted by its in-house polling division (9/23): "Brazilians are unequivocally opposed to a U.S. attack on countries that harbor those responsible for the terrorist attacks that damaged the Pentagon and destroyed the World Trade Center. A national poll conducted by Datafolha shows that 79% of those interviewed are against this type of military retaliation. The poll, conducted last Tuesday (9/18), questioned 2,830 people in 127 towns in every Brazilian state and the Federal District. The existence, in Brazil, of such a large percentage of people who oppose a military response by the Bush administration shows that the U.S. has not been successful in exporting to Brazil the emotional climate that the images of the attacks provoked across the globe. In no segment of those polled-- sex, age, level of schooling or income, region or party preference--was there a majority in favor of an armed U.S. response."
"U.S. Interference Was The Cause, Says Poll"
Center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo published the results of an Internet poll conducted by Brazilian polling company Ibope (9/23): "The majority of Brazilian Internet users believe that U.S. interference in other countries was one of the causes of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This was the principal conclusion of the poll "Terrorism in the U.S. - The Day After," conducted by Ibope eSurvey, the Internet unit of Ibope, among Brazilian Internet users between September 12 and 21. The poll's questionnaire was posted on Brazil's leading news sites for those who wished to participate and send their answers to Ibope eSurvey. The full results of the poll are available at www.estado.com.br."
An article on the op-ed page of independent Jornal da Tarde held (9/22): "The demonic and overwhelming picture created by the attack against the World Trade Center leaves no doubt it is necessary to unite against terror and terrorists. But it's important not to confuse this rightful mission with aggression and irrational hostile acts against races and religions."
Article on the op-ed page of independent Jornal da Tarde said (9/22): "The demonic and overwhelming picture created by the attack against the World Trade Center leaves no doubt it is necessary to unite against terror and terrorists. But it's important not to confuse this rightful mission with aggression and irrational hostile acts against races and religions."
"Means and Ends of a Global Fight"
Lead editorial in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo (9/22) commented: "It is very unlikely that President Bush will deliver a more important statement than that he made Thursday before Congress. No one who shares the values of justice can disagrees with the president's statement that terrorism is the heir of all of the 20th century's murderous ideologies. But the U.S.'s true friends - governments, social forces, decision makers throughout the world--must convey to Washington their concerns vis-a-vis the contrast between the irreproachable portrait of homicidal fanaticism outlined by Bush and his promise of tirelessly fighting the problem, and the doubts caused by what the president failed to say, i.e., about the most appropriate means to achieve the proposed goals. Bush never called for the indispensable participation of the UN, nor did he refer to the need to seek peace between Israel and the Palestinians. By failing to distinguish what is more important - building a worldwide anti-terror front or attacking bin Laden - Bush subordinated policy and diplomacy to a bellicose and unilateral rhetoric. In the U.S. he intensified the expectation of an improbable conventional military campaign in Afghanistan, and among moderate Muslims he raised the fear of fundamentalist riots."
"For A Pax Americana"
University of Spo Paulo Professor Gilberto Dupas comments in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo (9/22): "The brutal attack on the WTC may start an era of retrogression or a period of civilized advancement, depending on how the U.S. reacts to the insane terrorist action. To create enemies is essential for those peoples who look for their identity.... It is an illusion to imagine that Muslims, Chinese and Indians will adopt Western liberalism as the only alternative. On the other hand, there is nothing to indicate that Islam will prevent Muslims from adopting modern capitalism.... If attacked in retaliation, the new enemy may hurt the U.S. even more. The old military no longer works.... Americans must oppose looking for quick revenge, as well as trust their democratic and humanistic convictions and make them prevail over the murderous passions that guided the bloody attack. To minimize the risks of a war is to jeopardize all the promises and hopes of the new century. A furious reaction is what the enemies of civilization want."
"No To Terror And War"
Brazilian opposition Congressman Jose Genoino (Workers' Party) commented in independent Jornal da Tarde (9/22): "The best way to punish terrorists is not through a war that will certainly create thousands of innocent victims. To punish Afghanistan's desperate population with a war is a gesture that morally is equivalent to the terrorists' actions.... Neighboring nations might become involved in a war of tragic consequences and unpredictable outcome. Repudiation to terrorism and solidarity with the American people must not serve as a pretext to support the rhetoric of violence and revenge, as some U.S. officials have done. The idea that the world's most powerful nation can ignore international law, use 'dirty war' methods and suspend civil and individual rights is an enormous democratic retrogression... The U.S. and other rich nations should abandon despotic and arrogant postures vis-a-vis other peoples and cultures."
"Economy Of War"
Article by Vinicius Torres Freire on the editorial page of liberal Folha de Sao Paulo ntoed (9/22): "Before the American markets re-opened, the president of the NYSE asked his colleagues to be gentlemen. Soon after singing 'God bless America' those gentlemen who were desperate not to lose money caused one trillion dollars to evaporate last week. That's twice the amount of income Brazil produces yearly. Top financial authorities in Europe say it's more and more likely that terrorists obtained gains in the financial market thanks to privileged information about the hell it was about to cause. But where did the money come from and where did it go? Could it be in some financial paradise? Will 'civilized Western' society bomb Switzerland, the Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, etc? The Yugoslav government was bribed in order to turn over the criminal Slobodan Milosevic to the United States and its allies. Now the U.S is using its arsenal to pressure the Pakistani dictator and give him some change in exchange for 'support.' That's the economy of war."
"Neither Angels Nor Demons"
Column by Boris Fausto in liberal Folha de Sao Paulo (9/22): "The first reactions of society to the American tragedy show our world isn't only globalized, but also divided... The crime of September 11th showed to what degree Americans identify themselves with their country and their government. But in the suburbs of western civilization the picture is different. Most countries were shocked by the events that took place in New York and Washington D.C, but there is also an emerging feeling of anti-Americanism. Some people say the United States is reaping exactly what it sowed... The United States is a complex and contradictory country, sometimes a scary nation. But it isn't necessary to endorse its past and current policies to realize its key role in preserving the values of a democratic society."
"Bush Promises To Destroy Terrorism"
Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo Washington's correspondent Marcio Aith remarked on President Bush's speech to the Congress (9/21): "Bush used words that seemed to anticipate a military attack against the Taliban. The speech was much applauded, balanced emotional and aggressive sections, and was aimed at prolonging the massive political support the president has accumulated since the terrorist attacks.... The Congress was surrounded by extreme security measures that show the vulnerability of both the people and the authorities.... The president made all efforts to show Americans that the U.S. has entered a non-traditional war, and that the enemy, although invisible, must be fought as in a war... For a president who was elected in controversial circumstances, Bush's speech may have been the most important of his term."
"Bush Intensifies Demands And Threats"
Center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo's Washington correspondent Paulo Sotero said ( 9/21): "Bush's vigorous speech came after several days of confusing and sometimes conflicting statements that the president and some members of his Cabinet had made on the nature of the conflict suddenly imposed on the U.S.... The last time an American leader faced the challenge of preparing the nation for an armed conflict occurred almost 60 years ago... Bush had a much more difficult task than Roosevelt.... An inexperienced leader elected in questionable circumstances, Bush performed his mission successfully, according to all initial reactions."
MEXICO: "Absolute Respect For Principles"
Editorial in nationalist El Universal (9/27) read: "U.S.-Mexico relations have always been complex.... 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 U.S…. 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. This is particularly complicated because Castaneda is not known for his tact. As a good academic, he goes straight to the point whether you like it or not…. 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?"
Monterrey’s leading independent El Norte carried a commentary by Zidane Zeraoui, Director of International Relations at ITESM (Monterrey Tec) (9/27): “With all the confusion about the term terrorism, we could wonder if Bush’s statements about War include ETA, the Britons, Chechnya’s people, the Kosovars, the IRA, etc. Or do his statements simply refer to Bin Laden. … 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.”
Another commentary in tEl Norte by Gabriela de la Paz remarked (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 U.S., today more than ever, the goal justifies the means.”
"Infinite Justice And The Jihad "
Arnoldo Kraus wrote in left-of-center La Jornada (9/26): "Bush's holy war-who is not with us is against us-and that of the Muslims are very similar. Both are exclusive, they state their positions but they do not listen to others. They are also very appealing to their followers and have the trademark of invading foreign structures, of breaking the current order and status of things, and are also belligerent.... Both the "Infinite Justice" operation and the Jihad have as a consequence that whatever bad happens to the other it would enhance one's benefit. There is no room for understanding, particularly because of the exploitation by the U.S. media of the images of the destruction of the twin towers and of the ideologies that prepare 6 year old and older children to hate and act accordingly."
"The War Of Many"
Luis Linares Zapata states in left-of-center La Jornada (9/26): The terrorist attacks on New York and Washington are the greatest aggressions inflicted upon Mexico in a number of years. There is no recent memory for any developments carried out by a handful of persons who have affected so many Mexicans.... The immediate outcome for Mexico is that it would take longer to come out of the economic crisis...and that it would take a lot longer to solve the issue of undocumented Mexicans already in the U.S.... The dominant attitude in the political, academic or critical elite points towards a pacifism that seems like a stalemate and unfair.... The U.S. and Mexico have the right to self-defense in the face of terrorism. In this regard, the use of force is justified."
"Supporting The U.S.?"
Luis Pazos asserted in business-oriented El Financiero (9/26): "Some have questioned if Mexico should support the actions undertaken by the U.S. to detain the authors of the terrorist attacks and to punish those who protect the groups that protect them.... There have been those who, based on a longstanding anti-Yankee sentiment, feel that Mexico should not support the U.S.-although it is obvious that the U.S. would not ask for military assistance from Mexico.... President Fox was acclaimed in the U.S. Congress and he enjoys a good friendship with President Bush. However, there are groups who want to use the tragedy to undo what has been achieved by the current Mexican administration, and not to use this as an opportunity to be closer to our neighbors.... Is there any moral, political or economic justification to quarrel over supporting our neighbors, to whom our present and future are linked, at the time of their tragedy?"
"Giant With Clay Feet"
Rosa Elbina Garavito states in nationalist El Universal (9/26): "As a result of the U.S. response to the attacks in New York and Washington, the world faces two scenarios: either chaos or a reorganization of the current world order that would promote peaceful coexistence. U.S. irrationality is building the first scenario with its anti-terrorism campaign. Instead of investigating what happened and of giving a political response to the illegal acts of those who planned and carried out the attempts, the U.S. issues a war declaration against an invisible enemy and against the nations that harbor him."
"The Trojan Horse And The Military Operation"
Rafael Alvarez Cordero states in nationalist El Universal (9/26): "Bush and his team, and to a great extent the majority of the American people, have never taken into consideration the rest of the nations other than to label them as friends or enemies in accordance with U.S. interests. Now we know that the currently despised bin Laden used to be an accomplice of the U.S. when the Afghans were fighting against Russia.... Further, we now have learned that the (U.S.) sanctions on India have been lifted after it announced it would cooperate with the U.S."
Sergio Sarmiento writes in independent Reforma (9/26): "Osama bin Laden is subject of admiration and reverence in large sectors of the Muslim world. Were he put in jail or killed, he could become a martyr whose memory would generate further attacks against the U.S. He could actually be more dangerous dead than alive... However, the U.S. government cannot afford to adopt a wait-and-see attitude when a man of bin Laden's influence makes public calls on the Muslims to kill Americans. Perhaps the detention or death of Osama could generate new terrorist attacks. But doing nothing would send a signal of weakness that would ensure that those attacks would indeed take place."
Sergio Aguayo asserts in independent Reforma (9/26): "Our U.S. neighbors are resentful towards Mexico (and with Vicente Fox) because they have felt that Mexico has not given them the quick and enthusiastic approach in the crusade against terrorism as other nations and heads of state have done. They have reminded us that the U.S. has always come to Mexico's assistance in the past. This complaint is justified but it does not take into consideration the underlying factors of a stormy historical relationship between the U.S. and Mexico nor the fact that in the present juncture the Fox administration has not found a balance between passiveness and impulsiveness."
"Passion or Reason"
Federico Reyes Heroles wrote in independent Reforma (9/25): "The anger of President Bush and of the American people is justifiable. However, anger is not the best political advisor. What is popular today could take you to the grave tomorrow. The first thing to do is to consolidate an international alliance against terror. This is the only way to prevent any more havens for the terrorists. The second is to demonstrate and convince the international community of bin Laden's responsibility. The third is to isolate bin Laden - including Islamic nations - by demonstrating his responsibility. The fourth would be to apprehend those responsible without turning them into victims. Of course...this rational order could be altered by an indiscriminate attack. What will happen? Will passion or intelligence prevail?
"An Act Of Faith"
Sergio Sarmiento stated in independent Reforma (9/25): "President Bush said yesterday that his administration has conclusive evidence of Osama bin Laden's responsibility of the September 11 attempts. He noted, however, that he cannot show that evidence to protect those who provided it. In other words, the U.S. President is asking the world to support his actions to punish those responsible for the attacks, but he refuses to give the world the information that would ensure those to be punished are indeed guilty as charged."
"Politics, Antidote Against Terrorism"
Editorial in nationalist El Universal (9/25) says: "It is vital for the international community to assume a more determinant role, to stop the belligerent attitude that is prevailing in several regions of the world. Terrorism is indeed a brutal enemy, more dangerous as it is hidden. However, it would not be feasible to defeat terrorism with military means. Politics is the best antidote against an enemy that has no remorse in murdering innocent civilians.... President Bush's decision to freeze funds of organizations that are prone to the terrorists is a good measure.... All nations should realize that supporting terrorists is suicidal, just as it is to assume that the force of weapons could eradicate them."
"Fanaticisms Of Power And War"
Jesus Vergara Reyes wrote in nationalist El Universal (9/25): "The terrorist provocation and the anti-terrorist reaction is making Osama bin Laden's goals come true: to carry out the Islamic holy war and to eliminate the Western world. Nevertheless, the American response with the threat of war could also have the effects of strengthening the U.S. might, reactivating the U.S. economy and to obtain further benefits in the struggle for the hegemony in the oil market"
"Tolerance Instead Of Xenophobia"
Agustin Gutierrez Cannet asserted in nationalist El Universal (9/25): "Those responsible for the criminal actions against thousands of innocent persons in New York, Washington and Pittsburgh deserve that the whole force of the law falls upon them. The UN Security Council resolution demands all UN member states to cooperate in the persecution of the terrorists and also grants the U.S. the right to self-defense. The imminent air attack against Afghanistan is therefore imminent. But even though everything seems to go in accordance with the law, the dangers of the over spilling of U.S. actions are great because the enemy has not been fully identified. The U.S. is compelled to show its allies the evidence of Osama bin Laden's involvement in the terrorist attacks."
"What Begins Bad Ends Bad"
Emmanuel Carballo states in nationalist El Universal (9/25): "It is imperative to have the U.S. lower the tone of its response to the tragedy. The multiple attempt of September 11 should be seen as a criminal action, and those responsible should be sought after accordingly. The response should not serve to demonstrate Bush's leadership role.... It should be the irrefutable demonstration that the world order can only be built based on international cooperation. The International Penal Court, the Kyoto protocol, the anti-personal mines treaty are instruments to eliminate any excuse that the fanatics could have to use the demands of those in the lower brackets to justify their cruel actions."
"In The Face Of The Disaster, Honesty To Inform"
Lleft-of-center La Jornada editorialized (9/25): "After the pain for, the indignation for, and the condemnation of such barbaric actions, it is important to find out why they happened.... This is what this newspaper has had in mind in opening its pages not only to the proclamation of war and revenge by the U.S. government, but also to notable thinkers such as Noam Chomsky, Susan Sontag, Gore Vidal and Dario Fo, among others. Nobody in this newspaper has sided with the fundamentalist organization Washington blames for the attempts... But we do not approve military vengeance. The world community has created organizations to have international law prevail-like in the case of Slobodan Milosevic, and as it should also be in the cases of Augusto Pinochet and Henry Kissinger. We also acknowledge that contrary to its military and revengeful rhetoric, the U.S. administration has shown a moderation that could be attributed to the lack of a clear international consensus in favor or war.... However, before carrying out any action against Osama bin Laden's group, it is necessary to demonstrate his responsibility so that international law and brute force is applied."
"What Changed After September 11?"
Ugo Pipitone argued in left-of-center La Jornada (9/25): "No matter how difficult it is to be solidarious with the U.S.-as a result of the not so few U.S. imperial arbitraries and arrogance-it is fit to assume that the attack on the twin towers was not an offensive action against the U.S. but against a way of living that took a couple of millennia to be possible: democracy.... After September 11 the world needs to fight not only terrorism but also against misery that in a number of regions of the world could feed a contempt for democracy. After that damned Tuesday, we need to restructure the world economy. Fighting poverty is the best way to defend existing democracy, and the democracy we want to achieve."
Jose Blanco states in left-of-center La Jornada (9/25): "If the number of extraordinary authorities that Bush is asking from Congress were approved, we would be witnessing the creation of a police and military-like autocracy in the person of President Bush-who many of his countrymen see as a not very intelligent person.... The brutal actions carried out on September 11 are being buried under the expectations created by the media regarding the big show of force and the expected show of blood."
Miguel Angel Granados wrote in independent Reforma (9/23): "The U.S. and its allies - Mexico included - have set plausible goals: punishing those responsible for the September 11 killings and eradicating terrorism. However, they are using the wrong methods. These would produce greater evils than the one they are trying to do away with. The intent of using violence against the violent ones is a contradiction. What would emerge would be ever-increasing violence.... Would the deaths caused by Operation Infinite Justice be less condemnable than the deaths caused by terrorism? The answer is simply no."
Ximena Paredo wrote in El Norte (9/24): "We also scatter terror. At work, at home, in school, screaming and threatening, with extortion; economic terror, political terror. We violently treat the earth, we forget about it, we let it cry. The U.S. is in mourning today over the terrorist attacks and forgets it scattered terror and cynically frightens the world with its military threats and its infinite revenge. It is the most terrorist world we know of, and yet it appropriates the mission of ending this evil. There is no more exact law than what one sows, one harvests."
Enrique Krauze stated in independent Reforma (9/23): "There is no doubt, the U.S. government, its intelligence agencies and its military complex have a great deal of responsibility in the dramatic process that has affected them--at least indirectly. In the U.S.' own holy war against the Soviet Union--the evil empire--they provided weapons to the Taliban militia so that they could defeat the Russians."
"The Afghan Syndrome And Its Lessons"
Isabel Turrent asserted in independent Reforma (9/23): "The 'hawks' headed by Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz and Vice President Cheney Chief Advisor Lewis Libby are promoting a quick and immediate military campaign, not only against bin Laden's network in Afghanistan, but also against other safe haven states like Iraq and Lebanon. Such an offensive would be a great mistake.... It is good to have listened to Colin Powell's statement that the U.S. needs to prepare the diplomatic ground, to consult the allies and to act within international law. Were Powell's stand to win the day, the U.S. would be likely engage in a surgical operation that would prevent the unnecessary killing of civilians. The 'hawks' have not learned from history and the 'Afghan syndrome' waits for them just around the corner."
"Terrorism and Freedom"
Luis Rubio stated in independent Reforma (9/23): "Terrorism's goal is not only to destroy and to demoralize, but also to create a chaos. The goal of any terrorist is to undermine the values of society, and its democratic underpinnings.... If we want a modern, democratic and liberal society, we should act within the framework of the law. The debate in the U.S. regarding how to respond to the terrorists has advanced toward this end. Initially revenge was sought at any cost. However, little by little the consideration that one could put in jeopardy precisely what everyone wants to preserve - a liberal society - has gained ground.... The battle against terrorism and crime should be direct and head-on, but fought with the proper weapons.
"A Police-Like Regime In The U.S.?"
An editorial in left-of-center La Jornada said (9/23): "The attempts against the twin towers and the Pentagon caused a large number of deaths, but at the same time McCarthyism and xenophobia seem to have emerged.... The legislation to deal with terrorism and its consequences for individual liberties are the establishment of a totalitarian state."
"War Is Institutionalized Terrorism"
Left-of-center La Jornada judged (9/23): "The terrorist attempts in New York and Washington are completely unjustified. Our conscience rejects a methodology that has caused the death of thousands of innocent persons.... However, one should remember that the new world order was inaugurated by George Bush Sr. on the ruins of Baghdad and on 300 thousands dead Iraqis.... It was also founded on Clinton's humanitarian bombings of Yugoslavia.... Those who are now crying war are trying to make us believe that there are two kinds of violence: an evil one where the U.S. is the subject of such violence, and a good one where the U.S. inflicts violence on others. If the victims are Americans, it is terrorism; in any other case it is a matter of humanitarian mission."
"The War Of The Apes"
Guillermo Almeyra asserts in left-of-center La Jornada (9/23): "We are on the verge of a process where civilization is in jeopardy, and where we could fall into the hands of those who are trying to impose their fundamentalist views under the excuse of fighting other fundamental attitudes.... From Auschwitz down to Hiroshima and Nagasaki we are increasingly sinking into barbarism.... To the fundamentalists who feel that the U.S. is a modern Satan, the White House has responded with a fundamentalist and racist attitude."
"Terrorism, War And Diplomacy"
Francisco Valdes Ugalde writes in nationalist El Universal (9/23): "The mere labeling of the U.S. military operation in the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean as 'Infinite Justice' shows an ideological extremism that would act against the principles of justice and democracy that the U.S. claims to defend. It is necessary for the answer to terror not to be an organized revenge but the diplomacy of justice. The U.S. should not allow its military might to overcome the actions of its instruments of justice, and it should promote international institutions such as the International Penal Court."
Washington correspondent Jose Carreno stated in nationalist El Universal (9/23): "It is healthy for disagreements and debate to take place regarding Mexico's support for the U.S. war on terrorism. However, the automatic anti-Americanism of the personal criticism of Mexico's Foreign Relations Secretary--regardless of whether they are justifiable or irrational--should not cast a shadow over reality. Because of a social-economic relationship, because of geopolitics, because of national security, the Mexican government has no choice. There is no way to remain outside the anti-terrorist alliance without experiencing some consequences."
Jaime Sanchez Susarrey stated in independent Reforma (9/22): "It is not an exaggeration to say that the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were a true declaration of war. The U.S. and the rest of the world are facing an unprecedented situation: terrorism has become one of the main threats for world security. The strategy of containing and preventing it has shown its limitations. The struggle should involve the whole world and it is time for the offensive. The immediate response cannot be other than a military one. This comes from the most elementary logic--not only because the old strategy has not worked, but because it is probable for other attempts to take place in the U.S.... Nobody should be fooled about the seriousness of the situation. If the U.S., NATO and Russia do not refrain the escalation of terrorism, Western civilization as a whole could collapse like the twin towers in Manhattan."
"Our Lives Changed"
Oscar Levin Coppel wrote in independent Reforma (9/22): "I do not agree with the those justifying the terrorist attacks as a struggle of the poor and hopeless. I much less agree that the attacks were the result of a clash between different civilizations.... Terrorism's destructive and destabilizing effects have nothing to do with reason. Those who made the twin towers collapse also succeeded in giving a lethal blow to our values.... The terrorists succeeded in changing our lives."
"Active Neutrality In Latin America"
Editorial in nationalist El Universal read (9/22): "There is concern over the interest of certain U.S. government sectors in considering that no allied nation could remain neutral on this issue. Mexico is in a tough position because its foreign policy has been absolutely clear regarding the principles of non-intervention and self-determination.... Neutrality does not mean distancing itself from the problem, but adopting a reasoned position based on Mexican law. Mexico joined the OAS' resolution invoking the Rio Treaty because it feels that the attack on our neighbor is an attack on all of the region's countries. However, this position does not involve a commitment to provide military support to the U.S.-the best-armed nation in the world. It is support for the U.S. to continue fighting terrorism through actions consistent with the law, human rights and democratic institutions."
"Yesterday And Today: Automatic Alliance"
Gerardo Unzueta stated in nationalist El Universal (9/22): "Mexico and other nations face increasing danger as a result of President Bush's belligerent address before Congress. Every peaceful solution has been discarded, including the holding an 'impartial' trial for Osama bin Laden--as the Cuban and the Taliban governments had suggested.... The U.S. is after the terrorists and the nations that harbor them without previous serious investigation or a real trial. It is the right to detain, kill and invade without any respect for any law."
"War In The Global Village"
Heinz Dietrich Steffan writes in nationalist El Universal (9/22): "The plan of operations designed to achieve the maximum strategic advantage of the current political juncture that terrorism provides can only succeed if actions are taken outside the law. The American political elite is determined to implement actions outside international law.... The U.S. does not want to use UN mechanisms and institutions created to solve problems like the current one. The U.S. does not want to negotiate directly with the Afghan government. Further, President Bush's ultimatum to the rest of the world demonstrates that the U.S. is determined to act outside international law - just like the terrorists did."
"Let's Not Minimize The Criminal Attack"
An editorial in nationalist Excelsior stated (9/22): "The discussion is centering on whether Osama bin Laden will be handed over or not. However, the true and worthy goal would be to rid the world of terrorism. This can only be achieved with all nations' cooperation."
"Attempts In The U.S."
Esther Shabot states in nationalist Excelsior (9/22): "Of course, President Bush should not receive a blank check so that he acts in any way he might wish. But I do not feel that a blank check should be given to those who perpetrated the attempts. One would need to be prone to suicide--like they were--to issue such a check.... Many in the last few days have quoted Noam Chomsky as an expert on what happened. He might be an extraordinary linguist, but I doubt his moral integrity. The fact that he wrote the foreword of a book by Robert Faurisson questioning the Holocaust with neo-Nazi arguments make Chomsky unworthy of the credit awarded to him."
"Solidarity With The American People"
Alejandro Zapata Perogordo writes in left-of-center La Jornada (9/22): "The world is aware of our vulnerability, this is why the attempt against the U.S. should not be considered as an attempt against a single nation. An investigation should be made and those responsible should be sought after and punished. It is necessary to stress that it was not an attack on the United States, but a worldwide warning. Right now it is not a matter of looking for peace but to guarantee mankind's future.... In addition, the terrorist attack has meant the postponement in the U.S.-Mexico bilateral agenda of issues such as migration and trucking, among others.... However, these consequences amount to nothing compared to the suffering of the American people."
"The Western World Is Crazy, Crazy, Crazy..."
Marcos Roitman Rosenmann asserts in left-of-center La Jornada (9/22): "A democratic world cannot be built on the basis of force, and much less if the unspeakable goal was to build a war on the basis of fighting terrorism.... A democratic world cannot be built on the foundation of global, holy or infinite wars. Justice can never be the result of using missiles, regardless of how much rage has been caused by abominable actions. The answer to problems of injustice is the promotion of democracy."
"Unsuccessful Fatal Blow"
Monterrey's independent El Norte commentary by Alfonso Elizondo said (9/22): "Even though the first fatal blow struck by fundamentalist terrorism against the U.S. economy has been ameliorated by the intelligence and maturity of the financial authorities, there is no guarantee that the problem has been warded off completely. It is mandatory that the political power structure also contribute its share in solving the crisis through the efficient and intelligent use of diplomacy and military force. The truth is that the total paralysis of a society that terrorism search for, has not been achieved."
"Together Before God"
Monterrey's independent El Norte carried this by law professor Gerardo Puertas (9/22): "If you are Mexican you will accept that we are a country that is not open to foreigners. Ask anybody who arrives from other country. You'll see what he answers; we are polite with visitors, but we are not willing to integrate the foreigner who is staying among us. If you're a man, speak to a woman about equal opportunities. Her answer is not what you would expect; gender is still a discriminatory factor. Similar answers could come from a native or a handicapped, an old person or a homosexual, a poor or a illiterate person, to mention certain stereotypical situations."
National Security Adviser Adolfo Aguilar Zinser wrote in independent Reforma (9/21): "The actions the U.S. would undertake, and that members of the international community would support, conform moral, political or military standards that should be addressed to stop and eradicate terrorism. The danger is in the manner that public opinion and the media have presented developments. Military actions could be perceived as a massive show of revenge instead of a surgical effort to do away with terrorism. It would be tragic if measures undertaken would fuel the fire instead of putting it out. Otherwise, it would be possible for intelligence actions and selective punitive measures to eradicate the most violent terrorist cells. Under the current circumstances this would be the best thing that could happen. Up to now President Bush and his team have shown a level of cautiousness and calm that is comforting. Let us hope that they continue this approach."
Rafael Segovia stated in independent Reforma (9/21): "The anger experienced by the American people is understandable. Never before had a missile had fallen on U.S. territory. Americans lived in a safe haven where domestic security was a mess, but outside security was not something they focused on. They will have to consider foreign threats from now on. During the first 48 hours of the massacre, verbal violence was rampant. In other words, there was complete and calculated control of information. Now, reason has prevailed - that is, politics. President Bush had no other choice to show his anger and to guide the overwhelming feelings of anger and patriotism of the American people. His nation had been attacked. The dead were Americans--his countrymen. After those two difficult and painful days, reason prevailed with the greatest power in the world. It is worth noting how cautiousness and knowledge prevailed over anger, and experience over emotions."
"Contrasts Of Globalization"
Agustin Basave Benitez states in independent Reforma (9/21): "The world's problem is inequality.... Extremist acts committed in the name of race, religion and culture are increasing. Impotence is strengthening its power, and the porous borders are giving the weak the ability to take revenge on the powerful... As long as the world continues to be an unfair place, the seeds of resentment, suspicion and monstrosity will continue.... However, there is reason for hope. Even though the concentration of wealth in small number of nations and individuals has not diminished, we are witnessing the effects of world public opinion on the most powerful nation on earth. In the face of such brutal aggression, the President Bush has avoided a unilateral response, and delayed reprisals until a counterattack consensus is built. U.S. allies have spoken with one voice: yes to seeking and punishing those responsible; no to indiscriminate war. Regardless of any 'buts' one could hold against this attitude, it is an encour
Front page editorial in left-of-center La Jornada read (9/21): "In his address to Congress to announce the global campaign against terrorism, President Bush issued the death certificate of international law.... President Bush announced that from now on Washington would be the world's judge, attorney and policeman. The rest of the nations of the world should follow the U.S. lead. According to Bush's logic, it would be sufficient for a U.S. officer to suspect any person or organization, and that organization should render the suspects to the U.S., otherwise it could be subject to U.S. reprisals. Bush's address consequently marked the end of national sovereignty, in it of itself a hostile message to other sovereign nations.... The U.S. war would not have justice as its guide, nor ridding the world of terrorists would be its goal. It would be a massive operation to subjugate, and destroy through military and paramilitary means other sovereign nations.... If this is going to be a long war, with a constant flow of U.S. casualties -contrary to the Gulf War - then this war could mark the beginning of a moral crisis as serious or even more serious than the one that led the superpower to its historical defeat in Vietnam."
"Mexico-U.S.: Shoulder To Shoulder"
Jorge Chabat writes in nationalist El Universal (9/21): "There has been a great deal of criticism of Foreign Relations Secretary Castaneda's statements, one of which is that Mexico should support the U.S. after the senseless terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.... Beyond any rhetoric, Mexico has always supported the U.S. The fact that Castaneda openly talks about it now is only the recognition of a reality that has been going on for decades. To pretend that our interests are different from those of the U.S., particularly during an international crisis, is ignoring our geographic proximity to and interdependence with the U.S. To pretend that we could not go along the same path with the U.S. regarding the terrorist attacks would be a contradiction to our traditional condemnation of terrorism. The issue is how would Mexico support the U.S., and whether Mexico should support a war-like action that would take the lives of innocent people. This is the issue that should be discussed.... The historical truth is that Mexico has never withheld its support from the United States. It support was perhaps given in a more disguised manner, but this is no longer the case."
"Bush: I Will Not Cede, I Will Not Rest"
An editorial in nationalist Excelsior (9/21) stated: ""In an address to Congress, President Bush promised revenge: 'justice will be done.' The world does not want a war and the United States is frightened by the possibility, however, everything seems to indicate that war is imminent. Another cost of terrorism is the effect on the economy, in the United States and abroad...Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has told the U.S. Congress that terrorism could cost the United States 100 billion dollars. The theme of imminent war has become a priority: the U.S. is not planning a lightning military strike, but 'a marathon,' in the words of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Sadly, the stage is set for a huge, terrible, and lengthy conflict."
"Caution In Light Of A Conflict"
An editorial in nationalist Universal stated (9/21): "One of the immediate consequences of turning up the heat on the conflict begun by the terrorist acts against the United States is that of economic repercussions, many of which are being felt strongly in the United States and in Mexico.... At this moment, we should reflect upon the importance of reducing income expectations, and to express solidarity with our society by salvaging jobs and preventing further blows against the national economy. The reasonable thing to do would be to act with caution...the economy can respond to challenges derived from this conflict, as long as all economic sectors understand the need to implement belt-tightening measures. There is a glimmer of hope that things will return to normal, now that Afghan clergymen have asked Osama bin Laden to voluntarily leave Afghanistan. This shows that the Afghans do not want a war with the United States, although the Bush administration insists upon liquidating terrorists. The question is how."
"Extremism And Security"
Mauricio Russell writes in nationalist Universal (9/21): "The attacks in Washington and New York have created a new type of war, as noted by Noam Chomsky, in which victims in the imperialist world have to face terrorism for the first time. Reprisal strategies might include a traditional invasion or the use of anti-terrorist groups, who use the same methods as their adversaries. The only solution to this dilemma is through international law. This might be an insufficient answer for the families of the victims, but it is best for the global community."
"At The Edge Of The Knife"
Demetrio Sodi de la Tijera writes in nationalist Universal (9/21): "Mexico is facing a difficult situation in light of U.S. pressure for our nation to declare its unconditional support of punitive measures for last week's terrorist attacks. It will be difficult to reconcile our pacifist philosophy, and our tradition of non-intervention, with the calls for revenge demanded by the United States. The government, through Foreign Relations Secretary (SRE) Jorge Castaneda, has been clear about demonstrating Mexico's support to eradicate terrorism, as long as this does not imply participating in any military action against suspect terrorist groups. It will not be easy for the United States to understand Mexico, a nation considered one of the U.S.' strongest allies, when other countries have given unconditional support. At this moment, the challenge of the United Nations, the U.S. government, and Mexico, is to gain time, so that all nations and global opinion reach an agreement to fight a relentless war on terrorism, one based on respect for the law. In the meantime, the Mexican government finds itself on the razor's edge."
"They Gave Them A Brain By Mistake"
Monterrey's independent El Norte carried this commentary by Paz Flores (9/21): "War against demons! says Bush. The only real and dangerous demon that I know of is WAR in capital letters, and is the same one that buried mines in Laos decades ago which even today continue exploiting on children that walk in the fields, losing their arms and legs (between 10 to 30 children per month)."
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 Osama 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 U.S. and its policies is a 'clash of civilizations'...is perhaps farfetched. But this does not stop some from trying to portray this as the true problem... That is clearly the case with Bin Laden... The attempt to provoke an American retaliation which does not make any distinction between fundamentalist Muslims and other Muslims would give Bin Laden 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's 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? Is no one moved by the millions of children, women and men fleeing to the frontier? The true war against terrorism is on another front, intelligence. Ally nations must discover, dismantle, and eliminate terrorist networks. They must find eliminate the sources of their finances and isolate those governments that give them social and political support."
Conservative, afternoon La Segunda ran an editorial stating (9/26): "It would be convenient to recall that the Inter-American Reciprocal Assistance Treaty was designed with the concept of continental solidarity to confront the Soviet threat during the Cold War, and not for an anonymous terrorist aggression like the world faces today.... Presumably a U.S. request (for troops) would involve a symbolic coalition of Armed Forces of many nations as a strong and visible moral support against terrorism.... Before calling on the Armed Forces of Latin America, there are other intermediate stops - NATO- that should be called."
"The Harm To Liberty"
In its prime-time newscast, government-owned, financially autonomous, National Television, TVN featured international commentator and anchorman Bernardo de la Maza, with the remarks (9/26): "For years, the Statue of Liberty has welcomed immigrants from all around the world to the United States. If there is something that surprises newcomers, it is the degree of freedom found in that country.... Now, many Americans are concerned about the harm that the terrorist attacks may have caused to such liberty."
"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."
"The Great Uncertainty Is Whether Bush WIll Choose The Toughest Position"
Government-owned, but financially autonomous, National Television, TVN (9/25) featured in its prime-time newscast international commentator and anchorman Bernardo de la Maza who said: "Two weeks after the attacks, the greatest mystery is why the United States hasn't began its military retaliation against terrorism.... The decision about when and how to attack will be made by George Bush, an inexperienced President, famous for his ignorance about international issues, but who has been acknowledged for his good common sense and ability to listen to the experts. Up to now, he has inclined towards Collin Powell's option. The great uncertainty is whether he will choose the toughest position. The fear is that the so-called Operation Infinite Justice could become operation infinite revenge, and would elicit great hatred, and an enormous explosion in the Muslim world, where hundreds of millions see Bin Laden as their leader."
"Yesterday's Enemies Are Today's Friends"
In its prime-time newscast, conservative, Catholic University Television Channel 13 featured international commentator Karin Ebensperger who characterized the latest events (9/25): "The political consequences of the attacks on the world order are amazing.... Yesterday's enemies are today's friends. (Watching) the Russian President speak against terrorism, in German, in Berlin, is something historic. But Russia's, Japan's, and Germany's underlying message is that the United States does not have a blank check for the unlimited use of force. Thus, the attack is having unexpected consequences. It is reordering the world."
"We Are Benefiting Not Only From Integrating With The U.S."
Privately-owned, Chilevision featured international commentator Libardo Buitrago, who said (9/24): "U.S. international policy has taken a complete turn. The U.S. Congress shows coherence and unity, and Republicans and Democrats are aligning behind President Bush to change isolationism into integration. Integration begins with the approval of an FTA with Jordan, which means that that region in the Middle East is being commercially integrated. On the other hand, a Senator requested granting President Bush authorization to negotiate commercially with Latin America. This means that Chile could stand first in line for a FTA with the United States. Bush starts fighting against terrorism by making an economic, commercial, and political integration.... On the other hand, Russia's support is important. A relationship between Moscow and Washington, that nobody could ever have imagined, is being established. The same is happening with Chile. Terrorism has led most of the countries to support President Bush, while Osama Bin Laden is beginning to be left alone.... We are benefiting not only from integrating with the United States, but also violence is being kept out."
"New Type Of War"
In the view of Santiago's leading financial Estrategia (9/26): "We have to realize this new type of war... will have to extend to political, geographic, diplomatic, financial and technological realms to prevent terrorism from expanding in a globalized world. Thus, the defense of universal principles ... will have to extend to areas that are harder to reach. This is why the willingness of leaders worldwide to contribute endlessly to peace is so valuable."
"U.S. Has Not Removed Emergin World From Agenda"
Conservative El Metropolitano editorialized (9/26): "The U.S. Senate showed on Monday night that the war against terrorism has not removed the emerging world form its agenda. In addition to approving a free trade agreement with Jordan, the committee presented a text that seeks to combine different motions to give the White House fast track authority to negotiate with other countries."
"Will The Ever Understand the Meaning Of 'Disappeared'"
Government-owned, editorially independent La Nacion (9/26) article by journalist Patricia Verdugo: "On my way to Penn Station, I saw photographs of those unaccounted for... If their families don't see the bodies, or even portions of them, how will they believe they are dead? ... Will they (Americans) understand now the meaning of the word 'disappeared'? I came to the United States to present my book 'Chile, Pinochet and The Death Caravan' in an effort to make Americans understand what happened in my country.... We all know that the methods used to make prisoners disappear...were approved by the Pentagon and the White House. Will Americans now understand that pain feels the same...? Will they realize that their missiles demolish buildings and houses in other parts of the planet leaving behind the same painful absence?... Nothing was done to fight terrorism in South America, because the U.S. was at the root of our cruel dictatorship... There are no answers, but what I learned from the two decades of bloody military dictatorship in Chile is that at the root of all violence is fear. And here, in the U.S., what you see in the face of the citizens and its political leaders is fear. A fear announcing nightmares."
"We Must Join In Actions Against Terrorism"
In the words of leading-circulation, popular, independent La Tercera (9/26): "Chile must join in the actions against terrorism. And this does not just depend on the role of its political authorities or international organizations... It also applies to citizens themselves, who through civil society and religious organizations must condemn all acts that violate people's rights and freedom."
"Bin Laden Must Be Stopped By Use Of Force"
Conservative, afternoon La Segunda regular columnist and historian Gonzalo Vial wrote (9/25): "Today's Hitler is Osama Bin Laden... Peace is certainly the greatest good. Everyone believed that in 1938 and 1939...except Hitler. Everyone believes this in 2001...except Bin laden...Let us convince ourselves -- Osama Bin Laden and his friends must and can only be stopped by the use of force, and the sooner the better."
"The United States And The New War"
Leading-circulation, popular, independent La Tercera (9/23): "Washington must use all the means that international law can provide it before launching a military attack--namely economic sanctions, diplomatic boycott, blockade, etc. This also means that any military campaign ... must be limited to the terrorist camps and those who provide them with financial aid.... The entire world has condemned the cowardly September 11 attacks, but at the same time it has called on Washington to act on the basis of strong evidence, and said that if it decides to use military force that it do so with the authorization of the United Nations.... So far, the Bush administration has acted with restraint.... Bush...is acting with determination, and is also aware that his country's response must be fair and legitimate... What is at stake here is not Islam or the Arab people, it's the fight of the civilized worlds against fringe groups that acts against the teachings of their own faith."
"U.S. Economy Tested"
An editorial in government-owned, editorially independent La Nacion held (9/23): "Everything seems to indicate that the U.S. government will put all its weight, that is, its surplus, on the line to lessen the damages and reactivate those sectors that have been strongly hit. The wave of national pride running through the country today, and the desire of its people to show the world that their country is standing strong, could become elements to activate the economy."
Conservative El Metropolitano (9/23): "This is a 'war' in which the enemy no longer operates from the western rationale.... It is precisely that complexity which shows that a purely military response to the terrorist attack...beyond the ethical problems it presents, is not a sustainable solution and does not attack the root of the problem... Today (the achievement) of world peace has to have as a focal point the pacification of the Middle East."
"OAS Did Not Hand U.S. A 'Blank Check'"
Government-owned, editorially independent La Nacion (9/23): "The OAS Permanent Council ... unanimously condemned the terrorist attack on the United States ... The solidarity of the nations of the continent is not in question...but this does not mean it has handed the U.S. and its NATO allies a 'blank check' for military operations ... At this hour, it is crucial to reiterate a fundamental principle: the fight against terrorism cannot be separated from the fight for freedom, peace, and human rights around the globe. The U.S. government must not forget this... It is crucial that military operations are limited to specific terrorist targets and do not unleash greater evils for the world as a whole."
"Bush Administration Has Been Smart"
Conservative bi-weekly newsmagazine Ercilla editorial by its director Oscar Mertz (9/22): "There is a significant consensus as to what must be done in response to the attack, which gives President Bush the immense power of a nation united in favor of a goal the president himself has defined as the victory of free society over terrorism.... The diplomatic approach has been so far successful. First, there has been progress in forming a coalition of nations to support the United States in this war against terrorism and their commitment for different degrees of cooperation. In addition, the Bush administration has been promised a cease-fire by the Palestinian and Israeli leaders, which makes it easier for Arab nations to join a coalition against terrorism. But the most important diplomatic achievement is to have succeeded in having Pakistan distance itself from the Afghan government and to authorize the U.S. Air Force to cross its air space to attack Afghan objectives.... The Bush administration has been smart in underscoring that this is not a war of civilizations, and that Islam is a religion and a culture that deserves respect...and which is not responsible for... fundamentalist religious minorities... President Bush's greatest challenge in the short-term is to create a new international order in which the right to freedom, property and life are duly protected."
Conservative, influential, newspaper-of-record El Mercurio in its weekly round-up column judged (9/22): "The American people expected a lot from the President's speech... and got it. Bush...responded to their concerns calmly, clearly and with an eloquence not shown before. If leaders could be measured by the example they represent and the confidence they inspire in moments of immense tension then.... Bush rose to the occasion and measured up to the moment.... In significant and carefully targeted language, Bush marked the difference between ordinary Muslims and those responsible for terrorism.... Bush also referred to the hate directed at his country. It's tempting to claim that the attacks are the product of Washington's mistaken policy or its lack of compassion with the third world in general and especially toward Muslims... but that analysis is deeply wrong. Many of Washington's policies toward the Middle East are questionable and ineffective, but none are an explanation, much less a justification, for the attacks. As Bush warned, those responsible for the attack want not only to humiliate the United States, but seek to defeat moderate governments such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. He was correct in comparing them to the totalitarian ideologies of the last century."
"A Long and Difficult War"
According to newspaper-of-record El Mercurio (9/22): "The threat of terrorism affects the world as a whole and it is therefore reasonable to demand that nations declare themselves either with the United States or with the terrorists. But that demand raises a great obstacle. Although all nations of the world have expressed solidarity with the U.S., it won't be easy to keep that unity once American retaliation begins.... One cannot expect unquestionable support from the international community to absolutely any measure. Therefore, consultation with its allies...will be crucial for it to succeed in the fight against terrorism.... The absence of military action so far shows that Washington realizes the magnitude of the challenge its military has before it... The suicidal attacks...must be responded to, in consultation with its allies, or they will be repeated over and over again in another form. On Thursday, President Bush, solemnly and with a dignity worthy of admiration, explained to his people the nature of the war it faces. Now he will have to focus on the equally difficult task of leading the nation in the storms and the dangers ahead."
"Also A Financial Conflict"
Leading-circulation, popular, independent La Tercera said (9/22): "The economic threat of the so-called 'first war of the 21st century' is largely the result of growing globalization... and obviously calls for financial authorities to act in a restrained and non-alarmist manner. Today, when the security of world markets will tend to contract to avoid greater losses, it is indispensable for Chile to strengthen the economic ties with its neighboring nations so that together we can face problems that affect the international economy."
"Answer To Terrorism"
Conservative, influential, Santiago newspaper-of-record El Mercurio held (9/22): "The OAS ...approved a declaration... that does not specifically mention providing military assistance to the U.S., but which has left this possibility opened by mentioning the mutual assistance treaty."
"Facing A New Scenario"
Government-owned but editorially independent La Nacion argued (9/24): "If the United States was surprised by the September 11 attack, it is evident that any country can be a victim of something similar. We don't know how the international situation will evolve over the next weeks, but it is realistic to realize that we are facing a new scenario which, among other things, calls for increased protection of our national territory. Our military and the police will have to incorporate the fight against terrorism into their contingency plans."
"Defense Of Liberty"
Leading financial Estrategia had this editorial (9/21): "Little by little, society worldwide has begun to understand that the terrorist attack was not just directed against the United States. It was an attack on freedom... Terrorism and its denial of life call for an open and unyielding commitment by all the world's leaders... Although we will never be able to understand the hate and contempt for humankind that mobilizes these groups, we must have the total lucidity to defend life, freedom and the values that have been violated, and from that viewpoint there is no room for uncertain endorsement because the threat is real and will not let up."
"Joint Action Needed"
Conservative, influential newspaper-of-record El Mercurio stressed (9/21): "The connections of terrorists worldwide are a fact that the U.S. tragedy made evident. This calls for joint action to dismantle it."
"Latin America's Role In Conflict"
Conservative Santiago daily El Metropolitano (9/21): "Bush junior has listened to his father's advice... and won't act alone. He will operate through a mega military alliance to share the political cost... In this process, Latin America has no relevance beyond issuing a vote of political support. But even in that area, various governments are complicated.... Although no foreign minister believes the United Stateswill ask Latin American for military presence in the conflict, they are afraid to set a precedent in this regard. It was Venezuela's president who voiced his opposition, and once again the Chilean president who called him for support. Hugo Chavez is afraid that a global front against terrorism will pave the way for some world powers to demand the initiation of military actions against the guerrillas, which those powers view as terrorists."
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."
“Against Terrorism, Food”
Editorial commentary in leading daily El Tiempo stated (9/25): “The UN just suspended the food aid program in Afghanistan...although any time is bad for suspending food deliveries to people who could die without them, this is the worst moment to do it... UN’s best contribution to isolate terrorists would be to fulfill its commitments with the unprotected Afghans. Otherwise it would be like offering bin Laden a seed bed of martyrs.”
“Ask Me With Humbleness”
An op-ed by environmentalist Andres Hurtado in leading El Tiempo said (9/25): “To: Mr. United States... Do not confuse liberty with United States. I didn’t like your President’s address at all, especially when he said that liberty had been attacked. Please, don’t mix things. Now you are requiring help from the whole planet. ‘Who isn’t with us is against us,’ said George W. Bush. Only Jesus Christ can say that; and you’re not him... The support everyone is giving you isn’t based on love towards USA but on fear towards terrorism. This would be the right time for learning a little bit about humility.... What you plan to do sounds more like vengeance than ‘infinite justice’.... Because declining [in power] is part of life, decline with decency. Finally, I offer you all my support and help on one condition: ask for it with humbleness and love.”
“The Problem Is Foreign Policy”
An op-ed by political analyst Pedro Medellin in leading El Tiempo held (9/25): “The main challenge the U.S. faces is changing the warrior attitude of ‘infinite justice’ for a real call on ‘global security.’ The investors have already made the warning; war would only lead to a world crisis.”
According to an op-ed by former Minister of Treasury Abdon Espinoza in leading El Tiempo (9/25): “As the economy is the main target of the terrorist organizations, preserving its strength and preventing its fall is an elementary provision.”
An op-ed by political analyst Fernando Cepeda in leading El Tiempo stressed (9/25): “Will the international community accept the definition of terrorism [by Professor Jessica Stern]? Is U.S. response inspired by this definition? Evidently, from the FARC to the top Government levels, everyone is trying to find the appropriate definition. What I see is a notorious ambiguity...between the U.S. Congress Joint Resolution...the UN Security Council Resolution, the OAS, and... among Bush and Powell’s public statements.... Experts explain initially there will be a comprehensive response (military, economic, political, diplomatic) against nations, groups, and people directly or indirectly involved in the September 11 event, and simultaneously non-military pressure in other parts of the world.... Clearly, the dynamics of the retaliations - raising concerns around the world- will redirect goal and risks.... For example, the illicit drugs and international terrorism connection is starting to be part of the debate.... The correct thing would be to understand that the definition of terrorism is an ongoing process.”
“The FARC And Terrorism”
Lead editorial in Bogota’s weekly El Espectador stated (9/23): “President Bush, in his address [to the Joint Session of Congress Sept. 20] says a few things that we Colombians have to reflect on.... The United States has designated as terrorist groups three insurgency organizations: AUC, FARC, ELN. Rumors say the U.S. Ambassador to Colombia was called to Washington; we wouldn’t be surprised [to learn that] the U.S. State Department wants to revise the situation at Caguan, a refuge for foreign terrorists controlled by the FARC, that has murdered three U.S. missionaries and apparently five others about whom we haven’t heard in six years... President Bush’s statements leads us to think that the restrictions imposed on the Plan Colombia military component will have to be lifted, to be consistent with the U.S. position... The demilitarized zone cannot be extended without slowly dismounting the guerrilla movement...”
“OAS And Terrorism”
The lead editorial in top national El Tiempo stated (9/21): “[Whether it’s the 1947 Inter American Mutual Assistance Treaty of Rio de Janeiro or the recently created Inter American Committee Against Terrorism] in any case, today’s meeting in Washington clearly has to result in an unmistaken and strong declaration by the Inter American community against the terror plague that’s threatening the planet. Such declaration will reinforce OAS’ reiterated goal of defending democracy in the Hemisphere, recently demonstrated with the Inter American Democratic Charter, coincidently approved on the day of terrorists attacks in New York and Washington.”
“Serpa’s March to Caguan"
An op-ed by former insurgent Leon Valencia in Colombia’s leading national El Tiempo (9/21): “Things have changed in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attack. [Liberal Party Pre-candidate Horacio Serpa’s) proposed march to Caguan, initially considered as an audacious electoral strategy, may turn into a real opportunity for re-launching the disabled peace process. The U.S. ChargT to Colombia has recently said: the priority is fighting terrorism, and when asked by a reporter if Colombia was included, the ChargT stressed: around the world. The FARC ought to know that the only way to prevent a U.S. offensive is by increasing the political game, and also they ought to know that without [the help of] the poll-leading candidate and the Liberal Party itself, reaching a consensus scenario on cease-fire and on the Constituent [Assembly] is impossible. At the same time, Serpa ought to know that within the war theater, other options closer to the use of force are being considered.”
COSTA RICA: "An Extensive Campaign"
Leading independent daily, La Nacion, in an editorial stated (9/22): "But even more importantly for the future of the U.S. and the world is that Bush designed a strategy of action and prevention, which combines firmness and realism, and acknowledges that in this struggle a multinational collaboration is imperatively forged with great intelligence and respect, executed with care and precision.... In this sense, it is fundamental that Washington continue its efforts to forge a universal anti-terrorist coalition, and obtain the guarantee and the international collaboration so the immediate response against the Taliban, does not result in a unilateral indiscriminate intervention against the integrity of another nation, but a legitimate response of an attacked world threatened by the executors of violence.... On behalf of the international community, it is essential to understand that the terrorist threat, resulting in the massive and indiscriminate murders in New York and Washington D.C., is a concern for all of us."
Independent La Republica observed (9/22): "There are many ways to support the U.S. and many by which to confront the terrorists.... On one hand, we believe the U.S. is absolutely justified in capturing and bringing to justice those responsible for the thousands of deaths, injuries and missing persons following the criminal attacks that placed the nation in mourning.... In that sense we believe that the U.S. has available the necessary resources and technology to implement brilliant police and intelligence operations, to seize the criminals...If (however) the situation is viewed in terms of massive artillery attacks, troops and aircrafts against one of the poorest and most destroyed nations in the world, the situation is different...We totally agree with the idea that the world should build a large and powerful coalition to combat terrorism of any type on any soil. We believe it is vital that nations exchange information and collaborate in order to dismantle the assassins networks. Maybe on this level, the task is more effective and edifying. Throwing bombs, troops and missiles against a country in disarray with a population suffering from misery, might even trigger the union of powerful enemies against the West, which would cause even more pain and death"
"The Twin Towers"
Emilio Bruce commented in the Oped section of the independent La Republica (9/21): "May the U.S. seek the justice that they (well) deserve. May the terrorists be dealt with by law and not by force. May justice not be avoided in following the old adage, that the ends justify the means. Afghanistan citizens are not to be blamed for what a few have done, even for what a Saudi Arabian outlaw refugee stationed there has done. The war is not against Islam. The war should not be carried out against souls that do not have any relation, responsibility or guilt with the attacks...The blame and responsibility of a few should not be placed on the innocent...It is time for justice, not for chasing scapegoats"
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: "Preventive Policies"
Left -of-center Hoy editorialized (9/24): "Certainly, for a great while, terrorism has only been seen by the magnifying glass of nations' security institutions.... But many terrorist acts obey the conducts molded under economic, social, and political difficulties as well as distortions related to religions. It is time, as we [the Dominican Republic] proposed in the OAS...to work on the causes of terrorism, to investigate them profoundly...so that we can elaborate preventive policies.... The best vaccines are made based on the pathological entity that causes the disease."
ECUADOR: "From Terrorism To War"
An opinion column by Carlos Cortez in Guayaquil's centrist Expreso stated (9/28): "Damages at this moment amount to some 200 billion dollars, and the symptoms of a new depression continue affecting the globalized world. We will also suffer because the U.S. is our biggest and strongest export partner. Two additional things. . . a) those who are 'happy' with what had happened to the 'gringos' do not have the slightest idea of the seriousness of the situation; b) if there is a war, the recession will be very long and we, globalized and dollarized as we are, will also be victims. No one doubts that the U.S. government will initiate a long fight against terrorism. 65 percent of its population supports it and the Congress has given all the powers to their president. I suggest that we start reviewing all the policies and plans we have prepared. We will have a tough year."
"Christianity And The West"
An opinion column by Leon Roldos Aguilera (former Vice President) in Quito's leading centrist El Comercio (9/28): "This is not the time for avenging violence and terrorism against developed countries, and it is not the time to aggravate the extremism that colonialism meant for decades and centuries. It is rather the time to build a new scenario of peace, based on constructive relations fostered by respect and cooperation, not by hatred and revenge. The justice demanded from the death of thousands of innocent people cannot become an injustice against thousands of other innocent people. The risk of stirring new spirals of violence due to the fanaticism of those who give their lives, believing that it puts them in the hands of God, will only mean more destruction."
"Aggression Against The U.S."
An opinion column by Antonio Parra Gill in Guayaquil's conservative El Telegrafo (9/28): "What importance does Latin America have? Will President Bush continue supporting NAFTA and Plan Colombia? Will this become a collective intervention? If that is so, what will our intervention be and how much will it affect us? In this whole scenario, will the U.S. military presence at bases in Manta, Curacao and San Salvador increase? Will they establish a triangle of control at the northeastern tip of South America, directed from Puerto Rico where the new headquarters of Southern Command is located? The panorama is complex, very complex, and is even worse due to the inexistence of a national foreign policy.... With all this, will we change our Ambassador to the U.S., who is an illustrious lady of Arab descent?"
"The Imbalance Of Terror!"
An opinion column by Enrique Pareja in center-right El Universo (9/28): "Once the USSR was dissolved, the authority that kept the dangerous artifacts under strict control was lost, and it is now impossible to determine the final fate of many bombs already manufactured and that of radioactive materials such as Uranium 235.... Now that the balance of terror has ended, horrified mankind is facing precisely the contrary, the imbalance of terror. Any step made at reacting...to the abomination of the terrorist activity might lead humanity of the XXI century to revisit the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but this time with nuclear artifacts a thousand times more powerful than those that fell on Japan."
An opinion column by Alberto March in centrist Expreso: "The abominable actions of the IRA in Ireland, of ETA in Spain, or the terrorist groups in Colombia seem like a joke compared with the monstrosity of the attack on the U.S.... The enormous responsibility of being the leaders of the free world, of democracy and of the West, and the mistakes in foreign policy that the new hegemonic new order fostered, turned the U.S into a target for some Muslim sectors. This requires a global response. But how to respond --that is the dilemma. We are at a serious crossroads.... A lack of reaction would send the signal of weakness and doubts, and to act wrongly, which is probable, could make the U.S. -- and the whole western world -- fall into the trap prepared. Persecution will exacerbate even more Islamic fundamentalism. Unlimited fanaticism may foster terrible horrors everywhere, and no western country is ready to face them."
"The Collapse Of A System"
Antenor Yturralde Rivera in center-right El Universo (9/28):"The world divided among rich, poor and poorer finds new proposals for its leadership. We see mankind trembling in the face of the uncertain and unknown. The lesson is extremely harsh, but if the economic power does not look at the pain in Asia, Africa and Latin America, terrorism will continue being a volcanic force, triggering future social problems.... The waves of violence are the result of a new 'techno-social' process that displaces old revolutions, demolishes our defenses and our values, and leads the young and useful people to death. The horrifying and terrifying events are the results of an imbalanced society, whose direction is weak. We are approaching the complete collapse of a system."
"The Second Cold War"
From an "Analysis" column in leading centrist El Comercio (9/25): "The Cold War...implied a rigid ideological alignment...out of security concerns...that restricted world politics over several decades.... Within this context, in Latin America above all, atrocious dictatorships were accepted and constitutional regimes elected by the people fell for the sake of national or continental security.... In the situation the U.S. is now facing with the Taliban.... There is an aggravating circumstance: the adversaries are neither ideological nor political, on the contrary, they are different because they are extremely violent and it is almost impossible to locate them.
These difficulties may prompt the globalization of suspicion and the initiation of an insane international crusade that will shatter the values and principles that preserve individual rights and guarantees. Yesterday, the fight was ideological and strategic against communism, and its satellites gave way to excesses that included even political crimes. Today, only intelligence coupled with firmness and the strategic use of force will succeed in discouraging the repetition of perverse acts. . ."
"Paying For Ambiguities"
An opinion column by Hernan Perez Loose in El Universo (9/25): "Today just like in the past, the West is paying for its ambiguities in the face of fanaticism. The price paid for this complacency has been too high.... It is true that the assault against terrorism should be launched from various angles. But it is not only about destroying training camps, severing financial channels, or eliminating intelligence networks.... There is something more to be done. We will have to eliminate the complacency with which for decades we have addressed terrorist actions....Some started to say that terrorist acts had an explanation in a series of economic and political causes....that others were to blame -- generally the U.S.-- and the like. There lie the consequences of the ambiguities that decent Germans at first, and then all of civilized Europe, had in respect to a group of Nazi fanatics in the middle of the 1930's.... Just as it happened in the past to millions of Germans, today millions of decent Muslims are kidnapped by a group of fanatics that have grown by threatening all countries; thanks, among other things, to the complacent ambiguity of a society that chose not to learn from the mistakes of the past."
An opinion column by Paul Grande in Cuenca's center-right El Tiempo (9/25): "The U.S. President, George W. Bush, during all his political career...has demonstrated his belligerent character and his propensity to declare wars, establish anti-missile shields, and intervene militarily in various countries of the world. In all, everything that implies an armed confrontation, or the death penalty is assumed naturally by Bush Jr., who seems not to think about the implications of a war like the one he proposes on behalf of his country... the strategy proposed -- attacking a hidden, faceless 'enemy' that could ignite racial and religious hatred that would lead us to a confrontation unprecedented in the history of mankind -- is a serious and dangerous mistake."
"Infinite Justice At Any Price?"
An opinion column by Andres Mejia Acosta in Quito's center-left (influential) Hoy (9/24): "No one has any other alternative than to condemn the horrendous human tragedy provoked by the terrorist attacks in the U.S. last week.... But it is necessary to request moderation so that the U.S. military operation called 'Infinite Justice' does not initiate a spiral of violence and uncertainty in the U.S. and in the rest of the world.... The other consequence of a possible U.S. military attack against Afghanistan is the huge human tragedy that would end the lives of innocent civilians.... Isn't the life of a Muslim worth the same as that of a Christian or a Jew?"
"Profile Of A Terrorist"
Enrique Echeverria opined in Quito's leading centrist El Comercio (9/24): "A terrorist is, above all, a fanatic, an individual who defends with excessive tenacity and passion his/her beliefs and opinions, particularly religious ones.... Individuals who fall into such a profile...are spread throughout the world, in more than 60 countries. It seems, by the results, that their main target for hatred and destruction is the U.S. Today our country, by showing...solidarity in collaborating in the search for terrorists, may also become a target of their fury. Even if (terrorists) continue to focus their animosity on the U.S., it is possible that we will see attacks in other countries that cooperate in the so-called war against terrorism, against U.S. companies, businesses, or buildings owned by Americans.... It is time to uncover any pre-terrorist activities: better safe than sorry."
"The Tele-Directed Society"
An opinion column by Fabian Corral in El Comercio held (9/24): "War, to a large extent, is fought on the screens. There, you either win or lose, that is where history is written in Orwell's best style.... CNN, CBS and the other international networks are the columns of a war against shadows. Beyond the unanimous condemnation of terrorism...what is happening on the screens does pose essential questions about the function of the news, about the power of the audiovisual means and about the justification of the war and the marketing of revenge.
"Weapons Against Terrorism"
An opinion column by Diego Araujo in pointed out in Hoy (9/24): "The U.S. has used its diplomatic instruments with great efficiency and ability: the U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell for one, contrary to what one would think, shows a balanced, peaceful discourse, far from any arrogant warlike position. The international support obtained is already a triumph. Perhaps the most efficient weapons have not yet been deployed: the financial ones...because neither the U.S. nor the international community have acted against fiscal and banking safe havens before. Wouldn't this action be more powerful than any big-scale military attack in order to destroy the global network of terrorism?"
"Fight For Tolerance"
Center-left Hoy observed (9/24): "The fertilized soil for all those inhuman manifestations is a world where violent realities persist; realities such as 20 percent of the population consuming two thirds of what the world produces, and the existence of millions of human beings that survive on less than a dollar a day. A true fight against terrorism cannot turn its back on tolerance and justice."
"One Aggression, Two Visions"
An opinion column by Miguel Macias in center-left Hoy (9/24): "For some, the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington were caused by men who wish to create terror though violence. A terrorist is neither moral nor immoral; he/she is simply an amoral fanatic.... On the other hand, the U.S. position against the inhuman and unfathomable aggression endured is understandable. We can also understand the uncertainty and the rage of U.S. people in the face of the terror endured in their own land that was proudly considered inviolable, and we similarly understand the rage that prompts George W. Bush to put the governments of the world in the dilemma of supporting everything the U.S. does or risking being considered enemies of that great country."
"The Responsibility Of The Superpower"
An editorial in leading centrist El Comercio held (9/25): "Never before did the U.S. seek an international coalition to respond to an attack directed against its territory.... The wide support of countries and governments from all over the world to a country such as the U.S...is also unprecedented in history.... Clearly, there is a decision made against terrorism -- moreover, a fanatical kind of terrorism -- under the leadership that is located at the forefront of civilization at the beginning of the twenty first century.... A key element is more and improved attention to the problems in the Middle East."
"War Or Dialogue"
An opinion column by Rafael Diaz Ycaza in El Universo (9/25): "Pope John Paul II's words summarize the strongest longing of the world: no more terrorism and no more war! Yes, punishment for the authors of the genocide in the Twin Towers and Pentagon; but not a war that would spill the blood of more innocents.... A war such as the one planned by the U.S. would affect all the peoples of the world, those aligned (with the U.S.), the neutral ones and indifferent ones, now that we have a globalized world. Rich and poor, developed and third-world countries, all would suffer the consequences of the most stupid of human inventions -- war. . . It is not the time to spill more innocent blood, it is the time to punish terrorism."
"Globalization And Terrorism"
An opinion column by Felipe Burbano de Lara in center-left Hoy (9/25): "Terrorism has the absurd capacity of casting a shadow over reality, instead of uncovering it, it hides it; instead of revealing it in its blind contradictions, it covers it. It offers all the arguments that power requires to reaffirm itself. We see it these days with the U.S.: the superpower has never shown such determination to exercise its power on the world, under a terrible warning: either you are with us or with the terrorists...the enormous mobilization of U.S. military force to 'hunt down' one individual is comic and surreal. This is a gesture of enormous weakness."
"Strategic World Planning"
An opinion column by Jose Villamil in leading centrist El Comercio (9/25): "It is urgent that the UN assumes leadership at the maximum level and convokes the necessary meetings, not only to stop a possible conflagration, but also to plan strategically, at the world level, the new objectives of mankind; the policies, objectives and strategies that will allow the whole world to live fraternally. We must eliminate forever war and conflicts, destroy every type of weapon. Defense expenditures instead of creating shields should 'come down to earth' through an integral education that develops both hemispheres of the brain and all the potential of the people. Only in this way will we be able to create a new humanity."
"Repercussions In Ecuador"
An editorial in Quito's leading centrist El Comercio (9/23): "It is certainly no exaggeration to say that the sinister episodes of 'black Tuesday' had unprecedented dimensions and have affected the whole world. Moreover, there is a second part to come, with the U.S. response and the reprisals to that response. Ecuador, in the end, is also involved because our relation with that power is so broad that we have lost more than thirty fellow citizens, all of them honest workers.... But there are other important repercussions. One of them has to do with security. While the episode seems related to the Arab world, the lessons taught by it cannot be disregarded. Ecuador has internal problems and sensitive sites also. The tragedy contributes to modify various concepts, and many affirm that nothing will be the same from now on, which is in part becoming true."
"The Other Steps"
An editorial in Quito's center-left (influential) Hoy (9/23): "The first step of the operation called 'Infinite Justice' might be focused on Afghanistan.... The U.S. State Department has obtained wide support from other countries and there is international willingness to participate in this anti-terrorist fight.... However, the fight against terrorism does not end with a military action whose scope and consequences are still unknown. It is necessary to consolidate institutional mechanisms to fight it. In that sense, we must underscore the proposal of the European Union of approving new legislation against terrorism aimed at simplifying the extradition process, establishing mechanisms to order the search and capture of those responsible for international crimes, etc. Another important step in this fight against terrorism is the institutional exercise of justice on the part of the world community."
"The Global Alliance"
An opinion column by Franklin Barriga Lopez in El Comercio (9/23): "In Brussels...the terrorist attacks (on the U.S.) were defined as brutal attacks against mankind. There is no other way to analyze such atrocities, which serve only to ratify the unbelievable levels of savagery that hatred, religious fanaticism and suicidal extremism can lead to.... In that respect and in what relates to Ecuador, investigations have to be intensified, with the necessary international support, to detect those evil cells that, reportedly, also operate in our land and may be fueled by drug trafficking. In Colombia, links between the guerrillas and terrorism in various countries have been uncovered, financed by the virulent Saudi millionaire with dirty money from the drug business. . . .
"Can We Say That Terrorism Has Not Taken Root In Colombia?
An editorial in leading centrist El Comercio (9/23): "They could, at any time, use biological weapons and even atomic ones. That repulsive movement must be firmly neutralized with the cooperation of all governments. At the beginning of the Twenty First Century, terrorism has shown its perverse face with the cowardly and insane attack against the country which is the emblem of the West. Is it sensible to merely lament what has happened or would it not be better to give shape and functionality to that indispensable international coalition?"
"The Invisible War: First Act"
An opinion column by Hernán Ramos in leading centrist El Comercio held (9/23): "Never in the history of humanity has so much been written, in such a short time, about the same subject. And to keep pace with the vertigo of present times, it seems that a few people want the world to continue chatting a lot and reflecting very little about the true causes of what is happening.... Few doubts are left about the future balance.... The truth is that the path is clear for the consolidation of U.S. hegemony in the era of cyberspace. Humanity is facing a new scenario. One possible outcome would be that, after watching the horror, death and insane destruction provoked by forces not yet determined, the earth will attend the inauguration of a new era where knowledge and electronic information on a world scale have one indisputable and powerful patron: the U.S.... The dominant TV networks of the U.S -- CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, etc.-- are in the forefront of the victims of this ongoing process. During the crisis, the informative and editorial management of the attacks of September 11 has been scandalous, to say the least. A few individuals took possession of the facts and only the portion convenient for a group of interests was turned into news for the public (the whole planet, that is). For the effects of this analysis, it does not matter if the censure came from the desk of some news director, or from the office of a top government official. The truth is that there was globalized informative censorship.... The reader should be clear about this detail: the first act of the Invisible War has already started."
An opinion column by Juan Falconi Puig (Former Minister of Finance) in left-of-center Hoy (9/23): "We cannot deny that after such a treacherous, cowardly and unjustified blow...the U.S. is acting in a measured and patient way that many other countries have not demonstrated over the years. While some world leaders recommend prudence in response, it is equally true that some others have already declared their total support for the fair and necessary reaction by the U.S... To make things worse, Afghanistan calls for a jihad and the U.S. and its allies will have to face this holy war that will have long and painful consequences, because Afghan's Taliban profit economically even from evil acts."
An opinion column by Orlando Alcfvar in Guayaquil's (and Ecuador's) leading center-right El Universo (9/23) "Besides death, pain and destruction, which are the immediate consequences, we have to add, in the Ecuadorian case, the reduction of exports because the U.S. is our main buyer and everything seems to indicate that there will not be a way to avoid the U.S. recession that will affect all the economies in the Third World.... If there is reciprocal aggression between two or more countries, we will see what happens in the medium term. If the countries with Muslims majorities, presumably involved, cannot respond to a serious attack in a conventional war, no doubt terrorism will increase throughout the whole world."
"New Rules Of the Game"
An opinion column by Fausto Segovia in leading center-right El Universo (9/23): "I have the impression that there are new rules of the game in making a whole new world. Terrorism in the post-war era now has weapons of its own to attack the values of the West. And the difference from all other types of war is that the enemy is somewhat atypical: hidden, anonymous and cowardly because he does not show his face, as in a conventional war. Globalization as a geopolitical and geo-economic system is the pretext, according to some analysts, for the development of confrontations tainted with religious and political fundamentalism. But nothing justifies, nor explains the censurable aggression on U.S. soil by suicidal kidnapers trained to kill innocent people. We are approaching an 'important historical rupture in the world,' someone has said. The strategy against terrorism and terrorists in any place they may be must not emanate only from the U.S., but also from all other states and peoples, without regard to race, religion, culture, or social or economic position. The scourge of terrorism is a world threat. Yesterday it was an attack with human missiles against the centers of economic, political and military power. Tomorrow it may be an attack with biological, chemical and probably nuclear weapons. We have to fight against the roots of this scourge."
"Distrust In The Region"
Leading centrist El Comercio "Analysis" column noted (9/23): "If we are to believe the surveys, the European enthusiasm to take part in the actions is completely opposed to that of Latin America. Here, on the contrary, there are doubts about what the long-term consequences of operation 'Infinite Justice' will be. Not only because of our shared destiny as inhabitants of this earth, but also because of its possible consequences on the region. The attack of last September 11 changed the agenda of the Bush administration for Latin America, because Colin Powell could not concentrate as foreseen on the Andean Regional Initiative. The offer of prioritizing the funds for development over military expenditures was frozen. At the same time there is some uneasiness about possible attacks in Colombia, by virtue of the categorization of irregular groups made by the State Department. The U.S. representative denied it, while U.S. diplomacy states that the fight against terrorism goes beyond the military field and implies a comprehensive scenario: diplomatic, politic, economic and even law enforcement. But the mistrust over the Plan Colombia scenario will take longer to clear up."
"An Announced War"
An opinion column by Gonzalo Ruiz in leading centrist El Comercio (9/23): "We saw it coming. While the wounds of the tragedy remain open and the twisted wreckage of the massacre is still hot, while thousands of bodies whose exact numbers will probably never be known lie decomposing, the political response is being designed. 'Infinite Justice' is the name given to the operation the political heads of the unipolar power have proclaimed as the first war of the twenty first century.... after the terrorist attack, the world has changed, its consequences will be felt for years to come, feelings of revenge and xenophobia are visible. The first manifestations of ethnic and religious intolerance are already terrifying the Muslim community in the U.S. and the reprisals have been seen. It is important that the world not confuse every Arab with a terrorist."
GUATEMALA: "Not Once Did They Call for Revenge"
Conservative, anti-American afternoon La Hora ran a comment by editor Oscar Clemente Marroquin (9/25): "Last Sunday one of the most impressive prayer ceremonies took place at Yankee Stadium...throughout the many prayers... not once was the word 'retaliation' used as response to the attack.... However, outside Yankee Stadium things are different and the political implications of the attack are discussed. Some want the subject to be considered an isolated incident... with no historical precedents.... The problem with not understanding history is that we condemn ourselves to repeat the same mistakes. Therefore, it is essential to understand what has driven Muslim fundamentalists to consider themselves enemies of the United States."
"A Celebration Of Death?"
Leading, moderate morning Prensa Libre ran a column by Sam Colop (9/26): "The United States is going to attack Afghanistan without the full certainty that the monster it created has attacked... Powell says he will publicize a document that proves Bin Laden's guilt; however, the U.S. has prepared to crush him and the impoverished Afghan people militarily... however, there are still responsible citizens who oppose bloodshed, especially the blood of innocent people."
"For Or Against Terrorism"
Influential morning daily El Periodico (9/26) published the opinion of staff columnist Julio Cesar Godoy:
"There are no valid excuses not to condemn terrorism, or to support the fight against it... We must strongly support with decision and determination this worldwide crusade.... From now on, any country has the right, more than ever, to guard who lives in or visits its territory."
"Popular Support for Bush"
Leading circulation tabloid Nuestro Diario said in its main editorial (9/26): "Two weeks have gone by since the attacks... public opinion polls published in the U.S. indicate that 92 out of 100 Americans support military actions against those responsible for the attacks... this means President Bush has public support to act against international terrorists. At any moment an armed conflict may begin in Afghanistan."
"A Silent War"
Guatemala's conservative, business-oriented Siglo Veintiuno (9/26) ran a comment by staff columnist Karin Escaler (9/26): "It seems that Americans have learned a fundamental lesson from terrorism: it calls for powerful intelligence, more than a traditional war...and it never ends. A new cell is always forming, there is always someone who surfaces, there are always vestiges of hatred."
"Two Weeks After"
Largest-circulation daily tabloid Nuestro Diario said in its main editorial (9/25): "Two weeks-ago today, the United States and the world were shocked by the terrorist attacks... that resulted in more than six thousand victims.... The United States has offered a 25 million-dollar reward for the prime suspect... Osama bin Laden. Although it will be hard to heal the wounds left by the terrorist attacks, Americans must recover their normal lives.... The international community continues to support Bush and his administration so that those responsible for these terrorist attacks on Washington and New York are punished. Of course, the rest of the world asks the U.S. government that innocent people should not pay for the sins of those responsible."
"He Who Sows The Wind...."
Columnist Roberto Oliva Alonzo wrote in conservative, business-oriented Guatemala City Siglo Veintiuno (9/23): "First it must be affirmed that terrorism is to be condemned, no matter from whence it comes...it is also terrorism to threaten to destroy a nation for the simple fact that, without irrefutable evidence proving that someone is guilty, one wants to immolate one person, with the threat that if that suspect is not turned over, war will be declared.... The freedom of the press the Americans are so proud of has been ruined by keeping, since that tragic Tuesday, all the press releasing what the Department of State considers appropriate to reveal.... Some suspect that this is a Machiavellian plan, since historically the only thing that has reactivated the economy of the United States has been the arms industry, and what a coincidence that now that the economy is reaching a state of frank recession, conveniently comes an event that unleashes a war, which will permit that economic opening up that is so needed, since the allies will finance the purchase of weapons to punish those they accuse, and guess who will sell the arms?... Bin Laden was a student of the CIA since the age of 20, they taught him terrorist tactics, but then he was not bad, because he used (the tactics) against the Russians. The same thing happened with Noriega in Panama, Montesinos in Peru, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Pinochet in Chile, the military in Argentina, the Guatemalan military and others who were trained by that agency and when they no longer served its ends were discarded."
"Justice: Here And Now"
Columnist Constantino Diaz-Duran wrote in conservative, business-oriented Siglo Veintiuno (9/23): "I am neither sanguine nor thirsty for vengeance. But I firmly oppose those who say that no one should act and that a 'peaceful' solution should be sought. I share Bush's vision, when he says that 'whether we bring our enemies to justice, or justice to our enemies, justice will be done.' If world leaders in the middle of the 20th century had sought to appease Hitler, that fiend never would have been stopped, and it is the same with the demons responsible for the infamy of Sept. 11. One individual is not capable, no matter how much money he has, of coordinating all this, and state complicity is obvious; (the Taliban) have made it more obvious by refusing to turn over Osama bin Laden, and by threatening their neighbors."
"On The Brink of War"
Sunday editor Haroldo Shetemul wrote in his column in moderate, leading Prensa Libre (9/23): "The United States has launched its arsenal.... But...isn't Bush falling into Osama Ben Laden's trap? It is hard to believe that that colossal war machine would be launched to attack or even to scare a country like Afghanistan, whose population is drowning in hunger and a thousand other needs. A country like an obsolete military camp with no possibility of responding, in a conventional war, to the greatest power in the world. Would it not perhaps be in Bin Laden's interest to provoke the United States to obligate it to a military exercise that justifies a proclamation of jihad by the Islamic fundamentalists, a holy war, an edict to be universally honored by the most exalted Muslims? And while Bush shows off his powerful army in the Persian Gulf and puts the planet at the edge of a third worldwide conflagration, the terrorists perhaps stroll tranquilly through Central Park in New York or drink coffee along the Champs-Elysees in Paris, waiting for an order to act. If Bin Laden was the intellectual author of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks he has to be satisfied with his work, because now he will be able to convoke a holy war against a common enemy. Whatever its military form, the attack against Afghanistan could let loose greater hatred against the Americans...because it is attacking the effects, not the causes.... With its show of military power, all the United States is doing is exacerbating the feelings against that image of superpower.... The United States, after the terrorist attacks, has the right to legitimate defense and to lead the actions to combat those responsible for those disgraceful acts. The dilemma is the method and trying to avoid at any cost that future actions have more to do with vengeance than with justice.... What would happen if the great American operation ends in failure, in the style of Vietnam, with terrorist groups disseminated throughout the world? The broad worldwide alliance, above all under the direction of the UN, would be the best alternative to avoid errors that would then have horrible consequences."
Columnist Conrado Alonso wrote in moderate, leading Prensa Libre (9/23): "Hearing Mr. George giving his inflamed speech last Thursday in the U.S. Congress and hearing the waves of applause...made us forget that other George of some months ago.... He has definitely been anointed. So much so that he did not hesitate to describe the war that could break out at any moment....as 'infinite.' It seems to me that Mr. Bush has gone too far...an 'infinite war' is impudently coarse. Except that it acknowledges the difficulty of putting an end to terrorism because...there is no agreement on a universal and concrete concept of terrorism.... The war that is about to start, even though there were provocation and attack, should be finite. And aimed straight toward a primordial objective, which would be to submit terrorists...to the new international penal jurisdiction. And immediately after to sit at a round table, without complexes or fuss, so that Mr. George can ask the million-dollar question. Well, not one but a hundred questions. To open the dialogue, the first could be: Tell me sincerely how the Yankee empire has failed."
"With Me or Against Me"
Columnist Carolina Vasquez Araya wrote in moderate, leading Prensa Libre (9/24): "No one can dispute the need to combat terrorism and surely no one will dispute the need to unite against it. It obviously represents a real threat for all societies, and its methods are a negation of democracy and human rights. However, one can question the fact that a country gives itself the right to become the world's policeman and the only tribunal competent to judge crimes against humanity. Bush has declared war against Osama Bin Laden and his organization Al Qaeda. Despite the fact that in his speech he claimed to have plentiful evidence of the ties linking Bin Laden and his followers to the attacks of Sept. 11, he has not presented a single concrete piece of evidence that the Saudi is the material or intellectual culprit. No one has dared to ask, 'Does the United States have to offer proof?'... From here on out, any questioning of U.S. policy becomes a betrayal of the common cause and therefore a latent risk for any country that dares to confront its power. It is like a new fundamentalism, as dangerous as any other, only with a different god, dressed in stars and stripes. The fight against terrorism is a valid cause. It would be stupid to feel otherwise. But neither do we have to accept methods of combat that attack the basic values of co-existence between nations, such as respect for the self-determination of other peoples."
"Failure, Negligence, And/Or Corruption?"
Jorge Saavedra Almeida wrote in moderate, leading Prensa Libre (9/24): "The internal defense system was good, almost perfect. But...it failed! Or did it? Maybe it was quite good, but those in charge of it were careless, allowing the tragedy to happen. Could it not be, as also happens in some places, that there was an appalling corruption that hid the events for several minutes to delay the defense.... The first attack was absolutely unexpected. Inconceivable. There was no reaction! Eighteen minutes went by, and the second came, the same as the first. Still no reaction! Almost an hour later, the third, on the Pentagon. And the fourth might have worked, but it was aborted, preventing the plan from being perfect. And it is from there that doubts, terrible doubts, emerge.... It is said that two minutes after an attack from outside, it is possible to have planes in the air. Why were those planes not shooting down the other three, after the first unexpected one fulfilled its objective? And if the twin towers were civilian and had no protection, how is it possible that the brain of the country's defense had no (protection), preventing the attack on itself?...in individual cases, we have seen...that in skyscraper fires, helicopters are used to save the lives of those trapped in the upper part. Where were those helicopters Sept. 11? The normal mind cannot conceive that all this would fail. The abnormal mind of the terrorists conceived of it, and took advantage of it with only a one-fourth error.... It seems impossible that without the corruption of other people, still living, that so many innocent people could have died...That corruption is unacceptable."
Highest-circulation tabloid Nuestro Diario said in its lead editorial (9/21): "It seems strange to no one that President George Bush has reacted strongly against the aggression...to which his country was subjected. It is clear: Civilized nations know that the declaration of war against international terrorism is well-founded. Even more when those attacks cost thousands of innocent lives...The world is just waiting for the first attacks against the targets chosen by Washington against Afghanistan and those countries that shelter or support terrorism and terrorists...The so-called Taliban who rule the Afghans have to understand. It is not logical, though it is possible due to their religious extremism, for them to sacrifice their entire people for a single man. We saw what happened in the war against Iraq. Bombs and missiles destroyed cities and cost lives of civilians unrelated to the political-military conflict. What must be made clear is that even if Bin Laden turns himself over or is turned over to the United States or a mediating country by the Taliban, the war against international terrorism should not stop. At least that is the hope of underdeveloped people like ours and the many in Latin America, Africa, and Oceania where armed terrorism goes hand in hand with other serious problems."
"Operation Infinite Justice"
Columnist Jorge Palmieri opined in influential El Periodico (9/21): "I abhor war. I do not like violence, but I understand and share the rage of the Americans as a consequence of the treacherous terrorist attack...that caused the death of several thousand hard-working men and women. I wish the U.S. military did not have to carry out a reprisal to make an example of those who dared to humiliate the superpower by violating its supposed invulnerability. I wish there were always peace in the entire world; that once and for all the conflict in the Middle East between Palestinians and Israelis, which has already gone on for more than a half-century, would end. I wish that all human beings -- of whatever race, color, religion, ideas, and interests -- could live in peace and harmony, always seeking the common good and happiness. I wish that all Muslims would follow Allah's commandments of love, which his prophet Mohammed taught, and that all Buddhists would remember that Buddha said hatred only generates hatred and should be combated with love; and I wish that all the Christians would 'love one another' as Jesus preached. I wish, finally, that humanity were different from the way it is. But it is absurd to pretend that love could combat Hitler, Stalin, Kadhafi, Saddam Hussein, Bin Laden, and others like them."
Gustavo Berganza wrote in influential El Periodico (9/21): "Since Bush ascended to the presidency of the United States, we have begun to see a change in the way in which relations with Latin America would be handled. First of all, the arrival of a general, Colin Powell, as Secretary of State gave rise to thoughts that in this new era of U.S. diplomacy, force would be preferred over negotiation....if U.S. foreign policy had already shown signs of strengthening the role of world policeman that the country had taken on, the attacks on Sept. 11 served up on a silver platter the arguments to justify that role. Right now, the emotional impact of the tragedy...makes most Americans clamor for the use of military might and support expanding and lifting restrictions from CIA operations. One can envision that in this climate of paranoia, Washington could push forward a new version of the infamous national security doctrine that did so much damage to Latin America and that in the name of persecuting the terrorist menace, individual rights and freedoms could be sacrificed to guarantee state security."
HONDURAS: "Crime Against Civilization"
Miguel Angel Rodrfguez writing in conservative El Heraldo (9/27): "If the intent was to wound the heart and the pocketbook of the United States, the inventory and origin of the victims lay bare a different reality: they are mourning in homes in Uruguay, El Salvador, Spain, Honduras, Colombia, Greece, Japan, and Taiwan; today, there is anguish over the death or disappearance of loved ones in Italy, Cameroon, Germany, England, Chile, and Suriname; today there is a black ribbon on a number of homes in Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Puerto Rico... In sum, the attack was a crime against civilization, a stab in the back of humanity. The mourning is worldwide, but so is the sense of solidarity. Never has an ideology suffered such deterioration in its image as the cause of these criminals, whom not even the polar ice cap can protect from world justice."
NICARAGUA: "Bin Laden's Shameful Admirers"
Pro-government La Noticia editorialized (9/27): "Sandinista media have started looking for justifications to this horrendous crime, providing arguments to conclude that the United States 'is the greatest terrorist of all'... Bin Laden has no arguments to justify this savage offensive against the American people, the U.S.'s harmonious relations with other Arabic nations shows this fact. Trying to compare the U.S. and its foreign policy with Bin Laden and his international butchers is the most wicked foolishness you can conceive."
"The 'Afghan Syndrome' and its lessons"
Leftist El Nuevo Diario published an opinion article by Isabel Turrent, from Reforma news in Mexico advising the Bush Administration to take into consideration the former USSR's experiences in Afghanistan (9/26): "Before undertaking a definitive offensive against the terrorists and 'the country that harbors them,' the United States should take first as a fundamental lesson from the Soviet experience in Afghanistan and its consequences, [that]: it would be very difficult for a conventional army to defeat terrorists-guerrillas... when they have the support of the local civilians who harbor them.... Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense and Lewis Libby, Chief of Staff to Vice-president Cheney are promoting an immediate and extensive campaign [in Afghanistan]...an offensive of this magnitude would be a serious mistake.... Colin Powell is right: The U.S. cannot resolve everything in one stroke... due to the resentment generated by recent U.S. military offensives... which have claimed many civilians as victims, it is a relief to hear Powell say that before attacking this country 'it is necessary to prepare the diplomatic field, consult the allies, and justify American actions in compliance with the international law."
"Terror: The Window"
Leftist, independent El Nuevo Diario published an article by Sandinista Augusto Zamora, Sandinista (9/24): "We also suffered (terror) here, the name was the Somoza dictatorship. 50,000 persons dead was the cost. The terrorists were a psychological manual of operations produced by the CIA for the Contras....Forced and fair is support the United States, now that they know the terror. They (U.S.) want to be the leader in the fight to combat and eradicate (terrorism)...but [They should not be given] unlimited support.... Fight within the law, respecting human rights. Don't combat terror with terror; not imperialism disguised as anti-terrorism."
"Who Do We Pay Off?"
Leftist, independent El Nuevo Diario published an article by Oscar Merlo, News Editor, accusing the U.S. of terrorist actions against Nicaragua and comparing U.S. actions to those of Bin Laden (9/22): "Bin Laden was sentenced to death by Sheriff George W. Bush using the most genuine style of Hollywood Westerns.... We do not have Twin Towers to be destroyed, but they (the U.S. in its support of the Contras) made thousands of our young people disappear.... How many nations united to stop the hellish rage of Reagan and Bush? Who put a price on the head of the (U.S.) assassins that bathed Nicaragua in blood?... If Nicaragua had had the military and economic power of the United States, we would have placed signs all over the world with photos of Reagan and Bush saying: 'Wanted Dead or Alive'....the heirs of those who literally incinerated most of the people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki....are ready to take bloody revenge in response to the terror strike given to them by their own ex-friends who also hurt....their pride....The culprits Bin Laden and Company, must be punished if they were really the ones who committed such brutal actions that our eyes can hardly believe. Nevertheless, there has been no reflection on the part of the giant (U.S.), hurt over the way it interacts with the rest of the world, concerning their first reaction-stated in a house of God dedicated supposedly to love and forgiveness- was to kill those responsible for this tragedy....I, impotent inhabitant of the third world, ask: Who are we going to blame for our 50,000 dead?"
"Freedom And Security"
Focusing on the importance of strengthening U.S. internal security while guaranteeing citizen's rights and liberties, an editorial in center-right La Prensa published an editorial stating (9/21): "It is evident that after the terrorist attacks the U.S. faces the issue of finding the way to increase the nation's security without restricting civil liberties far beyond the strictly necessary.... In this case we areconfident the United States will find the way to preserve freedom."
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.… Something we are sure of is that the Jeyaidines (heroic Afghan soldiers) will resist again and will not be easy to enter the mountains that made the Afghans into the best guerillas in history."
"The Only Lie"
Independent La Prensa carried Sabrina Bacal's oped stating (9/27): "The most powerful man on Earth talked to the majority of the human beings angry about the horrendous attacks, and the meaning of his proposals was enriched by national unity and international solidarity...it doesn't mean that a forceful reaction is not necessary, but the United States runs the risk of loosing 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 don't believe that such a criminal act...can be an act of God or take His name to do it. We congratulate President Bush for his brilliant speech to the U.S. Congress. It was precise, well defined and shows the necessary determination, natural of Americans facing such conflicts. The terrorists have made the greatest error of their lives."
"Without Money, Very Little Can Be Done"
Independent La Prensa front-page editorial column said (9/25): "Terrorism, in a massive scale, is very costly.... That is why President Bush's decision to freeze terrorists' assets...attacks a neuralgic point. Without money, very little can be done.... That is why the United States appeals to the international community to examine accounts, identities, and transfers of resources that would allow them to locate suspicious transactions..... Without any doubt, this can affect the financial system of many countries...but if that is the price to pay, it is money well spent. After all, it is a fight between civilization and barbarism."
"Where Diplomacy Ends"
Ricardo Bustamante stated in conservative El Panama America (9/25): "The recent terrorist acts that took place in the United States, are nothing else but a inhumane and inadmissible response from a part of humanity that feels frustrated after many years of dialoguing without major results ... Facing an enemy without frontiers, we must put forward our major virtue, which is solidarity ... in a manner that will help us maintain peace, one that will also be theirs."
"Monies of Terror"
Pro government La Estrella de Panama front page editorial column asserted (9/25): "The Banking Superintendency ratified its decision to prosecute the financial crimes, especially those of money laundering and those related with terrorism ... This is not new for Panama ...but represents its commitment to be vigilante in seeing that banks and financial institutions rigorously enforce laws and regulations."
Sensationalist El Siglo's inside editorial stressed (9/25): "To qualify terrorism as a crime against humanity and the U.S. position of dividing the world between its allies and the terrorists' allies, seems to have obligated countries like ours to act forcefully in the face of facts like the ones being confronting our country. There is no doubt that terrorism is a terrific flagellum against civilization, but we should act with prudence."
"Bush's Clear Warnings"
Independent La Prensa said in the front-page editorial column "Hoy por Hoy" (9/21): "In an impressive manifestation of political unity, Republicans and Democrats alike rose to their feet to applaud the speech of President George W. Bush before the U.S. Congress.... There were hard words loaded with clear warnings revealing the firm intention to fight terrorism within and without the United States.... God grant that the necessary prudence and moderation be maintained so that any military actions taken do not end up undermining the essential human values in whose defense the actions were invoked. In politics and above all in war, the means taken customarily compromise the ends."
"Bush Defines U.S. Demands"
Sensationalist El Siglo opined (9/21): "The President of the United States drew a dividing line between those that are with them [U.S.] and those that are with the terrorists.... George Bush defined his country's basic demands.... In this way, the U.S. administration hardened its position...stated it is not a U.S. fight, but one for the whole world, for civilization, in a clear expression of hope for collective action.... President Bush's speech is without doubt, a concrete call for a common front to confront terrorism and those countries that protect them, and a signal for the U.S. people and the whole world of a long battle to come."
PARAGUAY: "We Have To Defeat Terrorism For Good"
Top-circulation ABC Color editorialized (9/28): "While the U.S. advances in its investigations of the terrorist attacks and prepares military, diplomatic, and economic actions against the extraordinary effectiveness of the criminal organization which is attacking them...certain voices are beginning to be heard in opposition, exhorting calm or demanding inaction in the name of peace. There are moments in human history in which ethical values acquire different dimensions and some become superior to others.... In this moment, to declare oneself pacifist can mean very contradictory things.... The U.S. and its allies have a moral obligation to hunt down the terrorists who sit in their barracks in Afghanistan and destroy them there or bring them out to face justice. And they should do the same to the complicit Taliban regime.... We have to defeat terrorism for good. We can not think that there exists even the most minimal chance of failure in pursuing the cowardly and bloody war initiated by the terrorists. Because if we do, it would be practically the end of Western civilization and, if the terrorists begin to employ chemical or biological weapons, perhaps of the planet."
"Justice and Reason"
Centrist, influential Ultima Hora editorialized (9/28): "As the days pass, though not the effects of the tremendous impact which destroyed the twin towers and moved humanity, fortunately we are seeing a tempering of bellicose spirits calling for vengeance, and the imposition of reason, the search for consensus to punish the savage criminals, while avoiding harm to innocent people. Faced with a new type of terror which targets all with complete irrationality, rather than military objectives of a country or a particular policy, it is good that the globalized world react in a way in which justice and reason predominate. This is not about stigmatizing a people or a religion, who are also victims of irrational savagery; this is about finding an effective way to fight against terror"
"Waiting For The Seventh Cavalry"
Pro-business Noticias ran an op-ed piece by commentator Jose Maria Guerrero (9/28): "While the Seventh Calvary is arriving, we must obtain from the United States a good dose of clarity and transparency, without giving an advantage to the enemy nor to terrorism. This is clear, because we should also receive from the [United States] a robust example of respect for international law, in the context of the United Nation and the truth. As of today we have no answers; we hope that in the next few hours or days, when everything is ready, we will be informed what happened, who did it, and what is happening. And, above all, what will happen."
"Since September 11"
Respected political commentator Carlo Martini opined in centrist, influential Ultima Hora (9/26): "Until September 11 the Bush administration operated excessively ignoring the external world. The rejection of the Kyoto Protocol...the attempt to reconsider the anti-missile treaty of 1972 to advance the construction of its anti-missile shield, the negative reaction regarding creation of an international war crimes tribunal, were some points of its unilateral foreign policy. President Bush had to turn 180 degrees and urgently request the creation of a coalition against terrorism on a global scale. [The U.S.] remembered everyone else. Now that the imperial republic has shown itself to be vulnerable, and that additional strong attacks could occur on its own soil, now more than ever is an opportunity to rethink its foreign policy."
PERU: "In Peru And In The OAS"
Center-left La Republica editorialized (9/25): "President Toledo and U.S. Ambassador, John Hamilton, met on Friday. Toledo handed Hamilton a second statement issued by the government of Peru...reaffirming its support to Washington's and the international community's fight against terrorism... Toledo made it clear afterwards that this was not an endorsement for a war on countries nor was it an unconditional or unlimited endorsement... Our country suffered bloody terrorist attacks for almost twenty years and though the attack on the U.S. is one of other type and magnitude, Peru's solidarity with the people and the government of the United States was stated as expected... Peru's contributions to the resolution issued by the OAS Ministers of Foreign Affairs Extraordinary Assembly in Washington have been in that same direction... The last articles of the resolution are particularly important since they reaffirm that the war against terrorism should be carried out with full respect for law, human rights and democratic institutions... Certainly, Peru's main contribution to the summit has been its proposed Antiterrorist Interamerican Convention Project... In spite of the fact that the OAS position is basically coincident with that of the European Union... it is not a carte blanche for the U.S. to act on its own out of international law.... Actions to repel the attacks should not end in a bloody war that hamper the safeguard of the planet."
Political Analyst Jorge Bruce asserted in El Comercio's weekend magazine Somos (9/22): "Although I'm not wild about President Bush, I must agree with him when he says that the planes that crushed the Twin Towers have destroyed buildings but not his society's foundations. However...if the U.S. decides to massively attack the poor people of Afghanistan, which are ruled by one of the world's most backward regimes...and U.S. security agencies are granted dangerous surveillance authority...then the terrorists would have fully achieved their objective of destabilizing the world order.... Ojala (an Arab word that comes from Insha'allah, which means, 'May God desire') the United States does not fall into this terrible trap."
"Latin America and the United States after the Attacks"
Reliable business Gestion reflected (9/22): "There is no doubt that after the attacks, the world will not be the same. Some analysts even think that it is the beginning of the end of globalization.... It is expected that security measures in the U.S. will be exerted to the utmost... and the U.S. is carrying out investigations on international terrorism's sources... and transactions that might have profited from the attacks... As a result, the region's affairs might be relegated... Mexico, whose economy might be pushed to recession by (the U.S.) its major commercial partner's economic situation, may have to forget, at least for a while, the immigration treaty. Argentina might not receive the additional support required to bail out its economy; devaluation might produce a rise of inflation in Brazil...and Peru's economic recovery might take longer... With the imminent scenario of a worldwide recession... it is indispensable that each country in the region...reduce their macroeconomic imbalances."
"Change In Priorities"
Reliable business Gestion commented (9/21): “In spite of the possibility that the terrorist attacks…could delay the U.S. economic recovery process… A negative effect [for Peru] that should be noted is the one derived from the dramatic change in the United States’ priorities… At present, U.S. authorities are most concerned withtheir fight against terrorism. President Bush administration’s efforts are now focused towards that objective… Bilateral relations with Peru will only become relevant for the U.S. if our country could provide any effective support on that direction… It is therefore unrealistic to believe that the U.S. will be able to devote part of its time to decide whether Peru’s interdiction programs should be restored or ATPA related issues negotiated.”
Center-right opposition Expreso editorialized (9/21): "As it was expected, the U.S. is now getting ready for a strong military response against those who dared to attack them. They have the right to do so and, as in the past, the U.S. is now looking for allies to support their ‘infinite justice’ operation… Some irresponsible local leaders want to join the armed antiterrorist coalition brokered by the U.S. We believe it would be a mistake. Latin America must contribute as a civilized region to the war against international terrorism through coordination of intelligence actions and the provision of information on suspected activities… But we should never get involved in an unknown military operation… We don’t want Islamic terrorists to get connected to the FARC guerrilla or the remnants of Sendero Luminoso.”
VENEZUELA: "Whatever Happened To The UN"
Afternoon TalCual frequently critical of the U.S., maintained (9/24): "The huge U.S. political and military mobilization has already taken its first victim: the UN. It is curious to see the lack of reaction from the UN Security Council on the terrorist attacks and on America's decision to 'hunt down' Bin Laden in the mountains of Afghanistan. The headquarters of the UN seem to have come down along with the twin towers. Unlike Operation Desert Storm against Iraq in 1991 and the distant war against North Korea in 1950, this time the Bush administration hasn't even bothered to seek cover for its moves. Bush hasn't thought it necessary to have the UN legitimize his acts.... This is the apex of U.S. unilateralism: the refusal to sign Kyoto, the refusal to join the ICC, the decision to end the ABM treaty, the withdrawal from the Durban conference, the end to a proactive policy in the Arab-Israeli conflict: all have been steps the U.S. has taken to set aside the collective mechanism established by the UN to deal with world affairs and world conflicts.... Some would say that the world's unanimous response against terrorism has made the UN's validation unnecessary. However, this unanimous support is more apparent than real. Not even in the Bush administration is there a common view on the scope of the operation that has unfolded... Under these circumstances, making the UN subordinate to the U.S. is probably the road to ruin for all collective security mechanisms, leaving the world subject to the will of a superpower whose decisions will not always be totally accepted, just as Operation Infinite Justice is not now. Is this the road to peace?"