|Office of Research||Issue Focus||Foreign Media Reaction|
The following is a round-up of most current global media opinion on the U.S. led campaign against terrorism highlighting regional concerns and perceptions. The array of views indicates the extent to which the anti-terror effort has permeated and eclipsed other issues of international concern.
SOUTH ASIA: Secretary of State Colin Powell's trip to Pakistan and India was the focus of editorial commentary, but most observers were less than impressed with the results. Indo-Pak journalists held that Secretary Powell's remarks on Kashmir and terrorism had done no harm to their relations with the U.S., but most concluded that he had done nothing to resolve the explosive Kashmir dispute. Indian writers saw little evidence that the U.S. would help New Delhi fight terrorism in Kashmir. Pak writers, disappointed on Kashmir and economic assistance, declared that Islamabad should not fulfill U.S. wishes to "withdraw from jihad" [in Kashmir] because "without jihad there is no Islam." The centrist, national News quoted a Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman who was "confident that the U.S. would not use chemical weapons in Afghanistan." [On 10/18 sensationalist Khabrain had featured this front page headline: U.S. Considering Using Biological Weapons Against Afghanistan: Accuses Tehran Times."]
MIDEAST: Continued violence circling the Israeli-Palestine conflict and NSA Condoleezza Rice's interview with Al-Jazeera earlier this week did little to assuage concerns in the Arab and Israeli press, where most saw the U.S. falling short on the diplomatic front. Arab opinion molders listened to NSA Rice but remained wedded to long-standing grievances that the U.S. is beholden to the Jewish American lobby. Though offering different perspectives, both Israeli and Arab observers claimed that the U.S. has the means, if it is sincere, to solve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. According to Arab writers, UBL's attempt to hijack the Palestinian issue did not absolve the U.S. of the responsibility to do something about it. A conservative Israeli daily chided that, the U.S., for all its support for Israel, "has not been able to bring itself to do what it just did in India: press both sides to resolve their underlying disputes peacefully, while standing unequivocally with a democratic ally in a fight against terrorism." Although Rice's Al-Jazeera interview garnered significant press attention found "nothing new" in her statements. The prevailing view was that the U.S. is offering Arabs a "false equation," i.e., the war against terrorism is not against Islam or Arabs--nevertheless, it is Muslims and Arabs who will have to pay for Sept. 11.
EUROPE: Two key themes emerged in editorial pages over the past week: concern about a prolonged military campaign in Afghanistan, and speculation about the contours of a post-Taliban government in Kabul. In NATO media outlets [Greece excepted], the general consensus at both ends of the political spectrum held that military action is justified and necessary, but it was accompanied by growing impatience with U.S. tactics to date and worry about "deteriorating" humanitarian conditions. In the UK, for example, the liberal Guardian underscored its support for military action, but voiced concern about the "mounting civilian casualties and unimaginative, conventional tactics employed so far," while the conservative Times argued that if the U.S. "genuinely means to fight and win this engagement," it must "step up the pace and step it up now." Some maintained that Washington's reliance on air strikes alone and its perceived "wavering" in initiating a phase-two ground war "risks the worst of outcomes: maximum uproar in the Muslim world and minimum impact on the enemy." Many saw the military campaign hobbled by delays in establishing a "political alternative for Afghanistan" and stressed the need for "a political strategy" parallel to the air strikes.
EAST ASIA: Observers anticipated that September 11 would eclipse the APEC summit. Anxiety about the anti-terrorism campaign's effect on U.S.-China relations, anti-Americanism in Asian Islamic countries and the global economy left writers struggling with how Asia can speak with one voice on trade and security issues. Meanwhile Chinese dailies, noting President Bush's interview with the People's Daily and two other Asian news organizations, struck the calming note that U.S.-Chinese "common interests" in the anti-terrorism fight portend "healthier" bilateral ties in the future.
WEST. HEM.: From Buenos Aires to Winnepeg, concerns about the anthrax threat spreading "panic" and "globalization of fear," questions about the extent or limits of the military operation and the uncertainty about a post-Taliban Afghanistan surfaced as common threads in media commentary. Secretary Powell's trip to South Asia amid the resumption of the Kashmir conflict, the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian violence and the opening of APEC ministerial in Shanghai also underscored for many the challenges facing the U.S. in its efforts to cultivate an international coalition, including the search for common ground in "the anti-terror rhethoric." Most conservative, government and financial dailies throughout the hemisphere remained supportive of or resigned to the U.S. military action, but did express some impatience with the campaign's results thus far and worried about the future of Afghanistan. Speaking for many in this camp, Guatemala's business-oriented Siglo Veintiuno noted, "The diplomacy that fills the void left after a successful military action, that takes into account the needs and interests of other countries...has not been developed." Many wanted to see the UN playing a more proactive role. In contrast, most left-leaning papers in Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador and Nicaragua suggested U.S. was taking advantage of the crisis to pursue a "new imperialist adventure." Capturing this cynicism, Mexico's left-of-center La Jornada saw "the aggression in Afghanistan" as "the first step of a U.S. strategy to replace the neoliberal model...with a neo-Keynesian war economy and political control through a consensus model."
AFRICA: Observers from Abuja to Pretoria warned that conflict- and poverty-riven Africa can neither afford a global confrontation between "cross" and "crescent," nor a major redirection of aid funds to the terrorism fight. Nevertheless, resolute editorials determined that after the Kano riots and Kenya's anthrax scare, Africa must prepare to meet the terrorism threat on its own soil. Some dailies urged the continent's Muslims to consider that while "madmen" like UBL tap into Third World disillusionment with the U.S. and the West in general, they offer no vision for the future. In Nigeria, Kano- and Kaduna-based papers blasted the Obasanjo government's support for the anti-terror campaign while a Lagos independent paper asked the government to get tough with extremists. Meanwhile, writers across the continent called on the U.S. to review its policies, particularly in the Middle East, in order to deprive extremists of fertile ground for new recruits.
EDITORS: Irene Marr, Katherine Starr, Gail Burke, Steve Thibeault
EDITOR'S NOTE: This survey is based on 161 editorials from 64 countries, October 12 - 19. Editorial excerpts are grouped by region and country, and listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "Afghan Ground Rules"
The liberal Guardian expressed this view (10/19): "In setting out their objectives to the attack on Afghanistan, Tony Blair and George Bush stressed a three pronged approach: military, diplomatic and humanitarian. It was on the understanding that these three policy elements would be given equal weight, as well as mutually reinforcing, that many people in this country, including this newspaper, decided that the overall strategy could be supported. There was, and remains, no disagreement about the primary aim of military action: to capture those most probably responsible for the September 11 attacks. The military campaign that began 11 days ago has proved problematic, not least because of mounting civilian casualties and the unimaginative, conventional tactics employed so far. But it is also in danger of eclipsing the two other main policy elements. It is on the humanitarian front that the greatest concern is now focused."
The lead editorial in the conservative Times stated (10/19): "The Taliban are laying in winter stores, seizing massive quantities of grain, medicines, vehicles, and communications equipment from relief agencies.... If anything is breaking down, it is the West's power to intimidate. That power turns on the conviction that the United States genuinely means to fight and win this engagement.... The more Washington and London hint at a 'long haul' in Afghanistan, the harder the Taliban and al-Qaeda pull on the rope. The more the United States is seen to be pulling its punches, the less likely are mass defections. This campaign is not going to be won by waiting for the Taliban to crumble, let alone by Colin Powell's talk this week in Islamabad of bring 'moderates' within the Taliban movement into the democratic fold.... Swords do not turn into ploughshares until they are beaten. Further delay would mean a difficult winter war, or waiting until next spring. To wait would be a triumph for bin Laden and a humanitarian catastrophe for Afghanistan and the region. To be too caring of Afghanistan's future stability could be to destroy Pakistan's. There is no choice but to step up the pace and step it up now."
"The Net Tightens"
An editorial in the conservative Daily Telegraph opined (10/17): "As the West has agonized over the morality and efficacy of the bombing campaign, it has been easy to lose sight of just how dire things are becoming for the Afghan regime.... By now, however, bin Laden must be fully pre-occupied with his own survival.... It was always a central part of his terrorist creed that America was too decadent to fight him. The events of the past 10 days can have left him in no doubt that he was wrong on that score.... The American assault on Afghanistan must have severely circumscribed his ability to plan further outrages. Meanwhile, the net around both bin Laden and the Taliban is tightening all the time. They are diplomatically isolated.... The coalition against them is established on Afghanistan's borders and already has supremacy over the country's skies. Now American gunships are beginning to hunt them along the highways. Bin Laden has had his propaganda successes since September 11, and these should not be discounted. Nor can the possibility of further outrages be ruled out. Nevertheless, once their Taliban protectors are removed, he and his followers will be on their own facing the full might of the U.S.-led coalition."
"A Future For The Afghans"
An editorial in the liberal Guardian read (10/17): "The crucial importance of forging an agreement on the broad outlines of a post-Taliban interim government has come into sharp focus with the visit to Islamabad of...Powell. The war in Afghanistan is now entering a potentially definitive four-week period delimited, militarily and politically, but the advance of winter and the beginning of Ramadan on November 17. If the allies fail to achieve a decisive breakthrough by then...they face a protracted war of attrition in deteriorating conditions, an increasingly uncontrollable internal conflict and a falling away of Muslim government support, especially in the Middle East. The creation of a viable, broad-based alternative to the Taliban and of a UN-led framework for the country's gradual rehabilitation would head off this daunting prospect.... The key question is how such an agreement can be made.... Pakistan's leader wants a big say in any further government--and minimal influence for his Northern Alliance foes. But he also badly needs the dollars, the weapons and the refurbished strategic alliance that Mr. Powell is offering. How better to reconcile and achieve these aims than to encourage the United States in the belief that Mullah Muttawakil and other Taliban 'moderates' are part of the diplomatic solution? This also explains his unsolicited advice to the U.S. to kill Mullah Omar without further delay. Mr. Powell is doubtless aware of these man-traps."
"To Win Afghan Campaign U.S. Must Look To Future"
The conservative Times held (10/16): "As the U.S. defense secretary knows...a simple prolonged traditional air campaign risks the worst of outcomes, maximum uproar in the Muslim world and minimum impact on the enemy.... The immediate need is to keep up the military momentum; any whiff of stalemate emboldens the Taleban and makes bin Laden more deadly.... In so far as uncertainty about how to secure a congenial political outcome is reducing the military options...the postwar future too has to be confronted.... The West must show now that it has at least some eye to the future and is looking in some way to make good Churchill's pledge of 'in victory, magnanimity'."
"Longer War Continues, More Difficult It Will Become"
The centrist Independent observed (10/16): "Victory is unlikely to be secured, blood-free, from the air. Almost certainly it will require risking American lives on the ground.... On every front--military, political, diplomatic and at home--America must display patience and unwavering commitment. President Bush, it must be acknowledged, has demanded such qualities from the first. But modern America is a country addicted to the quick fix, and one which is easily bored. The longer this war continues, the more difficult it will become."
Jacques Amalric opined in left-of-center Liberation (10/16): "The United States is giving the unpleasant impression of irresolution at the highest possible level.... The aim of the strikes has always been to weaken or destroy the Taliban defense capabilities, in order to facilitate the launching of a limited ground offensive to smoke out the Islamic extremists. Nothing for the time being appears to be developing according to this plan.... Besides Washington's reticence to endanger the life of its men, its principal handicap resides in the fact that [it] does not want to ostracize Pakistan.... By constantly delaying the question of a post-Taliban regime, the United States is doomed to pursuing its strikes.... They will necessarily cause civilian victims, and will not make sense to the man on the street. It is about time Washington understood and remembered that it is possible to envisage a transitory regime for Kabul with the help of the UN."
"The French Undecided"
Charles Lambroschini judged in right-of-center Le Figaro (10/15): "The French are the undisputed friends of the U.S. but they hesitate to turn into absolute allies.... They...hope the United States will be sufficiently strong to win without them... as they try to forget about two realities. One is a moral reality: In spite of the errors Washington might have made in the Middle East or elsewhere, it is Bin Laden who is the murderer of 6,000 civilians and the bad guy and America the good guy. The other reality is political: after the expected victory, the United States will be distributing roles in its new world order in accordance with the amount of blood shed by its allies... France, which had the political courage of fighting against terrorism, does not have the courage of military involvement... In a war, you must choose sides."
GERMANY: "What Future?"
Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger noted in a front-page editorial in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/17): "The main goal of [Powell's South Asia] visit was to sharpen the contours of plans for Afghanistan's postwar order. Powell combined the two by assuring...General Musharraf, that moderates from the Taliban could also belong to a future government. This...disconcerting communication reveals...the pragmatic realities of an alliance driven by expediency, an alliance whose partners' political interests dovetail only partially."
"The Unclear Road To Victory"
Peter Muench judged in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (10/17): "The main question behind the current campaign is not how to topple the Taliban and the Bin Laden gang in Afghanistan. The more important question is this: Whose blessing is necessary for creating a stable situation after the campaign?... Diplomat Powell is looking for an answer during his travels. Finding the answer will be almost impossible. After twenty years of war an civil war in Afghanistan, the different interests not only of the warring factions but also of their protector nations have to be taken into account. Nevertheless, Powell showed political skill in Pakistan by proposing that 'moderate Taliban' may play a role in Afghanistan's future. His proposal addresses Islamabad's fears of coming up empty-handed if the Northern Alliance and King Zahir Schah divide Afghan power among themselves. Powell has also demonstrated that the Americans are not waging a blind war against the Taliban. Instead, they are trying to establish a new balance in a region without stability."
"War On The Ground"
Centrist Tagesspiegel of Berlin maintained (10/17): "Pakistan is becoming the most important factor in the second phase of the campaign. Due to their close proximity to Taliban territory, the Pakistani military bases are of tremendous value to the Americans.... Up to now, no other country in the region has been standing by the Americans as clearly as Pakistan.... Thus it is only appropriate that Powell's first trip abroad after September 11 brings him to Islamabad.... The developmental aid promised Pakistan by the Americans is an absolute necessity in light of the refugee problem. Even more important to Pakistan is Powell's assurance that the Pashtun will be part of a future Afghan government.... Powell must do everything in his power in order to prevent a destabilization of the region."
"A Political Offensive"
Stefan Kornelius maintained in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (10/16): "It is high time to place more emphasis on a second, political strategy in parallel with the air strikes. The basis for such a strategy was put in place right after the terrorist attacks: the coalition against Afghanistan and the isolation of the Taliban, especially with the help of rival Afghan groups.... An uprising of Afghan troops against the rulers would send an important signal to the rest of the Islamic world.... This political part of the strategy...cannot completely replace the airstrikes that are necessary to rob the Taliban of their military apparatus.... Hesitation [on the military front] would only invite more terror from the Bin Laden gang."
Michael Backfisch observed in an editorial in business daily Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf (10/16): "'This war is about the destruction of the Taliban regime, not about the construction of Afghanistan,' argued Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post. But this kind of steamroller logic cannot contain political extremism. The United States should develop a comprehensive aid program for Afghanistan along with a limited military campaign. This is the hour of a Marshall Plan for Asia that could be administered by the UN."
ITALY: "The Kabul Ghosts"
A report from Islamabad in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (10/17) by Guido Rampoldi read: "After nine days, the Taliban no longer have a political-military leadership except for Mullah Omar who, however, has to hide.... But the obvious success scored by the air raids against weak guerrillas shows the limits of the U.S. strategy: Washington has implemented a military plan without having defined a political plan to attract 'pragmatic' Taliban leaders. It has allowed its planes to take off without first establishing--through money--the necessary relationships with military leaders who would be willing to defect, or with groups willing to engage in a war of liberation.... And, most important, it has beheaded the regime, but the Taliban are still there, confused, depressed and probably scared, but still willing to fight since they have no other way out. Thus the easy triumph over the Middle Ages of the Mullahs can perhaps placate the understandable anxiety of U.S. public opinion, but, at the same time, risks dragging Washington into an adventure full of risks, and Afghanistan into the umpteenth phase of military anarchy."
"Powell To Pakistan: 'New Afghan Government Will Include The Taliban'"
Washington correspondent Ennio Caretto noted in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (10/17): "Moderate Taliban leaders will be able to be part of a temporary government coalition in Afghanistan. Powell and Musharraf unexpectedly reached an agreement yesterday after three hours of talks.... The announcement marks the beginning of a crucial political turn in the war on terrorism. It represents a success for Pakistan, that has been a supporter of the Taliban and has used them as a buffer with India, and a success for America, that wants to show that it is open to all Islamic groups, exceptions made for terrorist groups. Furthermore, it lays the basis for a split between Taliban leader Mullah Omar, the defender of bin Laden, and the moderate wing that opposes him, secretly led, according to The New York Times, by Foreign Minister Mullah Muttawakil. And it finally enables the various rebel groups to coordinate a massive ground offensive once U.S. air raids are over."
RUSSIA: "U.S., Russia Do Right Thing But...."
Aleksey Kiva commented in official parliamentary Parlamentskaya Gazeta (10/19): "In the face of terrorism, the United States has taken the only possible course of action. You don't appease terrorists. You destroy them. Russia, too, has done the right thing, guided by its own interests, as any normal country would be. In fighting international terrorism, it identifies with America and the rest of the civilized world. But as the Russians commit themselves to action against the Taliban extremists, they make it plain that there is a limit to what they can do.... Much in the ongoing campaign, Enduring Freedom, is still unknown, unpredictable, and has little to do with freedom. It may even be fraught with a big war."
"Turning Point in Afghanistan's History"
Viktor Korgun mused in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (10/18): "The U.S. military action against terrorism in Afghanistan may cause a sharp change in the geopolitical make-up of Central Asia and the Middle East, upsetting the situation in that vast region, troubled as it is. It is hard to predict the consequences of the operation. No doubt, Afghanistan, now at a turning point in its history, is going to become a key element in the unfolding drama. The fate of its people, in large measure, depends on the goals of the United States and the international coalition. If Washington limits itself to the use of force to neutralize Bin Laden and his El Qaeda and to destroy the Talibs' military potential, we are in for more trouble in that region. The crisis will not end. To solve it, the use of force needs to be combined with political means."
"War: New Phase"
Vadim Markushin commented on page one of centrist army Krasnaya Zvezda (10/17): "Committing the green berets to action means that the operation has entered a new phase, one on land. With a shortage of 'full-fledged' targets for U.S. and British warplanes, the new stage of the war promises a higher efficacy of the operation. As the green berets get into action, the Talibs will have increasingly less room for maneuver and become totally boxed in once the Americans and the Northern Alliance decide to strike jointly.... The terrorist attacks on Washington and New York at once, owing to their monstrosity, have caused great damage, including to the Americans' famed rationality, as emotions and a hunger for revenge prevail."
"Americans Vague About Their Goals"
Aleksey Andreyev noted in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (10/17): "Islamabad is not the only one to wonder about the ultimate goal behind the military strikes against Afghanistan. Western politicians usually answer that question rhetorically, referring mostly to a need to check international terrorism. But they are vague and sketchy when it comes to specifics.... Statements by U.S. politicians, including National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice's strong anti-Iraqi statement the day before yesterday, make their country's Iraq policy even more obscure, especially in light of what has been said about Baghdad's involvement in anthrax attacks against the West."
“A Coalition Government Is The Most Practical Idea”
Kirill Belyaninov wrote in reformist Noviye Izvestiya (10/16): “So far, U.S. intelligence services have been unable to establish contact with the leaders of the Pushtun tribes, which make up the bulk of the Afghan population. That dashes all hopes for organized resistance to the Talibs in the South of the country. For the moment, of all options considered by the CIA, a coalition government led by 86-year old ex-King Mohammed Zahir Shah is the most practical one. But the Northern Alliance has yet to agree with the Pushtun leaders on who will be in the coalition.”
ARMENIA: “Bush: We Are A Peace Loving Nation”
Center-right Azg opined (10/17): “It seems that the Americans would not stop bombing even after bin Laden’s detention. Probably it is convenient--the U.S. wants to arrest bin Laden and destroy Afghanistan. The leading U.S. newspapers, such as the “New York Times”, the “Washington Post” and “USA Today” are supporting the American-British bombing in Afghanistan in general. However, they doubt whether it is possible to struggle against international terrorism by bombing, or whether bin Laden is the real organizer of the September 11 attacks, or whether bombing is justified when innocent people are being killed.... Even U.S. TV stations that justify the military campaign against Afghanistan note that about 300 innocent citizens were killed during the first week of the war. And if it goes on like this for some weeks Americans will kill as many people in Afghanistan as were killed during the September 11 terrorist attack... America is a nation that loves cruel games.”
AUSTRIA: "Second Phase"
Senior columnist Ernst Trost wrote in mass-circulation tabloid Kronen Zeitung (10/18): "So now the Americans have further intensified their air raids. But where will it end? In Pakistan, Islamic resentment keeps growing fast. And if Israel's Premier Sharon decides that the murder of one of his ministers calls for massive retaliation, tension in the Islamic countries is likely to mount even further. Which, in turn, gives the fundamentalists the chance to recruit more and more Muslims for their 'Holy War'."
"Powell: Architect of the Post-Taliban Era"
Foreign affairs writer Walter Friedl opined in mass-circulation Kurier (10/16): "In contrast to former conflicts, the U.S. now seems to have been a lot more far-sighted in developing their political strategy. (...) Allegedly, there's a master plan behind the diplomatic offensive: A comprehensive U.S. peace plan for the Middle East, which has always been considered the key to fighting Islamic terrorism. (...) Just as determinedly and cautiously as Powell forged the international anti-terror alliance in the days following the attacks on the U.S., he is now working as the architect of the post-Taliban era."
BELGIUM: "Enough Bombs"
Foreign affairs writer Roger Huisman in Catholic Het Belang van Limburg (10/17): "More than a week after the start of large-scale bombings on Afghan targets one should wonder whether it isn't preferable to stop the heavy fire and to let the Taliban regime implode quietly.... Of course, targeted actions of the 'Special Forces' to get Osama bin Laden and his gang out of an Afghan hole remain legitimate. But, every new cluster bomb or AC-130 raid against populated areas increase the risk of causing innocent civil victims.... The Americans started very late an offensive of charm to win the 'hearts and souls' of the people in the Islamic countries. On Monday, Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, in the wake of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, gave an interview to al-Jazeera. Reportedly, even President Bush thinks about granting an interview to this 'Arab CNN.' However, more is needed than a few nice and well-chosen soundbites. It is high time for the West to turn those nice words into concrete deeds. As a start, there could be the complete implementation of all the UN resolutions to give the Palestinians, at last, a genuine and, above all, viable state."
CZECH REPUBLIC: "Waiting For Winter"
Frantisek Sulc commented in right-of-center Lidove Noviny opined (10/17): "Progress at the battle line will be most relevant to refugees. Winter will start in Afghanistan in a month and this is bad news not only for them, but also for the Northern Alliance. Ground operations will be difficult to pursue even with American help, refugees will not be able to return, and it will almost impossible to supply them. It is necessary to act quickly otherwise, the war will turn against those who don't want to fight - the ordinary Afghanis."
DENMARK: "War In Our Time"
Left-wing Information asserted (10/17): "After more than a week of constant bombing, bin Laden still has not been 'smoked out of his hole,' as President Bush likes to put it. Instead, the Afghani people are suffering from the air-strikes and hunger. Doubts are creeping in throughout world about direction of the campaign. What is America's strategy? Before the campaign started, Bush said that he would not be wasting expensive missiles on bombing cheap tents, but that is exactly what appears to be happening.... It seems unlikely that the U.S. will ever succeed in hitting bin laden from the air. Let us remember that bin Laden is probably hiding in a mountainous area the size of Germany."
ESTONIA: "War's Tough Choices"
Toomas Sildam wrote in leading Postimees (10/18): "The U.S. and its allies can give the green light for the Northern Alliance to take power, but only in a way that would not enable opponents to claim: America, who bombed our country, has now sent its own men to rule Afghanistan... The U.S. has to take into account, even partially, that Pakistan, in contrast to Iran and Russia, does not favor the Northern Alliance... Leaving the Taliban in power is difficult to accept for the U.S., but Washington has not announced whom they would like to see to gain power in Afghanistan after the military operation 'Enduring Freedom.'"
FINLAND: "After The Fireworks"
Liberal Hufvudstadsbladet's editorial held (10/18): "The strikes in Afghanistan could have been much stronger. Undoubtedly, the road could have been flattened for the Northern Alliance to march to Kabul. But that would have meant repeating the mistake made during the Kosovo crisis when the American air campaign, in practice, worked like the UCK's air support. The Northern Alliance is ready to move to seize power in Afghanistan but is not allowed to do so. Instead, it is required to cooperate with other stabilizing forces in the country. This is a well-planned strategy by the Americans, and specifically, obviously, by Powell."
GREECE: “Collateral Damage and Gains”
The lead editorial in popular, influential and anti-American Eleftherotypia held (10/16): “Once more owing to the bombardments of Afghanistan, the myth of ‘smart weapons’ that strike solely military targets has collapsed. ‘Smart bombs’ also fell on hospitals in Yugoslavia and refugee convoys in Kosovo… Now, U.S. ‘smart weapons’ struck a hospital…and a Red Cross warehouses in Kabul. In the cynical language of war, these crimes are called ‘collateral damage’ in order to justify them as unavoidable, and use the term in order to express the perpetrators’ hypocritical regrets. The undisputed truth is that war means slaughter of civilians, extermination of innocent children, destruction, loss. In Afghanistan we have a war of evil against evil, not good against evil. At the same time U.S. defense industry stocks skyrocket because of predictions which say that the U.S. defense spending will increase by 66% until 2005. The paranoia of war is coupled with immorality toward minimizing human value. We have reached the shameful point where ‘collateral damages’ cause ‘collateral gains’ in the name of a war against terrorism, which in turn remains intact.”
“Victims Again Are Non-Combatants”
The lead editorial in popular, influential and anti-American Eleftherotypia argued (10/16): “Most of the victims of the war waged against Afghanistan, as in previous cases, are children and non combatant civilians. Journalists saw the first victims of the ‘collateral damage’ in Kabul hospitals. They saw the horror that we saw on TV. But they will not see, and we will not see the thousands of children of Afghanistan that will starve to death this winter…The irony is that Pentagon political officials are pressuring the military to escalate operations in Afghanistan. The military resists, because, obviously, they know about the victims after they bomb, and because they can estimate the number of casualties the U.S. forces will suffer should ground operations commence inside Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the paranoia of war does not allow room for logic to stop the slaughter of non-combatants and children.”
HUNGARY: "The Laughing Third"
Russia expert foreign editor Gabor Stier acknowledged in conservative Magyar Nemzet (10/19): "Russian President Putin has proved his pragmatism again. He quickly offered his help to the international coalition.... The Kremlin is using this historic moment to integrate into the globalized world in order to reach its own economic and political goals. President Putin has realized that Russia will more successful if it gives up its confrontational foreign policy and catches up with the Western countries."
IRELAND: "U.S. Hits Taliban Base With Devastating Gunship"
Abdul Hanan Himat of the Taliban Information Agency is quoted extensively in a very slanted article in the centrist Irish Examiner (10/17) under the subtitle "Yesterday, around 130 sorties alone were carried out against Kandahar, so you can imagine the civilian casualties as the attacks, experience shows, miss their targets (quoted as Himat)."
"US. Plots Takeover Of Regime In Kabul"
Zahid Hussain and James Bone reported in the conservative populist Irish Independent (10/17): "The United States and Pakistan yesterday agreed on the outlines of a future post-Taliban government in Afghanistan as a massive new phase of the war paved the way for ground troops. It would include members of the opposition Northern Alliance as well as moderate elements in the Taliban."
KYRGYZSTAN: “The U.S. Neo-Fascist Policy?”
Independent and conservative weekly Aalam speculated (10/17): “For 10 days the U.S. regime and its terrorist allies have bombed the innocent Afghan people (the Taliban hide in shelters.)... The current U.S. policy seems to be like that of of Hitler and Fascist Germany when they set fire on the Reichstag in 1939, accused and occupied Poland, and tried to bring the entire world to its knees. We know how Hitler’s and Fascist Germany’s adventure ended. Quite soon we will see how today’s U.S. terrorist policy ends.”
LITHUANIA: "Old Mistakes In Modern 21st Century War"
Editorialist Violeta Mickeviciute of the second largest national Respublika warned (10/15): "So far, the unknown terrorists continue the work they began on September 11th: planting helplessness and fear into the civilized world. No one believed that winged missiles and special force operations would be shot out from the concept of an 'untraditional war.' But the fact that in the first week of war, these weapons suppressed all other possibilities, is disappointing. It is also frightening that the mistakes from the last century will be repeated in the 21st century war. One of them--restrictions on the free press--even threatens to out-strip the censorship of earlier wars."
THE NETHERLANDS: "Bush Is Not Reacting Irrationally"
Centrist Algemeen Dagblad carried a commentary by Dick Leurdijk, researcher with Clingendael Institute for International Relations (10/19): "Criticism of the U.S. bombings of Afghanistan is growing day by day. This is true in both the Islamic and the Western world.... These reactions were fully predictable.... It is clear that many considerations limited Washington's room for maneuver. That also explains why President Bush took the time to build a broad coalition, time which also worked well from a military operational point of view. The American president cannot be blamed for having reacted irrationally. A military reaction was inevitable.... I even think that the Americans have an interest in keeping the collateral damage as minimal as possible."
"War or Peace"
Influential independent NRC Handelsblad had this editorial (10/17): "The United States is very clear: President Bush declared war on terrorism.... It is now important to mobilize the inventiveness and mental resistance of the West in combination with military power. America is best served with allies that are prepared to tackle terrorist cells in their own countries and to accept the consequences of that, allies that are prepared to provide troops and accept casualties.... It would be wise to consider an old saying: if you want peace, be prepared for war."
NORWAY: "Terrorism's Useful Idiots"
In the social democratic Dagsavisen (10/18), Foreign Affairs Editor Erik Sagflaat commented: "The terrorism we now see has nothing to do with poverty or exploitation or neo-colonialism... The reason is to a small degree the U.S. financial power and much more the U.S.' extremely strong cultural influence... The most important that has happened after September 11 is the building of an incredibly broad alliance against terrorism... Increased cooperation, increased international contact and information is important for the alliances that are being built. But it is not enough... It is also necessary to use force against the terrorism networks... If Osama bin Laden and his supporters are to be caught, the U.S. must go in on the ground with targeted, police operations."
"The U.S. In Uncertain And Dangerous Terrain"
Newspaper-of-record Aftenposten commented (10/17): "The effects of the Afghanistan war in the Muslim world depend not only on how long the war will last but also on the political actions that the United States takes in other places... The least hopeless of the possible alternatives will probably be to give the UN a large role, if necessary together with the country's (Afghanistan's) exile king, to get a new leadership."
POLAND: "Deadly Pacifism"
Rafal A. Ziemkiewicz opined in centrist weekly Wprost (10/17): "When the people of Islamic countries demonstrate their solidarity with the bombed Taliban, it is bad, but easy to understand. It is more difficult to understand what makes the people of Western Europe, America, or even Poland, organize similar demonstrations.... There is not a single decent argument to support their 'anti-war' protests. No matter what ideology they invoke for their slogans, the pacifists demonstrate-even though not all of them may be aware of this-in favor of terrorists and the Taliban regime that protects them, and which was generally perceived to be one of the most criminal and inhuman regimes in the world long before the [September 11] attacks."
"The Turmoil Of Islam"
Polish public TV war correspondent, Waldemar Milewicz wrote in right-of-center Zycie (10/17): "I absolutely don't believe that Americans will succeed by a military operation in achieving the aim they have been talking about since the attacks on New York and Washington, i.e. liquidate the Islamic terrorists. The Taliban regime can be certainly overthrown, but how to destroy the terrorists? They will be replaced by new ones.... Maybe it would have been better to employ more refined methods like hunt down and catch those who were involved in the attacks...rather than resort to such drastic military steps?"
PORTUGAL: "Back from the War"
"The Week" column by commentator Constanta Cunha e Sá in leading financial Diário Econ=mico read (10/19): "Unfortunately, the martyred peoples of the region don't seem in the least interested in peace, and don't offer the minimal conditions for democracy. With the Taliban removed, Afghanistan will go back to what it always was: a country at war, divided by ethnic groups that won't see their way to understanding each other very soon."
SPAIN: “Rebuilding Afghanistan”
Independent El Pais noted (10/17): "The decisive role in the Afghan transition must be played by the UN…. Politically, their basic mission will be to bind as many different parties as possible and get them involved in a new, effective administration. The new mandate, which would depend to a large extent on the will of Bush, should probably include include some kind of international provisional force, preferably from Muslim countries not directly involved in the conflict. But this all comes later. Right now, the possibility of Afghanistan collapsing amidst chaos and starvation is too real."
Centrist La Vanguardia commented (10/17): “Is this the end of the conflict? Not yet, although what has happened so far enables diplomats to begin discussions over the future of Afghanistan.... The visit of Powell to Pakistan is a good sign…. The agreement reached during Powell’s visit translates into an appeal by the United States, so that the moderate Taliban sectors could be part of the government that would eventually lead the country in the future…. The conflict is not over yet, not even in the Afghan phase, but the task of matching the pieces of the Central Asian puzzle has begun."
“Military, Political Problems Of Second Phase Of War”
Independent El Mundo commented (10/16): "It is evident that the U.S. military establishment was not prepared to fight a diffuse enemy such as terrorism, in the same way that health authorities do not have the means to stop or eliminate this new kind of threat…. Bush is faced with another major problem: designing a political alternative to the Taliban regime that brings peace and coexistence.... It is probable that the U.S. military's wavering in a ground war is linked to the lack of a political alternative for Afghanistan."
SWEDEN: "Death In Karam"
Independent, liberal Stockholm tabloid Expressen editorialized (10/15): "One week has gone in the war against Afghanistan. It is difficult--one should say impossible--to know what has been accomplished until now.... The conception of a clean surgical war is an illusion. Mistakes are made and will always be made. This is the reality of war. But what we can and should demand from the U.S. and Great Britain is that they do their utmost to minimize civilian casualties... No one can question the U.S. right for self-defense after the atrocious terrorist attacks on 11 September, and the new threats that are piling up. The hunt for bin Ladin, and the attempts to overthrow the Taliban regime are very legitimate military operations. But what we need to discuss--after one week of war--is how to go about it."
TURKEY: "Next Stop: Iraq"
Erdal Guven argued in intellectual/opinion maker Radikal (10/19): "As soon as the U.S. feels satisfied that the clear and present danger in Afghanistan has been eliminated, the second front for the operation will be opened. That is Iraq. Despite the allied countries' reluctance, and the opposition from the Muslim world and others, Baghdad seems to be the next target for the U.S. in its fight against global terrorism. ... The issue of providing evidence is in the works by Woolsey. He was even quoted as saying that he is working on constructing a legal frame against Iraq. ... Yet it does not matter if the hard evidence against Iraq cannot be found. There wasn't any for the Taliban either."
"Conspiracy Theories And Facts"
Tuncay Ozkan wrote in mass-appeal Milliyet (10/16): "In cases of terrorism, resorting to war is a bad method to use to punish the real culprits. A way must be found to bring this war to an end before it expands. In this respect, Turkey is a key country. The Turkish government should...make an impact right now. A war involving countries like Iran, Syria and Iraq would spell doom for this region."
"Europe Still On Terror's Side"
Fatih Altayli argued in mass-appeal Hurriyet (10/16): "As the struggle against terrorism drags on, the 'right' side of the fight becomes the 'wrong' side. That stems from the fact that the right side is the powerful side while the wrong side is the weak one. ... The more the war in Afghanistan drags on, the more the Taliban will receive sympathy, and the United States will be labeled as the bad guy. ... The Europeans will continue to chant peace slogans, because they haven't faced real terror yet. They are still ignorant of how serious the terrorism threat is."
YUGOSLAVIA: "Concern For Man"
Belgrade's pro-government Politika (10/19) carried a commentary by foreign affairs writer Momcilo Pantelic: "A peculiar, extraordinary concern for man is demonstrated on the front line in Afghanistan, where the U.S. planes are throwing both bombs and humanitarian aid on the local people, who, according to world organizations, have been extremely stricken by famine and poverty. But, when humanitarian aid is arriving hand-in-hand with a military action, it is seen as another hostile act. In this drama, a special place belongs to Osama bin Laden. The main story is that the war is being waged because of only one man--him. For his part, bin Laden seems to consider himself more important than the Afghans or the Americans, or the whole 'infidel world' together, and makes no effort to contribute to peace-making. Thus, concern for man turns into a danger for mankind."
“For Civilized And Democratic Values”
Pristina's independent Bosniac weekly had an editorial by its editor in chief Nadira Avdic-Vllasi (10/12): “The Moslems who also cite Koran and the values of Islam are now more openly saying that those who pursue terrorist acts are in fact desecrating the original values of Islam. America and the world coalition are waging a defensive war.”
ISRAEL: "Revenge Is Not Policy"
Independent Ha'aretz editorialized (10/19): "There are some in Israel who believe that a full-scale war is essential, or that victory in it is a sure thing. For this opinion to remain no more than the wishful thinking of an extreme minority, the Palestinian Authority must now prove that it is ready to make a vital differentiation: between a struggle against the occupation with the aspiration to establish an independent, responsible state; and terrorist acts perpetrated by extremist groups that have no political path and envelope themselves in the legitimacy and the sanctuary that the P.A. provides them. The Popular Front and its leaders in the P.A.-controlled area constitute a terrorist organization, which the PA must uproot without waiting for an Israeli operation.... Israel, for its part, should now allow the Palestinian Authority to try to fight its war against terrorism without using the Zeevi assassination as an excuse to unleash a new round of killing without political hope. Revenge is not a substitute for policy."
"Back To The First Days Of The Intifada"
Senior columnist Zeev Schiff opined in independent Ha'aretz (10/19): "The cease-fire completely collapsed Thursday, as Palestinian and Israeli officials wagged fingers, blaming one another for the latest violent tailspin.... Thursday's violent swirl of events took Israel and the Palestinians back to the calamitous situation of the Intifada's earlier days, and it is clear that the fighting triggered what will be an unfolding sequence of violent acts.... As things stand now, Israel is little disposed to heed Washington's advice concerning Palestinian terror, terror which is said to differ from violence wrought by Osama bin Laden. Fighting its war against Palestinian terror, Israel doesn't appear to want American professional or diplomatic advice at this point. As events unfold and violence mounts, the United States will have no choice other than to submit its own diplomatic plan for this region. This will not be a plan for a comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; instead it will be an interim plan in which America somewhat arbitrarily recommends steps to begin the implementation of the Mitchell report."
"To The Brink"
Senior columnist Hemmi Shalev wrote in popular, pluralist Maariv (10/19): "[Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon perhaps thinks like President Bush, and also tries to talk like him, but that doesn’t make Israel America, and doesn't make Arafat's P.A. the Taliban regime in the eyes of the world. The U.S. will apply massive pressure on Arafat to do something serious about terrorism this time, and perhaps out of fear, the U.S. will send a senior representative to the region, but Washington will not allow Sharon to use Zeevi's murder as a pretext for the outbreak of wide-scale combat or for an effort to get rid of Arafat, because the significance of such steps would be a clear and immediate disaster for the war effort in Afghanistan. Don't cross this line, they will tell Sharon. Sharon is reaching his mythological 'T' junction, but when he looks right and left, it turns out that all of the roads are mined and might lead to hell of one kind or another. The Israeli public does support a 'strong hand,' but up to a point: it is doubtful whether public opinion is prepared for the casualties of an all-out war against the P.A. or for the diplomatic and economic blow that would result from a head-on confrontation with America and its partners. And sooner rather than later, Sharon will have to say bye-bye to the unity government and to its reassuring stability."
"Shoulder To Shoulder"
The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (10/19): "The U.S. stance has progressed from openly criticizing almost every measure Israel has taken against terrorism, to recognizing that Israel theoretically has a right of self-defense, to suggesting that, if Arafat does not deliver, that right could legitimately be exercised. This is certainly progress, and progress must be recognized. But the United States, for all its declarations of and material support for Israel, has not been able to bring itself to do what it just did in India: press both sides to resolve their underlying disputes peacefully, while standing unequivocally with a democratic ally in a fight against terrorism.... The United States seems to think that supporting Israel's war on terror risks fracturing the coalition. In reality, the greater risk to the coalition is the escalation in the conflict that insufficient U.S. support for Israel will bring."
JORDAN: "The Bitter Fruits Of The Policy Of Assassinating Palestinian Leaderships"
Center-left, influential Al-Dustour editorialized (10/18): “Day in and day out, the need for reactivating the search for a political solution to the Palestinian issues becomes evidently urgent. The cycle of violence that Israel started and does all it can to escalate continues to threaten more lives and to maintain the tension and escalation in the region. The assassination of Rehavam Zeevi--the extremist right-wing Israeli leader who was known for his racist stances against the Arabs and the Palestinians and his frequent call in favor of ousting the Palestinian Authority and the expulsion of the Palestinian people--was the logical outcome of the war of assassinations that the Sharon government has launched against the Palestinian intifada activists. It is the rational outcome of assassinations that continue even after the declaration of a ceasefire.… Although we realize that the Sharon government is far from sensibility, logic and wisdom, we hope that international pressures and calls will contain this event and will stop in its tracks the move towards a cycle of vengeful actions. Violence breeds only violence and experience has proved that the Palestinian people will not always be in the position of one who is continuously beaten up.”
"Who Will Sharon Be After Zeevi’s Assassination?"
Semi-official, influential Al-Ra’i held (10/18), “There is an almost impossible chance that Zeevi’s death might just be the opportunity for Sharon to bravely tell the Israeli people that the outcome of the conflict with the Palestinians will not be settled except through negotiations, that the current violence will lead to nothing, and that mutual security, recognition of Palestinian rights, the establishment of two states for two peoples on the land of Palestine in accordance with international resolutions is the only way. Sharon is not De Gaulle, but he can be, and this is his opportunity.”
EGYPT: "She Said It Wrong"
Leading pro-government Al Ahram's columnist Kamal Gaballah wrote (10/17): "I wish Ms. Condoleezza Rice had not spoken at all. In her first test in the area of public relations, she appeared like the Israeli National Security Adviser. Ms. Condoleezza wanted to reward Al Jazeera television for covering the campaign against terror by doing an interview embodying all the dirty Zionist propaganda. She asked the Palestinian Authority to stop the violence, according to terms of surrender determined by Sharon. She found an opportunity to defy all national, regional and international wishes opposed to expansion of the war against terror beyond Afghan elements. She threatened Iraq and warned Syria. Rice, Tenet, and The Washington Post have dramatically failed in their first tests as members of the Bush administration. Thanks to their preoccupation with satisfying the Zionist lobby more than attending to U.S. interests, they have buried the status and credibility of the sole superpower under the rubble of the World Trade Center."
SAUDI ARABIA: "Sharon Spoils Bush's Mission"
In the words of Jeddah-based conservative Al Madina (10/19): "Sharon has forgotten that Zeevi was not the innocent victim of a terrorist act, but he was the most extreme with a government of extremists.... If a stable international system existed, Zeevi would have become, just like Sharon, 'wanted' to stand before the International Court of Justice.... Sharon's insistence on ignoring the big difference between the Taliban and the Palestinian Authority will demolish America's campaign against what it calls terrorism."
"Terrorism As Seen By America"
Jeddah-based moderate Al-Bilad opined (10/17): "President Bush's National Security Adviser said: 'There is no good terrorism or bad terrorism.' We believe that this opinion contradicts the American reaction to the recent terrorism and that which will happen in the world in general and the Middle East in particular. What does Ms. Rice say about Israeli terrorism, their mass killing of innocents, and the disruption of human lives by the destruction of property and livelihood? Why does she refuse to equate the catastrophe of the Palestinian people with that of the Afghan people? If Washington's former and current leadership insists on calling the Palestinian resistance terrorism, why does it insist on calling the Israeli terrorism 'violence?' Why did the United States support bringing Slobodan Milosevic to international justice for war crimes and disregard Sharon's previous and current similar crimes?... We believe that the American administration realizes this contradiction in defining terrorism and gets angry at those who are trying to define it consistently."
"The U.S. Recognized The Arab Media"
According to influential, London-based, pan-Arab Al Hayat (10/18): "The Americans and British forget that the nations of the Arab world...have full knowledge of the West's policies over decades, and have suffered almost daily frm their results. Therefore there is no room to convince them by talk. What is new in Tony Blair's and Powell's talk. and in particular, what is new in Rice's and Rumfeld's talk? Yet, the strange thing in the U.S. and British message is taht it attempts to convince Arabs and Muslims by a transparently false equation: that Arabs and Muslims have no relation to terrorism, but that they nevertheless have to pay the price of what happened on Sept. 11. And afterwards, the U.S. media will ask, why do they hate the U.S?"
SYRIA: "Assassination Is An Israeli Policy"
Fouad Mardoud, chief editor of government-owned English-language Syria Times, stressed (10/18): "The assassination policy which has been practiced by Israelis since 1948, has generated much international criticism and condemnation. It has failed to bring peace and security to the Israelis.... With the rising death toll among Palestinians and Israelis, Sharon's election pledge of providing a safe peace by being tough on Palestinians and Arabs should have been questioned now was never before.... He promised to provide a new different policy, yet he has provided no policy; instead, he has supplied more deaths, more killings and security. Equally true that Sharon's strategy of imposing political and economic pressure on Palestinians has totally failed to bring results in quelling the Intifada.... Sharon is responsible for the surge in the assassination wave that sweeps Israel the occupied territories. Therefore, he should publicly denounce the Israeli policy of assassination against Palestinians and work to halt it promptly and end Israeli occupation if he seeks to provide Israeli with security and peace."
"In Whose Interest?"
Yahia Aridi, wrote in the government-owned Syria Times (10/18): "Though a certain group has claimed responsibility for the assassination, one should not exclude the following facts if one is to think that there is a beneficiary behind every crime. Zeevi has recently decided to leave the Sharon government. This hurts Sharon. If Zeevi disappears from Sharon's government, why would not he disappear altogether?"
LEBANON: "Conflict Between Options In The Occupied Territory"
An editorial by Rafiq Khoury in commercial, Christian tabloid Al-Anwar (10/18): "No one knows to what extent the Bush Administration can exert pressure on Sharon to stop him from overthrowing the Palestinian Authority. No one knows what Arafat will have to pay in order to avoid a large-scale confrontation. After the September 11 attacks, Sharon imagined that he would have the opportunity to strike what he called 'the Bin Laden' of Israel. However, the United States -- which needs Arab and Islamic participation in the international coalition -- worked in two directions: it isolated Israel from the coalition and made it look like an outcast country; and it started to talk about a Palestinian state. If the U.S. stops its efforts in both directions now, it will only add a new gap to the already existing dangerous gaps in its war against terrorism."
"Rice Asks Syria To 'Stop Sponsoring Terrorism'"
Moderate, anti-Syrian An-Nahar headlined (10/15), "Rice Asks Syria To 'Stop Sponsoring Terrorism.'"
MOROCCO: "Rice Stresses, It's Not About Islam--But Why Can't It Be About Israel?"
Semi-independent radio Medi-1, with an audience about 25 million, carried Rice's Al-Jazeera interview with the following comment (10/15), "The 'U.S. war against terrorism is not a war against Islam, nor Arabs' said Condoleezza Rice. Interviewed last Monday, she urged all the parties to reduce violence and get back to the Mitchell process. Palestinians have made very important steps in this framework, how about Israelis? President Bush said that he envisioned a Palestinian state as part of his vision for the future. This has been repeated so many times by different U.S. administrations. What is needed now is the implementation of this vision while respecting the right to Israel's existence."
"Palestinian Issue And America"
Government coalition, Arabic-language Al Ittihad Al Ishtiraki (10/18) ran a full-page exclusive interview with Moroccan academic Mohamed Tozi in which he said: "Even if America flattens Afghanistan mountains, George Bush won't dare say that we have won the war... The world today is living the vision of death. "The death of America" is the most dangerous war between the rich and the poor... This war is without pictures and it has demonstrated the failure of pictures and the victory of print media... There is a change in the concept of power. Power is no longer to have a big army and a big fleet and many tanks... The Palestinian issue is central to any conflict and Palestinians have shown a great deal of political wisdom."
TUNISIA: "Palestine, At The Center Of The World Order"
An analysis by Manoubi Akrout in independent French-language Le Quotidien (10/18): "It is clear that we have never been closer to the defusing of a crisis in the Middle East than now. A crucial factor has weighed in: Bush has the means to do it. This is clearly due to a paradox created by the regrettable events of September 11. In fact, it was as if President Bush now had a mission, and since then his efforts have multiplied to build a coalition, that is efficient despite its heterogeneity. A valuable and strong initiative that he can devote--apart from its primary goal--to the implementation of an enduring resolution of certain puzzles that Bush's administration will have to face sooner or later. One such puzzle is the persisting crisis in the Middle East...in fact, even if bin Laden was eliminated, and the Palestinian cause remained unchanged, the new generation would be overtly anti-West.... Now more than ever, if the Bush administration is sincere, its decisions will be recorded in History as managing to emphasize the respect of rights without caring about destructive extremism."
"A Fool's Bargain"
An analysis by Co-Editor Slah El Amri in independent French-language Le Quotidien read (10/17): "The idea of creating a Palestinian state has these days become a credo that is in vogue and which runs like a leitmotiv through official discourses of American and British officials.... In her interview yesterday with Al Jazeera, Condoleezza Rice, the American National Security advisor, declared that she is in favor of Palestinian state as long as Israeli's peace and security are guaranteed. In fact, there is a striking similitude between Bush's, Blair's and Rice's discourses: the same terms, the same ideas and especially the same condition that is explicitly brought forth--the imperious necessity to guarantee the security of the Hebrew State. Obviously, we are faced with an inverted logic. How can we compare the incomparable? By asking vulnerable Palestinians, whose only defense are stones, to stop their 'violence' against Israelis, who have the most sophisticated military arsenals, Condoleezza Rice seems to have lost a good sense of logic.... There is a serious concern that the new official British-American discourse about the Palestinian issue might be just a circumstantial concession aimed at throwing dust in the eyes in order to save time and to rally the Arab countries behind the United States in its war against terrorism."
PAKISTAN: "America, Pakistan And India"
Pro-Muslim League Pakistan editorialized (10/19): "It should be a cause of concern to us that America is still not willing to play any role for the resolution of the (Kashmir) dispute, save encouraging the two countries dialogue on terrorism. [Powell] rejected India's objection on the inclusion of Pakistan in its campaign against terrorism. What he said with a reference to terrorism in Kashmir was that the U.S. condemns terrorism wherever it is perpetrated (and) Whoever attacks civilians is condemnable.... We should not think that America's friendship with India is enmity with Pakistan. America or any other country can not be asked to end their ties with India if they want to be a friend of Pakistan."
"Destruction Will Be The Outcome Of Losing Control"
Popular Din declared (10/19): "During his visit to India, Colin Powell remained firm on the statement he had made in Pakistan on the centrality of the Kashmir issue to Indo-Pak relations.... After signing an accord with the U.S. to fight terrorism, India's responsibility has increased. It must first end the state terrorism it is engaged in within Occupied Kashmir. It must also initiate dialogue with Pakistan to resolve this issue. President Musharraf has already extended an invitation to India. However, the Indian trend is that it has 'lost control'--this will only lead it to destruction."
"Need To Keep Spirit Of Jihad Alive"
The second largest Urdu daily Nawa-e-Waqt held (10/19): "To appease General Musharraf, Powell described the Kashmir dispute as central between India and Pakistan and expressed the will to take all the steps for its resolution. Colin Powell's statement was such a setback to the Indian government that it forgot diplomatic norms and behaved coldly with him.... Powell (later) said that terrorism is condemnable whether it is perpetrated in Washington or Srinagar, while saying that those who do not consider the Kashmir dispute as important are making a mistake.... Colin Powell said this in order to appease India; he was hinting at the Jihadi forces and not the (Indian) state terrorism.... Pakistan should not fulfill all the wishes of the United States, which also include withdrawal from jihad; without jihad there is no Islam, we are not Muslims and there is no foundation for Pakistan."
"Still There Is Time"
Sensationalist Ummat stated (10/19): "The manner in which Pakistan is relying on the non-Muslim countries, especially the United States, right now will not lead us to stability but rather instability and destruction. The visit of U.S. Secretary of State Powell could give rise to many hazards. Was it only a coincidence that on the eve of his visit, India resorted to heavy shelling across the Line of Control? In fact, India is aware that Pakistan is one of the targets in the long-term U.S. war against terrorism as, according to Mr. Powell, the U.S. and India are natural allies against terrorism."
"Duplicity In Colin Powell's Statements"
Karachi-based, right-wing, pro Islamic unity Jasarat commented (10/19): "Whatever he uttered in Islamabad on Kashmir, Colin Powell was not ready to say it in India with the same courage. He wanted to satisfy India by clarifying his statement. He also denied that he had termed Kashmir as the central issue. If Kashmir is a disputed issue, and India is not willing to hold sincere negotiations on it, then what other option besides Jihad remains with the people of Kashmir?"
"Powell's Diplomatic Jargon"
Islamabad's rightist, English language Pakistan Observer declared (10/19): "Colin Powell has made a tight-rope walk in handling the two south Asian nuclear rivals during his recent visit.... The fact of the matter is that Pakistan has not gained anything in practical terms for its support to the U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan. The common man does not feel satisfied with the U.S. response to Pakistan's sacrifice in this connection. Isn't it a pity that the United States is not even ready to uphold the Kashmiris' pursuit of their right to self-determination through its indigenous struggle against the illegal Indian occupation of their motherland."
"Colin Powell's Visit"
Farhatullah Babar wrote in the Peshawar-based, independent Frontier Post (10/19): "Hopes and expectations about increased economic assistance have been belied. On the eve of the visit, senior government officials had stated that the country's precarious economic condition, made worse by a fall in exports, slump in manufacturing, and reduction in revenue collection would be definitely taken up with Powell. The over-optimistic Interior Minister had even (promised) that the waiving of bilateral loans was also in the cards."
INDIA: "Balancing The Indo-U.S. Engagement"
The centrist Hindu editorialized (10/19): "The charm offensive by...Secretary Powell, during his brief visit to South Asia at this critical moment seems to have pleased India's leaders as also Pakistan's military-political establishment.... For India, this offers a fresh opportunity to reassert its strategic independence.... The Vajpayee administration should now seek to retrieve and salvage India's overall strategic autonomy in foreign policy and be more conscious of the reality that the U.S. itself should not be given room to play zero-sum games in regard to India and Pakistan.... Powell, on his part, gave Pakistan something to smile about by affirming the salience of the Kashmir issue. Not surprisingly, the External Affairs Minister, Mr. Jaswant Singh, has characterized that as an example of an Indo-U.S. disagreement that need not become disagreeable at the same time. If this is any sign of maturity, New Delhi should sustain it by seeking a more balanced engagement of the United States now."
"It's Not Their War"
The pro-economic-reforms Economic Times opined (10/19): "Except for those who perceived the U.S. as genuinely leading a global campaign against terrorism of all sorts, Powell's subtly different stances in the two capitals should come as no surprise. Our government appears to have deluded itself for some time into believing that the U.S. would not only fight its own war against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, but also India's war against terrorism in Kashmir. It is time such delusions were put behind us.... The crux of matter is that the U.S., for its own immediate tactical objectives, needs Pakistan on its side in the war against Afghanistan far more than it needs India. Under the circumstances, Powell would have to be either incredibly idealistic or downright dumb to come down on India's side in the stand-off between the two sub-continental neighbors.... US and Indian interests may converge upto a point...but at the moment, expediency dictates stances.... India must, therefore, be prepared to fight its battles on its own, expecting little or no help from the rest of the world, particularly from the U.S."
"The Self-Reliance Mantra"
Former Indian foreign secretary J.N. Dixit wrote in the centrist Indian Express (10/19): "It rankles public opinion in India that the U.S. chose Pakistan over India as an active partner in its campaign against international terrorism, despite India offering unconditional support to the U.S.... The U.S. government is not intending to tilt towards Pakistan to the detriment of Indo-U.S. relations.... To expect the US to designate Pakistan as a terrorism-sponsoring state when Pakistan is an active participant in their campaign against terrorism is impractical.... The central message for India in these developments is two-fold: First, that we should not predicate our policies taking the U.S. or Pakistani policies for granted. These would be focussed on their respective national interests. Second, that India would have to be primarily self-reliant in resolving its problems related to terrorism and in managing its security environment."
"Now That Colin Powell Has Left"
Hirenmay Karlekar asserted in the centrist Pioneer (10/19): "The determination of both countries to persist with improving their ties was evident in President Bush's invitation to Vajpayee to visit the U.S.... The US compulsions in good humor are liable to impinge on its relations with India. The resumption of arms aid to Pakistan, for example, is bound to cause very serious misgivings in New Delhi. For whatever assurances Islamabad may give Washington these are not going to be acceptable to India which, during every conflict in the past, had found Pakistan using against it, weapons supplied by the U.S.... The U.S. must therefore look beyond the exigencies of the present situation and recognize that, somewhere down the line, it may have to choose between Delhi and Islamabad.... Pakistan besides, has a history of duplicity with the US ... It is for the United States to decide whether it can count on continued friendship with Pakistan. History is unkind to those who do not learn from experience."
Pro-BJP, Urdu-language Pratap editorialized (10/19): "It is difficult to ascertain what exactly was the purpose of the visit of the Secretary Powell. To what extent he succeeded in achieving his declared goal of bringing India and Pakistan closer to each other so that their role in Afghanistan could be more effective, it is for him to assess. What is apparent is that he tried to keep both India and Pakistan happy without any substantial contribution to easing tension on Kashmir. The only departure from the past may be the recognition of Kashmir by both India and Pakistan as source of tension between them. Earlier, India would not accept it as a problem at all while Pakistan was projecting it as the sole fundamental dispute."
Hyderabad-based, independent, Urdu-language Munsif stated (10/19): "The visit was of no consequence in the sense that the Secretary of State could not bring India and Pakistan any closer. Neither he could offer any suggestion which would be worth consideration by the two countries.... However, by assuring to work for reducing the tension between the two countries, he gave the impression hat his country wished to mediate for the resolution of the Kashmir issue if the two countries agreed for it. Although India is totally against any third party interference on the issue, such an interference may become unavoidable when the concerned parties have no meeting point. The question is whether the United States can play the role of a trustable mediator. The world is already paying for a similar U.S. role in West Asia."
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: "Globalization Takes On A New Dimension--Instant Fear"
Former Washington correspondent Jennifer Hewitt wrote in the leading liberal Sydney Morning Herald (10/19): "Anxiety is king. This is the new meaning of globalization. Instantly connected fear. Here, there...it's all the same these days. Suddenly, Pakistan forces going on high alert over Indian maneuvers in Kashmir seem to be happening right in our backyard. Suddenly the anti-American feeling in Indonesia seems more personally threatening. Suddenly APEC is more than a boring old trade meeting somewhere else. Foreign policy comes home. Add the prospect of Australian troops about to go off to a war where no-one can define what 'victory' means and life seems much less predictable, much more precarious.
CHINA: "Warplane Takes Bush To China"
Ren Yujun and Ding Gang commented in the official Global Times, (Huangqiu Shibao), (10/19): "Before departing for Shanghai, U.S. President Bush conducted an interview jointly with the Chinese People's Daily and two other Asian news organizations. The cordial handshaking and close hugs have fully reflected that the President is easygoing, frank and unpretentious.... President Bush's decision to visit Shanghai at the moment indicates that the U.S. government will not suspend its normal diplomatic activities because of the terrorist attacks.... Experts say that the Asia-pacific region is playing an extraordinary role in the U.S. fight against terrorism.... With the U.S. adjusting its global strategy, the common interests of the U.S. and China will become more prominent, which is obviously conducive to the development of Sino-U.S. relations.... It is predictable that the Sino-U.S. summit will definitely contribute to the healthy development of bilateral ties in the future."
"APEC Ministerial Meeting Successful"
Xin Huashi commented in the Xinhua Daily Telegraph (Xinhua Meiri Dianxun), (10/19): "The ministers present at yesterday's APEC press conference praised the achievements of the just-concluded APEC ministerial meeting. According to Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, there are no significant differences in principle between the representatives concerning all issues discussed, including the issue of anti-terrorism, which has laid a healthy foundation for the forthcoming APEC informal leaders’ summit. The ministerial meeting was very fruitful."
HONG KONG & MACAU SARs: "China And U.S. Foster Cordial Relations"
The independent Sing Pao Daily News remarked (10/19): "Jiang Zemin is going to meet with George W. Bush, who has come to attend the APEC meeting in Shanghai today. The meeting will put Sino-U.S. relations back onto the friendly track. It will also turn a new page for Sino-U.S. relations. In international relations, there are no permanent enemies or permanent friends. There are only permanent interests. Just look at Sino-U.S. relations: Because of the political need to cooperate on anti-terrorism, substantial changes finally occurred in Sino-U.S. relations.... Just as George W. Bush expected, the APEC meeting will promote business and trade cooperation between countries. At the same time, it will also strengthen political cooperation. We can say that an anti-terrorism coalition has been set up because of this economic meeting. Thus, this year's APEC meeting bears a special meaning."
"Sino-U.S. Relations Will Move A Small Step Forward"
The independent Hong Kong Economic Times editorialized (10/19): "George W. Bush has come to China because he wants to improve bilateral relations. However, this does not mean that Sino-U.S. relations can move a step forward because of two factors. First of all, how sincere is George W. Bush? Secondly, will the U.S. affect China's strategic interests and national security when handling Central Asia issues?.... Hence, the Sino-U.S. meeting will let China have a better understanding of what Bush is thinking. Sino-U.S. relations are never too good or never too bad. It has been this way in the past, and so it will be in the future."
"Anti-Terrorism Needs China; Sino-U.S. Relations Improve"
The independent Hong Kong Economic Journal held in an editorial (10/19): "Since the September 11 incident, the Bush administration has concentrated entirely on anti-terrorism affairs. September 11 changed the U.S. as well as the world. One of the most significant changes is that the U.S. views terrorism as the biggest threat to U.S. security. In the past few months, the Bush administration had gradually changed its China policy. However, it seems that it has given up its view treating China as its strategic rival. Yesterday, George W. Bush said that the anti-terrorism war would last for more than two years. He is ready to accept the political consequences once the American people are tired of the anti-terrorism war. In other words, George W. Bush has placed his own future, whether he will be reelected or not, in the chariot of anti-terrorism.... Since the U.S. wants to expand and secure its anti-terrorism coalition and China is showing a cooperative attitude toward anti-terrorism, the outlook for China and the U.S. to improve their bilateral relations is bright.... September 11 has improved Sino-U.S. relations. If China can seize the opportunity of the APEC meeting, Sino-U.S. relations will further improve."
"APEC Meeting And Bush"
The Pro-PRC Macau Daily News remarked in its editorial (10/18): "Since the September 11 incident, terrorism has become a great threat to the U.S. The U.S. reexamined its diplomatic strategy and found that it needed the support of China to combat terrorism. China quickly gave its goodwill response. Hence, anti-terrorism will become a new turning point for Sino-U.S. relations. The meeting between Bush and Jiang Zemin will help Sino-U.S. relations to develop further. However, in the long run, the strong force that ties China and the U.S. together still is economic cooperation."
JAPAN: "APEC should also Work for Asian Stability"
Liberal Asahi editorialized (10/19): "At the Shanghai APEC summit opening on Saturday, President Bush is expected to call for global cooperation and solidarity in dealing with international terrorism. The APEC member nations should coordinate economic and trade policies to stabilize the Asian region. The September 11 terror attacks...deallt a serious blow to U.S. and Asian economies. Political and economic stability in Islamic nations in Asia, particularly Indonesia, are indispensable to strengthening an international net to encircle terrorism. Needless to say, addressing poverty and raising living standards are important to eradicating the roots of terrorism. The APEC summit leaders should make clear a firm resolve to stabilize the Asian economy and prevent political unrest from getting out of hand. China, which is hosting the APEC summit in an apparent bid to show its rapid economic development to the world, has declared that it will not make the summit an "anti-terrorism conference.'"
INDONESIA: "APEC Leaders Meeting And Country Risk Of Indonesia"
Christian-oriented Sinar Harapan commented (10/18): "A big question remains as to whether the APEC meeting could have the capacity for cooperation in improving the welfare or prosperity of the members in such a chaotic world today. Divergences among APEC economies are not decreasing but rather are widening. Not to mention the emerging suspicions against one another that only makes it more difficult to reach prospects of accord. The question is whether the voice of ASEAN, especially Indonesia, would be listened in this forum, which relies on the ability and power of those economies.... This is not to mention the escalating discrepancy on terrorism between PM Mahathir and President Bush, in addition to U.S. strikes on Afghanistan, that make it difficult to reach an agreement.... President Megawati best concentrate on the tasks at home to cope with all the political and economic flare-ups after the terrorist attacks and U.S. strikes."
MALAYSIA: "Lies To Cover Up Washington's Mistakes."
Government-influenced, Malay language Berita Harian editorialized (10/19): "As the numbers of civilian victims of the U.S. led strikes on Afghanistan increases, it appears that America is unwilling to take responsibilty for its actions. Instread, it continues to fan the American public's anger and the Secretary of Defense can say that civilian casualties are something that cannot be avoided. While America claims that it is being careful to avoid civilians, the proof is clear that there are civilians injured or killed as a hospital is attacked, and a Red Cross warehouse is blown up. The Pentagon is also spending millions to make sure the Western media cannot get satellite photos to see the accuracy of the bombings. America does not want its mistakes known. It is easy for America to call Taliban leaders liar every time the Taliban claim that civilians were hurt or killed. However the attitude of American leaders who refuse to admit that the attacks on Afghanistan were a big mistake, just make them bigger liars altogether."
"American Leadership Must Be Even-Handed"
Government-influenced The Sun had the following editorial (10/19): "For most Americans, 'terrorism' acquired real meaning only after the bombings of Sept. 11. Prior to that, it was convenient to regard terrorism as other people's problem which fortress America could quietly ignore. That, of course is aview that is self-delusional ... the founding of America itself was achieved through an act of terrorism: the decimation of the American native Indian nation. Does that mean there is such a thing as a good and bad terrorist? Yes, if you believe Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Sharon ...calls Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat a terrorist and guilty of harboring terrorists. (Sharon himself) has terrorized Palestininans in unprecedented ways since coming to power seven months ago. America is now leading the war against terrorists. Ariel Sharon is a good friend of Ameica. If Sharon is a terrorist, apparently he is one America can live with. That, unfortunately, is reflective of America's biggest problem today -- its lack of credibility as a fair leader of the world."
SOUTH KOREA: "Noteworthy APEC Summit"
Government-owned Daehan Maeil editorialized (10/19): "During the ninth APEC annual summit in Shanghai, leaders of the Asia-Pacific region are expected to focus their discussions on working out cooperative ways to build an international coalition against terrorism, in addition to the commerce-focused agenda, such as revitalizing the world economy and launching the new WTO round at an early date.... As a nation which will host the 2002 World Cup soccer finals, the ROK needs to actively participate in establishing such an international coalition.... In the wake of the terror attacks in the U.S., there are signs that President Bush's perception of North Korea is getting tougher. We hope the upcoming U.S.-ROK summit talks will serve as an opportunity to restart the stalled relations between North and South Korea and between the United States and North Korea."
CANADA: "Aid Runs Into A Wall"
The leading Globe and Mail editorialized (10/18): "International aid agencies pleaded yesterday for a month-long pause in the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan, to allow delivery of desperately needed food supplies, and they make a strong case.... The United Nations estimates that unless at least 50,000 tons of food gets into Afghanistan in the next month, there may be mass starvation. In the past four weeks, only 10,000 tonnes has crossed the border, and its distribution has been hampered by the onslaught.... Perhaps most critical, placing the air attacks on hold could create enormous difficulties for Pakistan, Washington's all-important new ally.... The chances of such a pause thus look remote. Some compromise may be possible -- perhaps the creation of bombing-free corridors through which food trucks could be driven.... What is clear is that the outlook for Afghanistan's neediest could hardly be more bleak. The best, albeit most brutal, way of alleviating it is for the air and ground campaign to succeed. And in the shortest time possible."
"A Healthy Dose Of 'Bigotry'"
The conservative National Post's editorials editor, Jonathan Kay, wrote (10/18): "It is indicative of Canada's famously tolerant national character that the loudest standing ovation Prime Minister Jean ChrTtien received on Monday night came when he departed from his primary theme of fighting terror, and began speaking of a parallel battle against discrimination.... While the war against Afghanistan may be over in a few months, the conflict between Canada's tolerant instincts and the need to snuff out terrorist cells at home will go on for years. Politicians, who endlessly and truthfully remind us that terrorists are aberrations within the Muslim community, seem to believe we can have our multicultural cake and beat terrorism, too. But...they are wrong. Multiculturalist pieties, however noble in the abstract, are a luxury we cannot always afford to indulge in this time of war."
"Murderous Attack On Mideast Hope"
The liberal Toronto Star editorialized (10/18): "The murder of Rehavam Zeevi is a barbaric, indefensible act. It may also signal something worse, if elected officials become prime targets in the Palestinian/Israeli struggle.... This is a growing crisis that U.S. President George Bush doesn't need as he tries to cool passions in the region and wages war on terror. Zeevi's murderers seek to discredit Arafat, to provoke Sharon, to hamper Bush and to embolden rejectionists. They must not succeed.... Palestinians anticipate that Bush will soon go beyond endorsing a Palestinian state to propose that they have sovereignty over Jerusalem's Arab areas if they provide credible security guarantees. This was the approach favoured by Ehud Barak, Sharon's predecessor. Preoccupied though Bush is with the Afghan campaign and the anthrax scare, he can help contain this crisis by remaining engaged, by reviving Barak's peace proposals and by inviting Arafat and Sharon to build on them. The alternative is to spend much of his presidency fighting Mideast brushfires, instead of the terror that threatens us all."
"A Just And Lawful War"
The nationalistic Ottawa Citizen editorialized (10/18): "Opponents of military action against Osama bin Laden and his Taliban protectors want the bombing of Afghanistan stopped because, they say, it's illegal under international law. ...Even given the UN's weaknesses, Canada, the U.S. and the other coalition countries are currently acting in compliance with the UN Charter, both in the military measures they have taken as part of their collective self-defence and in the U.S.'s obligatory report to the Security Council announcing the coalition action under Article 51. Instead of criticizing states that are acting lawfully, ...opponents of the war should be pressuring certain states to end their support and safe haven for terrorists. How nice it would be to see a peace march whose activists carried placards proclaiming 'Osama, stop your blood lust. Give peace a chance!'"
"I'll Fight Blair's War, But Not Bush's"
Contributor Catherine Mitchell wrote in the left-of-center Winnipeg Free Press (10/18): "I can appreciate propaganda as much as the next person, if it is delivered in a devilishly clever or entertaining fashion. It's a like a battle of wits, figuring out the message behind the message. I have little patience for the risible 'we're-in-this-together' line George Bush has been drawling out. Mr. Bush has pledged to wage a crusade against terrorism and flush out the evildoers, dead or alive, by draining the swamps where they cower, while chasing the pinpoint smart bombs with parachuted care packages for his friends the starving Afghan people, paid for by the dollars of little American children. I can see how that would strum the strings of the American heart.... Mr. Bush is sharing the role of leader with Tony Blair.... Sure America could go it alone. It doesn't really need the help of Her Majesty's armed forces, although Diego Garcia is a convenient spit of land. But it needs the cooperation of many countries to truly make this a long-running, worldwide campaign against terrorism. And that takes some diplomacy and legitimacy. That does not flow easily from an intimidating bully, be that a man or a country. This is a global sales job requiring some finesse. It feels like I'm buying, despite the fact George Bush is at the till. Now that's quite a feat."
"The United Nations And The Post-Taliban Period"
Paule des RiviFres in the liberal French-language Le Devoir wrote (10/18): "Giving the Novel Prize to the U.N. while a new war is raging must be seen as a wise invitation to get involved in the war.... The U.S., which was cool to the U.N. for many years, is now ready for a cozier relationship....By voting a resolution allowing the use of force in response to Sept. 11, the U.N. greatly helped the creation of the coalition. It is certain that the U.N will have to play a role in the creation of a government in Afghanistan...the U.S. cannot do this task by itself, its reputation in the area is too damaged."
The conservative National Post editorialized (10/19): "Since Sept. 11, Mr. Bush has made it clear that he is a good leader, and it is possible that he will turn out to be a great one. To achieve that judgment by history, however, he will have to fulfill the promise he has already shown, take the fight to terrorism wherever it lurks, and win it."
"Behind The Veil Of Violence"
Under the subhead "A new book reveals the U.S. government ignored evidence that Iraq was behind the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 - which may be why it was caught by surprise Sept. 11," Peter Worthington reflected in the conservative Ottawa Sun (10/19): "To understand why the terrorist attack on New York's World Trade Center and Pentagon caught America by surprise, one only has to study the trial of the guys convicted for the underground explosion in the WTC in 1993. ... [M]assive documentation found in the terrorists' possession clearly pointed to foreign states' involvement -- all of which was ignored, not turned over to appropriate intelligence agencies.... Had attention been paid to the foreign involvement, Sept. 11 might have been averted.... Looking back, it was the Clinton administration that left America vulnerable to the Sept. 11 attack by describing the 'new terrorism' as being a 'loose network' of Muslim militants, and excluding the involvement of other regimes.... When the American/British 'war' against Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network and the Taliban has been won, it's obvious that Saddam Hussein will have to be dealt with. Iraq's involvement in terrorism can no longer be ignored, as Clinton tried to do."
ARGENTINA: "Anthrax Revives Controversy Over Pharmaceutical Patents"
Marcelo Canton, leading Clarin economic columnist, opines (10/19) "Fear of Anthrax could be triggering an unexpected, secondary effect: putting at stake one of Washington's most important lobbies, pharmaceutical patents.... The proposal opened a door to debate: in order to achieve this, the U.S. government will have to set aside Bayer's patent copyright and, although U.S. legislation stipulates that this is possible in emergencies, it will possibly clash with the criteria it has been upholding internationally."
"George Bush in Shanghai: In Search of Support from Old Adversaries"
Silvia Naishtat, on special assignment in Shanghai for leading Clarin wrote (10/19): "This APEC summit is of great importance for its players, and the photo will show how the axis of the international alliance changed: Bush hugging his former rivals (Chinese, Russians and Japanese) is what Washington wants to show as the new symbol of unity against terrorism.... At this summit China will push forward a formal declaration of support for Washington in its fight against terrorism. Analysts speculate that the Chinese will take advantage of the new international scenario. According to this view, Beijing is planning to push Japan aside and become a leader."
"U.S. Establishment, Ranging From Panic To Ridicule"
Gabriel A. Uriarte, international columnist, filed leftist Pagina 12 commented (10/19): "Yesterday, the House of Representatives did not operate... In the meantime, the Senate...continued with their sessions to mark, according to Democrat leader Tom Daschle, that 'the attacks won't paralyze the government.' Maybe not but, certainly, they managed to humiliate them.... The epidemic might not be 'under control', and even this is not the worst thing. The concentration of Anthrax used in the Senate was very high, which means that, whoever sent it --according to experts--has quite a large stock of it.... It is true that no one in the U.S. government could avoid a loss of credibility after their guarantees that the Anthrax cases were 'isolated incidents' proved false. Yesterday, with almost a hundred people exposed to the bacteria, they finally set aside the argument that the number of infected people is 'insignificant.'... Now, the argument is the opposite: the more attacks there are, the better, because enough evidence is gathered to take those who are responsible for the attacks to trial."
"Pakistani Troops On Maximum State Of Alert"
Oscar Raul Cardoso, leading Clarin's international analyst, wrote (10/18): "The current escalation of violence took place in spite of Powell's recent visit to South Asia. One of his goals was to deactivate the Kashmir conflict to prevent it from complicating the allied operation against Afghanistan... This escalation (of violence) between the two countries seems to have unveiled certain risky aspect of Powell's diplomatic action in both Islamabad and New Delhi. The game of pleasing the two parties, without caring about the contradiction, is essentially what the secretary has done here. In Islamabad Powell committed himself before Musharraf to pressuring the Indian government...so as to stop any aggressive action in Kashmir. In New Delhi, instead, Powell said that the current antiterrorist fight... also includes as one of its targets the Muslim guerrilla that challenges the power of India in Kashmir."
"Rumsfeld Wins Everything"
Claudio Uriarte, left-of-center Pagina 12's international analyst, opined (10/18): "Everything is collapsing, and the center cannot stand on its feet.... During the seven months of the Bush administration, Colin Powell has attempted to obtain a cease fire (in the Middle East).... Also, the result of his trip to South Asia has been the state of maximum alert, the beginning of combats along the line of control between Pakistan and India.... Powell cannot ignore that India, China and Pakistan, have nuclear armament. This zero-sum game implies that this series of crossed moves have left only one winner: Donald Rumsfeld...who from now on will head the de facto political-military management of the Imperial Republic, and whose strategy for the looming war is to maintain Pakistan as a puppet state like South Vietnam, reinforce the alliance with India and add two new key actors to the conflict: Australia and Turkey - the latter will contribute the peacekeeping forces when Taliban are expelled from Kabul."
"The War Reaches Every Nook And Cranny Around The World"
An editorial in business-financial El Cronista read (10/18): "For those who believed with certain indifference that the attack on... New York and Washington only targeted the United States, the current situation is showing they were wrong.... The attack was not against a country.... It was against a life style including such fundamental concepts as freedom, democracy, progress and, above all, respect for individual differences.... The retaliation started in the United States...but there were alarms also in El Salvador, Israel and even in Egypt.... In Argentina there is not much awareness of these facts. (Argentine) institutions do not have funds to face the probable consequences of bioterrorism... While for now it is more psychosis than contagion without borders, no one will be safe until terrorists are defeated."
"'The Taliban Will Have a Place in Future Government', says Powell"
Silvia Pisani filed from Pakistan for daily-of-record La Nacion (10/17): "Basically, U.S. Secretary Colin Powell disclosed that those who believe that all Taliban are terrorists, are wrong.... In a new expression of this 180-degree turn in his policy in search of allies, Powell said that, providing it is ready to take part in the development of a new Afghanistan, the moderate sector of the Taliban regime must be taken into account. Pragmatism seems to be the answer now... But, in order to outline Afghanistan's future, the key question is 'when will the war end?'... During his press conference with President Musharraf, Powell gave signs of understanding and reward for his host.... And he even suggested a bigger prize: 'after what Pakistan did during the past 5 weeks, we are on the eve of a bilateral relationship which will grow even further.' Similarly to what occurred ten days ago with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, they both agreed in the construction of a post-Taliban Afghan scenario."
"Toning Down Wars That Come After A Victory"
Eduardo Febbro, leftist Pagina 12 international columnist filed from Islamabad (10/17): "The key aspect of the meeting between Powell and Musharraf was to look for consensus on a Afghanistan's future government... Both men said nothing new but rather confirmed last week's hypothesis: they agreed on the profile of Kabul's future government and expressed their determination that the latter must be 'friendly, multi-ethnic, with broad representation', and organized without 'foreign intervention.' This last paragraph of the joint conference is extremely paradoxical because the government is being put together thanks to the most blatant foreign intervention.... According to several military and other experts in Afghan policy, the idea of a 'rainbow' government is more 'wishful thinking' than a tangible reality."
BRAZIL: "In Imperial China"
An editorial in liberal Folha de Sao Paulo (10/19) commented: "Bush and Jiang Zemin may find common points in the anti-terror rhetoric. While Washington wants Osama bin laden, China is interested in repressing Islamic terrorists in its Northwest region. Russia is also interested in fighting what it calls terrorists in Chechnya. The crisis occurs at a moment when Beijing was abandoning its traditional isolationism to adopt a more aggressive foreign policy.... It is in both nations' interest to find a common rhetoric to facilitate their understanding."
"Protection Against Panic"
The lead editorial in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo said (10/19): "The fully achieved goal of the September 11 terrorist attacks was showing the American people and their institutions the nation's vulnerability, so as to destabilize Americans' self-confidence and harm their society's dynamism. The 'anthrax war' goal is no different.... With anthrax, the terrorists want to create a climate of panic, possibly of collective hysteria, to demoralize governments and force them to fight against an unpredictable enemy, to hamper the economy and burden public finances.... A wave of fear that is disproportional to the real dangers of anthrax is already contaminating other nations."
"End Of Misery"
Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo columnist Eliana Cantanhede commented sarcastically (10/19): "Dangerous terrorists hidden in caves in Atlanta mailed anthrax to Kenya and contaminated four innocent civilians. Certainly, Kenya's president is ready to demand that George W. Bush turn over the terrorists, otherwise there will be war.... Bush must have already called Tony Blair to expand the war. The next target may be Somalia, but one cannot discard bombings of 'strategic targets' (military installations, another UN building and hundreds of civilians) in Chechnya and Yemen. The U.S. has good reasons to be terrified. And the USG seems completely lost. It cannot identify the perpetrators, the origins and the reasons of the biological war, but has no doubt that it must attack other miserable and suffering nations such as Afghanistan because bin Laden may be hiding there. Seen from here, the fact that the U.S. is leading a war against Afghanistan, Somalia, Chechnya and Yemen seems surrealistic and cruel. The First World wants to eliminate misery by destroying the Third World. How about finding the Atlanta terrorists first?"
"The Policy Of Fear"
Columnist Mauro Santayana commented in independent Jornal da Tarde (10/19): "Brazil should not have imported the U.S.'s fear and hysteria... We Brazilians must not be appalled. We are not enemies of Muslims. We have not overthrown governments. We are not partial in the Middle East conflict, and have always defended a peaceful coexistence between Jews and Palestinians; we never used napalm in Vietnam, bombed Iraq or encouraged a civilian war in Lebanon. Therefore, there is no reason for us to be affected by panic. The President of the Republic should have been more judicious. Instead of telling the nation that we could be hit, he should have stated the contrary, i.e. that we do not have objective reasons to become involved in the conflict. Solidarity with the U.S. people is natural, but to invoke the Rio Treaty on Mutual Assistance was an exaggeration."
Independent Jornal do Brasil wrote (10/19): "The anthrax distributed in envelopes throughout the world and a homemade bomb exploding at the door of Rio's McDonald's are a new postcard of world terrorism, and its second rate version in Brazil. Everything is upside down since the destruction of the twin towers in New York and the American reaction in Afghanistan, as if it were possible to admit that from now on the world in divided in two theological hemispheres, a confrontation of civilizations not seen since the Crusades."
"The Logic Of Power"
Conservative O Globo carried a byline by writer Frei Betto (10/19): "The White House is, today, the government of the world. Its decisions are independent of formal agreements. International law is reduced to the law of retaliation...in a war of an eye for an eye until we're all blind.... Who really believes the International Court at the Hague will try the U.S. for crimes committed against Afghanistan? They (the U.S.) will remain unpunished like Robert Hayes, CIA terrorist agent in Brazil who in 1976 received instruction to place bombs in three Sao Paulo targets and blame leftist groups....How do you explain that with so many resources to fight terrorism, the Mafia and narcotraffickers continue working in the U.S. to the point of robbing scrap from the ruins of the WTC?"
"The Good Side Of The Situation"
Conservative O Globo byline by Luis Fernando Verissimo remarked (10/17): "No one seems to have the least idea of what to do with Afghanistan after the bombings stop. If power doesn't go to the right ethnic group, the confusion will continue.... A strange solution for a Republic Administration would be for the U.S. re-establish the monarchy in Afghanistan.... There is also faction fighting in Washington, that of the Defense Department whose the fiercest mullah seems to be Assistant Secretary Wolfowitz and that of the State Department where Colin Powell tries to maintain calm and avoid extending the war beyond what is diplomatically bearable. If there is the least indication that the Anthrax comes from Iraq, no one will be able to hold back Wolfowitz and the hawks."
Academic Jesus Velasco wrote in nationalist El Universal (10/18): "The outcome of the drama in Central Asia depends on the U.S. If U.S. armed forces are able to carry out an attack without harming the civilian population. It is likely that this has already happened, Bush would be criticized, and the conflict would last for a long time.... Perhaps in their irrational thinking, the terrorists anticipated an immediate U.S. attack that would provoke a spiral of violence. However, the moderates in the Bush administration prevailed and have quashed this expectation. Prudence has won the first round."
Sergio Sarmiento asserted in independent Reforma (10/18): "Up to now Osama bin Laden has been the most intelligent of the two contenders in the 21st century's first war. He wanted to beat and humiliate the U.S. in its own territory, and to have his message spread all over the world. He wanted to make feel proud millions of Muslims who have been humiliated by the West. In order to achieve this goal, it was important for George Bush to bite the bait. The bombing of Afghanistan is the best thing bin Laden could have expected. Perhaps thousands of faithful Afghans will die, but if this promotes Muslim unity all over the world, the cost - from Osama's viewpoint - would have been worth it."
Mexico's Ambassador to Cuba Ricardo Pascoe writes in independent Reforma (10/18): "The recent crisis caused by the suicide attacks against the U.S. has brought to the forefront Mexico's national security agenda. Terrorism is not its center. Paradoxically, the most pressing danger for Mexico's national security and which could question our country's viability is the extreme subordination to U.S. economic and political interests. Mexico's economic integration to the U.S. has surpassed dependence and has reached the levels of subordination."
"Afghanistan: First Movement"
Angel Guerra Cabrera writes in left-of-center Jornada (10/18): "The new imperialist adventure has reawakened old grudges in Southern Asia and heated up social inequalities felt by Muslims all over the world. The aggression in Afghanistan is the first step of a U.S. strategy to replace the neoliberal model of financial speculation with a neo-Keynesian war economy, and political control through a consensus model. Its historical background: Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy."
"The United States Generates Drug Trafficking"
An editorial in nationalist Excelsior stated (10/18): "The DEA has informed the U.S. Congress that Mexican and Colombian cartels head the principal and most sophisticated drug cartels in the world. The U.S. can say that drug traffickers are here, but they cannot accuse us of not collaborating with U.S. law enforcement authorities. In addition, Mexico is being used as a trampoline, as a point of transit into the country with the source of the problem, because this is where demand is generated. Terrorists could utilize funds generated by drug trafficking both criminal gangs could work in tandem and we need a united front to shut them down."
Ezra Shabot asserted in independent Reforma (10/17): "Mexico's seat at the UN Security Council, and the Fox administration's determined support of the U.S. in the war against Afghanistan and bin Laden are a break with the past, and turn Mexico into a co-player in the international scene. Mexico is no longer an opportunistic observer incapable of making commitments.... Nevertheless, it is clear that the Mexican chief executive is not supported by a Congress that continues to be trapped in useless discussions, and has demonstrated its inability to make decisions within a democratic system. In this domestic struggle there are the pacifist hypocrites - similar to those who in 1939 choose not to do anything about the Nazis. Islamic fundamentalists are not interlocutors for dialogue, and much less partners to solve hunger and misery problems. They are an enemy that is willing to annihilate others for the simple reason that we are not like them. Let's understand this once and for all."
Sergio Sarmiento wrote in independent Reforma (10/17): "President George Bush has stated that the U.S. is at war against terrorism and not against Afghanistan. However, the (U.S.) bombings have affected the Afghan people. Wouldn't there be any other way to catch the terrorists without killing thousands of innocent people?"
"Mistakes In The Bombings"
An editorial in nationalist Excelsior (10/17) read: "The Red Cross was hit by U.S. bombs. Even though it might have been a mistake, the damage is done. The U.S. and Afghan populations have been affected by the current situation. The Afghans face the terror of the bombings, and the Americans are scared of the threat of the bacteriological warfare. The world-wide rejection of terrorism, does not mean an approval of the bombings."
Monterrey's leading El Norte carried a commentary by Gabriela de la Paz (10/17): "The U.S. people are convinced that their country has a special mission that demands sharing their values and institutions with the rest of the world, leading (everybody) toward a better and safer world. This prevents them from isolating completely. Nevertheless, these two opposite tendencies lead to a permanent debate over the U.S. role in an international level.... The new doctrine is defined as the U.S. obligation to eliminate the threat of international terrorism, which means terrorists and its networks should be eradicated as well as those who support them.... Applying the Bush's Doctrine shows another of the U.S. strongest traditions: unilaterism.... This is a high-risk point. ... The fear about having the U.S. committing excesses through the Bush's Doctrine raises several questions: Can the U.S. break the rules of international law to combat terrorism? Is it an exclusive U.S. privilege to launch these doctrines? Is the rest of the world obligated to follow them?"
COLOMBIA: “In The Eye Of The Hurricane”
The lead editorial in top national El Tiempo stated (10/18): “Amidst the global crusade against terrorism, Colombia has come under international scrutiny as never before.... It’s appropriate to analyze this development in proper perspective. Despite contradictory remarks by senior government officials in Washington, one must dismiss apocalypic scenarios which include unilateral military adventures. At least in the short term, the first war of the 21st entury is being directed against geographic targets far from the Americas [and is aimed at] dismantling bin Laden’s [terrorist network.]... Nevertheless, Colombia has a leading role in the strategy against terrorism. From a political perspective, Bush’s repeated calls for [action against] terrorism leave no room for ambiguity. Judicially, a range of multilateral organizations have adopted mandatory measures. The OAS has also adopted cooperative plans and, after years of disuse, has invoked the Inter-American Mutual Assistance Treaty.... Certainly, the struggle against terror touches Colombia -- intimately. The confusing panorama obliges us to consider seriously the risks and threats, and to hope that sooner or later [illegal] armed groups in Colombia...take stock of geopolitical changes afoot to neutralize the terrorist threat embodied by the FARC, ELN and AUC.”
"Colombia Ought To Join International Alliance Against Terror"
The lead editorial in the Medellin-based El Colombiano stated (10/18): “It’s a fact that Colombia is in the eye of the hurricane... It’s a problematic nation not only for the United States, but for the entire world. The antinarcotics struggle is a top national security issue for the Americans, together with counterterrorism now ... Colombia ought to vigorously join the international alliance [against terror] and simultaneously assemble a domestic alliance to end terrorism and its deadly ally, drug-trafficking.”
"Priority Of The Internal Conflict"
From an op-ed by former Treasury Minister Abdon Espinoza Valderrama in top national El Tiempo (10/18):
“Punitive operations against the Taliban and indications of bioterrorism distract our attention from horrendous massacres and systematic outrages occurring domestically. Foreign events should concern us, but we mustn’t forget or underestimate the many consequences of [violence] in Colombia.... The dynamics of violence have become the principal cause of uncertainty, [and economic] paralysis.”
“The Worst Disease Is Fear"
Lead editorial in top national El Tiempo stated (10/17): “News of the latest cases of malignant anthrax is bad.... Everything is aimed at creating panic more than devastation and death.... It’s important to anticipate threats dispassionately and informedly. And by the way, is Colombia prepared for an anthrax outbreak? It’s important...to report [honestly] on the situation without foolishly feeding alarm.... However, it is inevitable to think about how far these criminals, who base their strategy on sacrificing innocents, can go. Along this line, [it’s also understandable to be concerned about the possibility of] nuclear arsenals falling into the hands of these fanatics. That really gives us chills.”
"Colombia In Pursuit Of ATPA"
The lead editorial in Bogota’s economic and business La Republica (10/17) stated: “ATPA extension and expansion will bring enormous benefits...maybe greater than those enjoyed to date in terms of exports, employment, social development, etc. We hope Colombian businessmen take advantage of the opportunity [and exploit] ATPA to penetrate rich potential U.S. markets through aggressive export policies ... ATPA demonstrates that, after the September 11 terrorist attacks ... Colombia continues to be especially important in U.S. foreign policy.”
The lead editorial in Bogota’s second economic Portafolio stated (10/17): “U.S. support for Colombia in multilateral financing organizations is an important contribution to development.... FTAA is the best U.S. response to Latin America’s call for cooperation to confront underdevelopment ... In the meantime, ATPA extension expanding preferential tariffs [is important.]"
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: "Civilization Must Conquer Terrorism"
Franklin Barriga Lopez wrote in centrist El Siglo (10/18): "The fight against terrorism is not one against this country or the other, neither it is against any particular religion, it is only the logical reaction that a human being has, for safeguarding basic rights when confronted with forces that use death, destruction and fear.... Bush has been very explicit saying that this is not against Islam, on the contrary, judging by his words: 'We are friends of the Afghan people.'... These words are a slap on the face for those who are looking for a holy war in support of those who commit coward and crazy acts.... Civilization must conquer terrorism, if not, present and future generations will face a huge and treacherous enemy which could not be defeated with simple admonitions but with firm action and constant enforcement throughout the whole planet."
ECUADOR: "Tears Behind A Veil"
An opinion column by Pablo Ortiz in Quito's leading centrist El Comercio said (10/17) "Afghanistan is a poor nation that 'lives fundamentally from the opium trade, the number of literate people is declining, while women are banned from any paid job. And the human rights organizations? What have they done to fight for the women of this region of the world? My respect goes out to those women who, overcoming the barriers placed by society and men, have striven in loneliness and incomprehension to advance, fight, and grow, and are getting ready to overcome even more difficulties once again."
"What Would Heinz Moeller Say Now?"
An opinion column by Javier Ponce in Guayaquil's (and Ecuador's) leading center-right El Universo (10/17): "Lately, between the lines on any given page of any daily, it is insinuated that the U.S. is preparing a new counter-terrorist plan for Latin America, one that would mean the deepening of Plan Colombia and the so-called Andean Regional Initiative... Could we reaffirm now that the Manta Base will continue being a mere point for logistical support? Will the agreement for the Manta Base continue stating that we yielded to the Americans the same rights of use for the airstrip that we have for their airstrips? Bush's hunt will not go well with this kind of nonsense."
"The Face Of The Conflict"
An opinion column by Hernan Perez Loose in Guayaquil's leading center-right El Universo (10/16): "Believing that the attack unleashed by bin Laden and his band of fundamentalists a month ago is due to the Palestinian conflict is truly nanve, to say the least. The worst thing that could happen to bin Laden is that the conflict ends. It is not a coincidence that his terrorist plans took shape last year, when, like never before, both parties were very chose to a peace accord. Arafat, who has preferred to keep his distance from bin Laden and his acts, knows this.... It is enough to hear the ravings of bin Laden, in which he admits to being the author of the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, to know that in this terrorist agenda the Palestinian issue is secondary.... In the end, it is democracy and pluralism, religious tolerance, the secular state --elements that constitute to a great degree western culture and which millions of Muslims and non-Muslims have taken as their own -- it is those things which these Muslim extremists fear, like the oligarchies that govern a large part of the Arab world, from Iran to Libya."
An editorial in Quito's center-left (influential) Hoy read (10/16): "There is also the risk of favoring the objectives of the terrorist groups by exaggerating the danger of biological weapons or chemicals whose massive use would not be as easy as one would suppose. More real than potential, a danger which has called the attention of the UN high Commission for Human Rights, is that a tragedy is caused, comparable to that of Rwanda, amongst the population of Afghanistan. After two decades of war and years of drought and hunger, millions of Afghans depend on humanitarian aid. The bombings cause damage to basic infrastructure and impede the arrival of humanitarian aid, food and medicine. In the winter it will be impossible to access certain zones, mortal danger will therefore become more acute for more than two million Afghans, old people and children, to which one can add the other refugees."
EL SALVADOR: "Alarm Because Of Bioterrorism"
Moderate La Prensa Grafica editorialized (10/18): "Two great phenomena have come to the fore: the military campaign 'Enduring Freedom' against one of the principal headquarters of terrorist power in Afghanistan; and the campaign of terror, behind which are dark forces, with the use of resources such as the propagation of anthrax and the announcement of more criminal attacks, especially against the United States.... The military campaign must bring about some result, but it is not yet clear how or when. And psychological terror spreads with great ease, much more rapidly than the real risks, and its negative effects are incalculable.... We live in a moment in which the globalization of risk prevails. The terrorist attack against the heart of the United States has made it evident that anything can happen.... One of the most effective ways of fighting against a scourge such as terrorism is not to permit fear to win over the morality and will of the people.... We are entering an era that demands more and better cooperation in order to develop effective defense mechanisms against different expressions of crime."
GUATEMALA: "Reaching Into the Past"
Columnist Karin Escaler wrote in conservative, business-oriented Siglo Veintiuno (10/17): "It is legitimate for the United States and Israel to invoke Article 51 of the UN Charter. There is another important consideration: Who are the terrorists and why the violence?... Today they are young people who are not Afghans. They are Saudis, and Egyptians.... There is a serious defect in U.S. diplomacy; military actions have not been sufficient.... There has been no follow-up diplomacy. The disenchantment and antagonism toward their rulers that have made Egypt and Saudi Arabia authoritarian and repressive regimes have brought them to terrorism.... The international order that was built on Wilsonian principles of political idealism...--is too ambiguous."
NICARAGUA: "As Fundamentalist As The Taliban, And Even Worse"
Leftist El Nuevo Diario published an opinion article by Francisco Bravo Lacayo which charged (10/17): "It is not fully proven that Bin Laden is responsible, but that does not matter. Mr. W. Bush condemned him and decreed his apprehension...under the motto that 'whoever is not with the U.S., is with the terrorists,' and under the commandment of 'eternal justice' the world is under the jurisdiction of the gringo laws... under the authoritative criterion of the North American empire's fundamentalism...without Rule of Law, without independence, without anyone protecting against the traditional and historical arbitrary acts of the neocolonialist [U.S.]... Freedom of Speech was destroyed as were the Towers, immediately beginning the censorship of all the media...leaving only the voices of spokespersons for the Pentagon and the CIA...the greatest terrorist organization in the United States and the world.... Today the American people are suffering what other peoples have suffered in the past; we are sorry and express our solidarity."
PANAMA: "The Other Terrorists"
Independent La Prensa had this op-ed by journalist Hermes Sucre (10/17): "It is an error to believe that all Westerners are good and that Muslims are killers.... But there are other forms of terrorism, colder, and not less fatal and measurable.... Isn't the shameful distribution of wealth an attack against the poor?... Another very common type of terrorism, but not less fatal, is corruption in all the state and private levels. For every dollar stolen, medicine, vaccines and equipment are not purchased, that could save many lives.... Aren't terrorists those that negotiate with your monies, those that disguise their numbered bank accounts?... Those drug traffickers that poison our youth ... those that harass the addicts and drive them to insanity or suicide? Terrorists are also the bankers, the officials and businessmen that profit from blood-stained monies coming from drug trafficking, armament sales and other crimes.... As long as there is no justice or equity, social resentment will exist...as long as there is unfairness, there will be discontent, and if there is discontent, terrorism will persist."
"A New Light"
Conservative El Panama America carried anthropologist Brittmarie Janson's oped (10/16): "Our attention to the bombing of Afghanistan and other consequences of the September 11 attacks, should not leave a new light unnoticed that might lead civilization towards peace.... Three fundamental premises of the U.S. Republican Party have been destroyed ... First, the role being played by the government in relations with society.... the change in attitude towards private businesses ... and the fact that the Republican Party has had to abandon its sense of superiority when realizing that United States depends on the rest of the world, and not vice versa. President Bush ... is now promoting international cooperation.... The United States society is taking a positive way. To see hate in their enemy's face has made them understand that the world can be destroyed by hate.... We need to protect that light of love, comprehension and tolerance."
PERU: "Aren't We Downing Drug Smuggling Aircraft Anymore?"
Center-right opposition Expreso editorialized (10/16): "After the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the link between drug trafficking and terrorism is an unquestionable fact worldwide... Peru must... redouble its precautions.... It is evident that drug traffickers and terrorists are preparing themselves to resume activities in Peru at an unimaginable scale... In spite of the fact that the current U.S. fight against terrorism represents a window of opportunity for Peru to benefit from trade preferences... increasing the price of alternative crops is not enough.... It is indispensable to bring down the price of coca leaf in the producing areas.... This would entail a determined resumption of Peru's drug interdiction policy in the Amazon jungle."
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: "Strange Arm Twisting"
The independent Trinidad Guardian argued (10/17): "Countries, large and small, over most of the globe have joined in expressing sympathy with the United States.... The government and people of Guyana, facing severe economic difficulties and internal problems of governance, might now ask whether their expressions of sympathy were of any value in improving their relationship with their big neighbor to the north.... For in the midst of its troubles with Afganistan, the bombing raids, the anticipated landing of troops, the spreading anthrax problem, the U.S. has found time to impose the sanction of denying the issue of non-immigrant visas to Guyanese.... In Afghanistan with whom they are at war, the Americans are using high-tech offensive weapons from warships and aircraft to force the hand-over of Osama bin Laden. In the case of Guyana, with whom they are at peace, the Americans are using the big stick. The U.S. is anxious to deport criminal aliens back to their Caribbean countries.... At a time when the U.S. is seeking to put together an international alliance against terrorism, it is a strange approach for Washington to use arm-twisting tactics against a small and vulnerable Caribbean state."
"Bombings Won't Stop Terrorism"
The Trinidad Guardian carried this article (10/17): "Professor Ramesh Deosaran, Director of the Center for Criminology and Criminal Justice, has cast doubt on whether the two-week-old U.S. bombing of Afghanistan will stop the spread of terrorism.... Deosaran said: 'I'm not too sure whether what the United States is doing will put a stop to that sort of terrorism or the spread of it because of the very nature of terrorism. It exists not in places, but in the mind.' The terrorist act, he said is often seen as a means towards a 'noble' end. Deosaran said it is intriguing that from the mind of a terrorist can flow acts of charity and an 'underground' sense of social justice.... He said the world had changed as a result of the September 11 attacks...but this was not only in the form such terrorist attacks took. 'It is also changing in the degree of extra-judicial responses to such crimes, 'he said, 'and mainly in the form of applying vengeance, punishment and death without trial, with due process quickly substituted by deadly missiles from the sky'."
VENEZUELA: "The World Face-To-Face With Fear"
Leading liberal national El Nacional asserted (10/16): "Those still with doubts about the era of terror that began with the attacks on New York and Washington are now speechless: a frightening reality is starting to become global, and people are afraid of doing normal everyday activities. Even going to work, traveling or opening the mail have become dangers.... The truth is that we will not be safe for many years. Based on all the leads collected by the law enforcement officials so far, the anthrax cases reported in different places of the United States (Florida, Nevada, New York and Washington) represent a new wave of terror--a kind of terror that is less spectacular than the crash of passenger planes into the Twin Towers or into the Pentagon, but no less dangerous.... Now it is Capitol Hill's turn, and it is a direct sign of the existence of a terrorist plot behind the delivery of anthrax through the postal service.... The globalization of fear is also working at high speed. The alarm bell rang in a dozen countries yesterday: Germany, France, Brazil, Canada, Lithuania, Australia...people everywhere observed with fright at how the simple activity of opening a letter in the office or at home could mean a death".
CAMEROON: "Bin Laden Supported in Nigeria"
Columnist Emmanuel Gustave Samnick wrote in the Yaounde-based opposition, French-language tri-weekly Mutations (10/17): "It is the first time since the beginning of the crisis created by the September 11 anti-American terrorist attacks, that protests linked to that crisis go beyond control and claim human lives in Africa. This clearly shows that the conflict is constantly expanding. No matter what people say, Islam believers, fundamentalists in particular, feel deeply linked to the war that Americans launched on October 9 by bombing the Afghan capital city of Kabul. Around the world, in areas where many Muslims live, we see images of the star spangled banner being burned every day.... How far will the anti-American crusade go, when we consider the decisiveness and the unshakable conviction of Muslim fundamentalists?"
KENYA: "Terrorism Returns To Kenya"
The center-left Nation commented (10/19): "Sending deadly germs by mail is a sick form of biological warfare designed to cause maximum terror throughout society. That ordinary Kenyans should be recipients of such mail sends a chilling message: No one is safe. While there is yet proof that the culprits are extremists who may have a bone to pick with the United States and her perceived or imagined allies, the fact is that Kenya has been targeted. It is also a fact that there are those in Kenya who are sympathetic to Mr. bin Laden, and thus are opposed to the strong message the government has sent out in support of the war against terrorism."
"U.S.: The Dishonest Broker"
Mutuma Mathiu wrote in the Society Column of the center-left weekly Sunday Nation (10/14): "What shocks me is the level of ignorance among Kenyans about the American Middle East policy and its contribution to the current crisis, including the attacks and loss of lives in Nairobi. This is not a question of blaming the victim, it is a question of defying American dictatorship, honestly and dispassionately confronting the facts. If we are to resolve this mess and find safety in our city, then we must understand the nature of the beast -- even if it earns us disapproval and condemnation--because it is by understanding that we can ensure that 6,000 innocent people will never again be incinerated as they go about their normal chores, that the world is made safe from madmen like Usama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda sidekicks."
MALAWI: "The American Attack: Globalization Vs Terrorism"
The independent Nation carried an opinion piece on the regular "My Turn" column, contributed by Nixon Khembo, a lecturer in Political Science at Chancellor College, University of Malawi (10/12), "It was in Afghanistan in the 1980s where America...trained, financed and armed the Mujahideen and Usama bin Laden in their so-called holy war against the Soviet-backed regime of Aafizullah Amin..... The Americans are puzzled now that their former stooges have turned against them. They suddenly discover that bin Laden and his ilk are enemies of 'civilization.'... This American civilization is almost on par with the jargon of globalization. After the collapse of the Soviet Union,...Bush's father promised a new world order of peace, prosperity and unprecedented progress based on free market forces. This order, however, has of late become increasingly utopian with the onset of rampant misery, exploitation, insecurity, hopelessness, poverty and demoralization as a fertile ground for religious and psychological irrationality, obscurantism and fanaticism. Is globalization a solution to all this?"
NIGERIA: "The Beginning Of A Continuous Fight"
The Lagos-based independent Comet held (10/18): "This paper hopes that Usama bin Laden would be captured alive because he owes the world an explanation. We also hope that the infrastructure of terrorism in Afghanistan would be so degraded that it would become useless and ineffective for a long time to come.... The campaign against terrorism will of course not end in Afghanistan, it will have to be a continuous battle against terrorism wherever it rears its ugly head in the future. The United Nations has given the USA a carte blanche of self-defense against terrorism.... But this right must be used judiciously and with responsibility. If not, the global coalition will disintegrate. Right now the other world powers like the Russian Federation, the Peoples Republic of China, for their own internal and selfish reasons are backing America. But the moment the United States becomes the global gendarme, division among the global powers will become inevitable."
"The Nigerian Dimension"
Lagos independent National Interest (10/16), editorialized: "Opponents have argued that the evidence against bin Laden is not conclusive and that even if there was conclusive evidence, the action of the U.S. armed forces seem to be an overkill. However passionate these arguments may be, it is appalling and very unfortunate that certain misguided fellows in our own Kano should take it upon themselves to burn houses and other property belonging to their compatriots; kill and maim fellow Nigerians because America is bombing Afghanistan. As we said in a recent editorial, the government must begin to take firm action against religious fundamentalism. There can be no peace in a country where people from a particular religion appropriate the right to unleash violence on innocent law abiding Nigerians for the slightest grudge they have, even if the person who had provoked them in this case lives in Washington."
"Nigeria's Unqualified Support For This War Is Pathetic"
In her column in the Kaduna-based independent Weekly Trust (10/13), Aisha Umar Yusuf, wrote: "Nigeria's unqualified support for this war is simply pathetic. The 'compelling evidence' of Usama bin Laden's involvement in the attacks of September 11 was not even disclosed to Nigeria.... America might be driven by the promise of conquering Afghanistan and gaining control of her oil and gas reserves but that's one prize that has eluded many greedy powers in the past and it is not likely to drop in her hands that easily.... When it eventually reaches its graveyard in Central Asia, countries like Nigeria may be available to attend the funeral and hopefully learn one thing or two from their willing support for injustice and organized aggression."
"For Our Part, We Must Pray For The Taliban"
In his column on the Kano-based government-owned Weekly Triumph (10/13), Jibrin Ali Giginya, wrote: "One obvious fact is, attack on any Islamic state must be given religious connotation since it is an attack on Muslims. And whoever denies anti-Islamic tendencies of the Western world is either being hypocritical or living in a fool's paradise.... Happily, the Islamic faith of the Taliban is strong enough to make them take any calamity that may befall on them.... Muslims all over the world will not welcome an attack on any Muslim under whatever guise, even though the attackers remain apologetic and hypocritical. We must on our part pray for the Taliban."
SOUTH AFRICA: "A New World Is Born"
Hugo Young wrote in the liberal, weekly Mail and Guardian (10/19): "The United States has become a warrior nation.... Washington...wants to keep its friends, but on its terms. Not only will Bush feel weak if terrorism lives on, but his country will say a debt has not been repaid to the dead, and security not bestowed upon the living. America has the power and now the nerve to at alone. A new world is born, as well as enemies uneasily to note."
TANZANIA: "Involve UN In War On Terrorism"
The government-owned English-language African (10/15), "It appears that the United States often prefers to go it alone in building up both world opinion and coalition in punishing its foe(s), ignoring the very world body set up in 1945 for the purpose. Granted, Washington had notified the UN Security Council that it was about to bombard Afghanistan, as well as other countries that it claims harbor terrorism. We say mere notification is not sufficient, the issue should have been tabled for discussion. We believe that international terrorism which America is involving the world to combat has its roots in the Middle East question that has remained unresolved since the creation of the State of Israel over 50 years ago. It is our sincere belief that when a solution is found, terrorism would have been dealt a big blow. And the only way to do this is to involve the body that was set up for the tasks, the United Nations."
ZAMBIA: "Anti-terrorism Initiatives Might Gobble Up DR Congo Peace Funds”
The government-owned Times of Zambia reported (10/17): “President Chiluba has expressed fears that funds from the United States and the European Union (EU) meant for Africa may be diverted to the fight against terrorism..... The president hoped the United States and the EU would not forget about Africa even as they poured more resources into the fight against global terrorism. ‘Sir Ketumile Masire, the facilitator of inter-Congolese dialogue, has said the coffers are empty and that is why we are asking for more funding,’ Chiluba said."
ZIMBABWE: "He Who Shelters A Thief Dies With The Thief"
The independent Daily News carried the following opinion piece (10/17) by Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu under his column "A view from the Matopos": "An old African truism says: 'He who shelters a thief dies with the thief.'... The Taliban leaders should realize that bin Laden is not worth sacrificing the country and the lives of the people of Afghanistan for, and should hand him over to the United States to answer allegations against him. It is unacceptable to demand that he should be tried in a Moslem state under Sharia law. He allegedly committed the crimes in Kenya, Tanzania and the United States, and none of those countries practices Sharia law. If the Taliban persistently aids and abets bin Laden and his al-Qaeda movement, they should not expect sympathy from any right thinking normal human being, not after what they did in Kenya, Tanzania and the United States."