December 20, 2002
MEDIA FIND U.S. OVERT, COVERT SECURITY
** Critics charged that the U.S.--by
"legitimizing" even the "pre-emptive" use of nuclear
weapons to meet the WMD threat and by granting CIA authority to use lethal
force against suspected terrorists--was on an "increasingly dangerous
path" in its war on terrorism.
** A number warned that a reported Pentagon's
"covert propaganda" plan would "undermine" Islam,
"obstruct" freedom of expression and breed anti-American sentiment in
the Islamic world.
Nuclear-use policy taken as 'aggressive,'
'unilateral' hubris-- A number of writers were skeptical of the need for the U.S.
to "rattle its nuclear sabers," concluding that the "bellicose
messages" from the White House were both a warning for Baghdad and an
alert to the world that it is "serious" about preparing for war in
Iraq. Many regarded the policy as
"reversing" the principles of the past and shoring up what a
conservative Italian outlet dubbed a strategy of "pre-emptive war...the
third pillar of the Bush doctrine" against both the "axis of
evil" and terrorist networks. A
right-of-center German paper suggested that the U.S. was pressuring Iraq
"to annoy the arch enemy and provoke it to rebel." Capturing the indignation in Muslim outlets,
the UAE's business-oriented Al Bayan charged that the U.S. "makes
us live in an atmosphere of a...fabricated nuclear war." The paper insisted that the
"pioneer" of nuclear weaponry and "the only power now
threatening to use it" is "endeavoring to destroy the Arab
Presidential directive for wider CIA covert
authority sparks moral indignation-- A few conservative voices in Britain, Italy and
Canada agreed that expanded authority for the CIA to "take out"
terrorists was "perfectly logical" given the nature and atomization
of the target. Most writers, however,
found the "license to kill" "alarming" and "disturbing." Many raised moral as well as legal
concerns. Madrid's conservative La
Razon lamented that the leaders of the world's "most powerful
nation," were so "blinded" by 9/11, that they would see "a crime of the
state" as "good" and consider "the execution" as
center-right Nation admonished: "Terrorism cannot be eliminated
through terrorist methods." The
disclosure also reinforced familiar grievances that the U.S. government was, in
the words of a Zagreb daily, "imposing itself both as the interpreter and mediator
in the implementation of international law."
Pentagon's 'propaganda plan' seen as attempt to
'bribe' journalists, 'undermine' Islam-- Some
writers took offense at the Pentagon's reported plan to conduct
"covert" opinion influencing.
In addition to viewing it as another "ingredient" of U.S. pre-emptive
strategy, they warned that it would backfire.
Indonesia's Muslim-intellectual Republika insisted it was an attempt to "jeopardize and
undermine Islam." Agreeing that the
policy "ignores" the "simple fact" that most Muslims are
peace-loving, a Hong Kong daily held that "the more the U.S. tramples on
fundamental rights and freedoms, the greater the likelihood of a
EDITOR: Irene Marr
This report is based on 50 reports from 25 countries, Dec. 12-19. Editorial excerpts from each country are
listed from the most recent date.
"Limits Of Assassination"
London's conservative Daily Telegraph
opined (12/16): "The Bush
administration has a list of terrorists that the CIA is authorized to
kill. Is this a return to murder as a
political weapon? No. Washington is not authorizing a policy of
state assassination, and would be wrong to do so. Rather, it is clarifying the post-Vietnam
position.... The problem is simply
stated. Most people would agree that it
is legitimate for governments to kill someone who poses a clear and
identifiable threat to their citizens.
But who, in the absence of judicial process, is to decide what
constitutes such a threat? Rarely will
the security forces come across someone in the act of pushing the explosive
plunger; so at what point does a potential terrorist become an actual one? The CIA appears to have approached this
dilemma by applying military criteria.
It has sanctioned the killing only of enemy forces that are engaged in
acts of war against America. This would
cover an al-Qa'ida bomber, but not, for example, the representative of a
government suspected of harbouring terrorists.
Such executions will therefore count as acts of war, not
assassinations. It seems a sensible
"Those Who Have The Bomb"
Clemens Wergin judged in an editorial in
centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (12/13): “The [security] strategy of
the Bush administration is based on the conviction that the classical policy of
the containment of weapons of mass destruction has failed.... And that is why
it is certainly no coincidence that the new strategy paper was published on the
same day when a North Korean freighter with Scud missiles was stopped in the
Arabian Sea. North Korea’s behavior over
the past few weeks demonstrated what the United States is claiming: Even agreements do not keep away some rogue
states from acquiring and passing on weapons of mass destruction. We could have the impression that the
Americans are now applying double standards.
While North Korea, with its nuclear policy, has thus far not faced
serious consequences, Iraq is about to be attacked because of its weapons of
mass destruction. But such criticism
ignores the decisive difference between the two systems. But it is still
unclear whether the new U.S. strategy will make the world safer. States that are about to begin the
development of weapons of mass destruction may stop these programs out of fear
of U.S. intervention. Others like Iran
could present a different bill. They
know that they will be protected the best from U.S. attacks when they own the
things the Americans are trying to prevent them from getting. The North Korean example also shows
this: Those who have the bomb, will be
"Strategy Of Helplessness"
Stefan Kornelius editorialized in center-left Sueddeutsche
Zeitung of Munich (12/12): "U.S. security policy is changing with
breathtaking speed. Following the
National Security Doctrine, the Bush administration has now published a
strategy paper that must be understood as an implementation guideline.... The strategy, like the doctrine, reverses
several principles from past security policy times.... But the strategy was written less against
terror groups but against two special guys from the terror business: the
dictators in Iraq and North Korea. The
discovery of SCUD missiles on a North Korean freighter offers the welcome (the
timing was also perfect) evidence that the United States has an answer to
realistic scenarios of threat. Those who
spread weapons of mass destruction or produce missiles for their use, should no
longer feel safe.... But North Korea's missile shipments demonstrates how
insufficient the strategy is. Yemen
considers itself the legitimate owner of the missiles.... With their trade, the affected nations do not
violate international agreements. The
fact that the weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists in Yemen is
undisputed, but cannot be proven. Washington only has the feeling, not the
right on its side. This is not
enough. The simple strategy for the protection
from weapons of mass destruction and proliferation lack a soft part. Where is the functioning program for the
reduction of uncontrollable nuclear arsenals?
Why does the ally in the anti-terror war, Yemen, not get any
protection? More question than answers
Rolf Paasch opined in an editorial in
left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (12/12): "Tough inspections
that will end with the destruction of Iraq's ABC potential are
indispensable. But it is a different
question whether the United States must build up a new scenery for the UN
mission by threatening the use of nuclear weapons. The 'doctrine thunder' cannot obscure the
fact that the United States should better preach than practice its policy on
the non-proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.... If the analyses of scenarios reveal one thing
today than it is that it will be of little use to eliminate only Saddam Hussein
as one customer in the nuclear trade. It
would be more useful to buy [nuclear] goods from criminals who got their
products from the Russian nuclear program.
The annual 1.1 billion dollars in the U.S. budget provided for this are
by far not enough. And those who are
serious about Iraq should not excuse Pakistan's nuclear assistance for North
Korea by saying that General Musharraf is necessary in the war against Al
Qaida. A convincing non-proliferation
policy requires less military scenarios of threat but investments and greater
"Is It Ethically Acceptable To Pursue A
Policy Of Deterrence With Nuclear Weapons"
Center-right Koelnische/Bonner Rundschau
of Cologne (12/12) argued: "We can
certainly now enter into a critical and controversial discussion, like during
the hey day of the peace movement in the 80s, how far it is ethically
acceptable to pursue a policy of deterrence with nuclear weapons. As far as politics is concerned, this was an
extremely effective means during the times of the ideological division of the
world and preserved peace because of its perverse logic. Following a similar U.S. warning during the
Gulf war, Saddam Hussein did not dare to equip SCUD missiles with chemical
warheads in the Gulf war in 1991. But
nowadays when chemical, but also biological and nuclear weapons are widespread,
each government should know: When these
weapons are used, nothing can be won but everything be lost."
Center-right Nordsee-Zeitung of
Bremerhaven (12/12) noted: "U.S.
foreign policy is full of contradictions.
The government is trying to put the allies on when it emphasizes on the
one hand not to take unilateral steps, but, when it, on the other hand,
unmistakable makes clear that it will strike against Iraq on its own without
any authorization of the UN Security Council if Baghdad only slightly violates
the UN resolution. And it goes without saying that the United States will
evaluate such a case all by itself and does not want to allow anybody to tell
it what it has to do. If Security
Advisor Rice claims that her president believes in the U.S. allies, than this
is true as long as Bush expects them to unconditionally support
"U.S. Loudly Rattling Its Use Of Nuclear
Right-of-center Neue Presse of Coburg
argued (12/12): "'There are days when we become nostalgic. When we were still entrapped in the Cold War,
the risk of a nuclear strike in the world was calculable - and almost zero. And today?
Today, the United States is loudly and credibly rattling its nuclear
sabers without any need to do so. It is
appropriate to speculate that the United States is exerting pressure [on Iraq]
to annoy the arch enemy and provoke it to rebel. By doing so, it creates reasons to act.
George W. Bush seems to be determined to bring to end what his father had
ITALY: "Bush: 'Kill
Washington correspondent Vittorio Zucconi writes in left-leaning,
influential La Repubblica (12/16): "Bush's present to the CIA for
Christmas--the Christmas of the imminent war--is the license to kill, the
authorization to attack a larger, updated number of human targets that it will
have a right to kill, from now on, wherever they may be, without asking
questions or waiting for authorizations....
The president has issued the 'National Security Presidential Directive
Number 18,' with the 'license to kill' 25 people, according to The New York
Times.... 'Obviously we would prefer
to arrest Usama or Zawahiri alive and to interrogate them, but in war this is a
luxury that is not always possible,' says one of the few anonymous sources in
the Bush Administration. And nobody, in Congress or in the media, would protest
or ask for too many explanations if Usama bin Laden's body were to show up in a
morgue, like Ernesto Che Guevara. But
the fact that the Presidential Directive with an expanded list of CIA
legitimate targets has become public and that the White House is the only
possible source of this intentional leak won't change at all the debate over
the legality and the morality of the agent with 'a license to kill' who,
without fanfare or decrees, has always killed in the past. This is just another act of the daily
psychological preparation of the American public for a war that is
"Bush Gives The CIA More Power To
Pro-government, leading center-right Il
Giornale commented in a report by Washington correspondent Alberto Pasolini
Zanelli (12/16): "The White House gave a Christmas
present to the CIA: a list of Usama's collaborators whom intelligence agents
are authorized to kill 'when capturing them is impractical.' The names and numbers, of course, remain
secret for unauthorized people.... The
only certain thing is that the list of top-level targets begins with the usual
name, bin Laden, and his right-hand man, Ayman al-Zawahiri. The 'license to kill' these kinds of people
is not new.... The two new elements are
the fact that the CIA, from now on, will no longer need to ask for the White
House's written permission to kill a given terrorist...and that the license to
kill will be valid not only in Afghanistan but all over the world--something
which is perfectly logical since al-Qaida, like all other international
terrorist organizations, has chapters all over the world."
"Bush Warns Saddam: 'Ready To Use Nuclear Weapons'"
A report in LaNazione/Il Resto del Carlino/Il Giorno
conservative newspaper syndicate (12/12):
"If Saddam uses his 'dirty bombs' we will use our nuclear
weapons.... The Americans' threat is loud and clear.... The White House has made public President
Bush's 'doctrine' on the use of nuclear weapons and has warned that the use of
'biological, chemical, radioactive or nuclear weapons against America, U.S.
forces abroad and our allies' would prompt an 'overwhelming response' by
Washington, including the use of nuclear weapons. The document released by the
White House does not mention Iraq directly, but the time chosen for the
announcement...does not leave many doubts about its meaning. The coincidence with the seizure in the
Indian Ocean of the 'pirate' ship full of Scud missiles confirmed also the
second axiom of the Bush doctrine: the Evil Axis that includes, in fact, North
Korea, Iraq and Iran.... Against the
evil axis and the risk of terrorist attacks, the strategy is preemptive
war--the third pillar of the Bush doctrine.
Beginning today, the use of the nuclear weapon is an essential part of
"More Controls In Baghdad, Inspectors In
New York correspondent Arturo Zampaglione wrote
in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (12/12): "The bellicose messages, some of them
public, some of them intentionally leaked, have a dual goal: on one hand,
Washington wants to let the world, and Baghdad in particular, know that it is
serious, that it is getting ready for war (because it is skeptical about Saddam
Hussein's repentance) and that it won't let itself be intimidated by the brags
of the Iraqi dictator. On the other
hand, the messages are meant to dissuade the Baghdad generals from making risky
moves or obeying crazy orders. Such a
strategy was adopted successfully in 1991, when then Secretary of State Baker
warned Iraq that the use of chemical weapons would have caused a 'terrible'
response by the Pentagon....
Theoretically, Bush has not decided yet whether to attack Iraq or not:
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld reiterated that yesterday during a visit to Qatar to
follow the military exercises of General Tommy Franks and to sign the agreement
on the Al Udeid maxi-base, which will become the operational center of U.S.
forces in the Gulf. In reality, however,
all indications and the opinions of experts go in the direction of a war
between January and February."
"The Threat of War"
Senior foreign editor Anneliese Rohrer opined in
centrist Die Presse (12/12): "To the world's mounting concern, the
U.S. has presented a new security doctrine that includes the option of nuclear
retaliation.... Given the recent incident involving Scud missiles on a vessel
bound for Yemen and the rumors that Washington grabbed the Iraqi weapons
dossier in order to be able to manipulate it, this will only add to the fears
of those who accuse the U.S. of warmongering.... However, these events might be interpreted in
a slightly different way. The best-case
scenario reads: This is nothing but a message for Iraq not to underestimate
Washington's determination.... So the
real calamity in the current turn of events is not so much the Bush
Administration's actual or alleged strategy, but the world's distrust for the
United States' true motives."
CROATIA: "License To
Zagreb-based Government-owned Vjesnik carried a commentary
by military correspondent Fran Visnar declaring (12/17): “The current American administration’s style
is to shoot openly. By publicly
acknowledging that 20 Al Qaida members will be killed, a total war on the
Islamic terrorist elite is being proclaimed, not just for revenge for the crime
committed on September 11 of last year.
Such intimidation is also useful, because the terrorist organization’s
big shots will in the future pay more attention to their own security rather
than to planning larger terrorist actions on American territory or elsewhere
against U.S. interests. Pitiless
actions in this case should also serve as preventive discouragement of other
anti-American terrorist groups.
Because, it’s one thing when Americans talk about revenge in general,
and it’s something different when their intelligence agents get a license to
"Increase Of CIA Authority Is Turning Allies Away From
Sanja Simic wrote in Zagreb-based mass-circulation Jutarnji
list (12/17): "Even though the
increased authority of the American security services has not until now
significantly undermined the balance of political interests within America, it
is causing more and more problems in international relations. That is because the American government is
imposing itself both as the interpreter and the mediator in implementation of
international law.... On the one hand,
Bush is grouping security services under the authority of only one part of
government administration, while on the other hand, he is withdrawing
government administration ever further from the chosen agencies’ control. Such maneuvering is pushing a large part of
the American anti-terrorism war outside of the political and even the legal
sphere, which maybe Bush can justify at home by the need to fight the genuine
terrorist threat. However, outside of
America he could soon be forced to undertake a frenetic political and
diplomatic campaign. Therefore, a global
activity whose continuity he stopped a year ago, without in the meantime
significantly damaging the continuity of his enemy’s global activities.”
FINLAND: "No Need For James Bond"
Liberal Hufvudstadsbladet editorialized
(12/18): "Agents 'licensed to kill'
should not be allowed to exist in reality. Countries with capital punishment
weed out such agents in courts of law, but in Finland we do not approve the
death penalty or freelance killers. The
U.S. administration has provided the CIA with a list of 25 terrorists who can
be killed. One can only hope that other
countries will not follow suit. Life
will get dangerous, if all governments authorize their agents to murder those
whom the incumbent government considers the most dangerous."
Left-wing Hungarian Nepszava carries the
following editorial (12/19): " The United States of America, the symbol of
freedom, has become impertinent. More
precisely it's President Bush, who has unlimited power, but has less sense of
human rights. He has authorized the CIA to assassinate twenty five terrorists
without liability. There are many
problems with the President's decision.
The most important is this: a state does not have the right to take away
human lives. Actually, President Bush
noted quite cynically that the recent act does not infringe the law that bans
political assassinations (enacted under President Gerard Ford) because 'the
terrorists are not politicians.... The
way Osama bin Laden and the fundamentalist Arab terrorist conduct their own
politics is disgusting, brutal and inhuman. But it still does not entitle
President Bush to make an inhuman decision.
His decision is against the Western civilization's legal practices. It is not good if the President of a
superpower state gives authorization to his people to take away lives."
Military writer Gabor Zord
judged in conservative Magyar Nemzet (12/18): “The president has reauthorized the CIA to
carry out assassinations. His act is
viewed as a step to make the anti-terrorism fight more effective on the other
side of the Atlantic. But to the rest of the word it raises the question: what
is the underlying and real message of the President’s decision? Washington is giving a warning to not only
the potential (to be) targets, (and it is the worst tactics to give a warning
to them), but to the whole world.
Washington wants the world to know who ‘wears the trouser in the
house’. The only question is whether
such a maneuver can be successful when the anti-American rhetoric is becoming
strong almost everywhere, even in the traditional ally countries. One thing is certain: the recent presidential
approval is a clear indication that Washington tends to easily lose sound
judgment these days. Instead of making
piece with the adversaries and critics Washington aims to intimidate them.”
Senior foreign affairs commentator Tibor Varkonyi pointed out in
liberal Magyar Hirlap (12/17): “Le
Figaro’s unusually emotional tone [calling President Bush arrogant] is also
striking because, on the Iraqi issue, the conservative and unconditionally
pro-American paper seems to have joined those with reservations. Many of
Europe’s thinking minds are of the opinion that it is an irresponsible thing to
do, and warn that considering the fight against terrorism a simple slogan, an
occasional political campaign might cost the Old Continent a lot.... Consequently, there is no alternative to
lining up behind President Bush and the United States in the fight against
terror, because it is a question of life or death. In spite of--or perhaps just because of--all
their significant achievements, America and Europe continue to want to
modernize dynamically, while the Islam fundamentalists want to go back to the
Senior editor Razvan Voncu wrote in the
conservative Cronica Romana (12/13):
“The question is: whom is the
ferocious (and ridiculous) American message aimed at? This is obviously a rhetorical question: Mr. Bush thinks that in this way he is
scaring Saddam Hussein and, at the same time throws new suspicions on to the
Baghdad leader, although the latter does not threat anyone, and even apologized
for invading Kuwait. Iraq not only does
not possess mass destruction weapons, but, with an infrastructure seriously
damaged by the bombings of the last decade, with the technological handicap of
any Arab country and the lack of capital resulting from the embargo, it would
need at least 20 years of normality from now on, in order to develop a notable
arsenal of such weapons. The American
threat must, therefore be regarded in a completely different light. The civilized world is confronting now a
serious violation of the UN Charter, of the principles regarding relationships
between states, and of minimum standards of behavior.”
"Imperial License To Kill"
Conservative La Razon wrote (12/16):
"It is alarming to see that the fear existing after 9-11 in the most
powerful nation has blinded its leaders to such an extent that they would see
as good a crime of the state and to consider legal the execution, without
previous trial of people accused, by a discredited security service, of
terrorism.... Europe, in spite of
Washington's criticisms, its sincerely on the side of the American people, but
behavior such as the admission of summary executions make it more difficult
everyday to remain in the same ranks as leaders like Bush Jr."
YUGOSLAVIA: "Limits Of
The Total War"
In a series of articles on various facets of the
Iraq issue in Belgrade pro-governmental Politka military analyst M.
Lazanski argued (12/12): "Even if
Baghdad possesses chemical and biological weapons, it is not likely that it
will use them. Strong winds, heavy
rains and desert storms increase the possibility for Iraqis troops to be
contaminated with its own poisonous gas.
American generals assess that even if Saddam Hussein orders the
activation of the chemical weapons, it is completely uncertain whether
low-ranking officials would obey because they are aware that everyone who use
chemical or biological weapon will be treated as a war criminal and will be
prosecuted. Whether Iraq will use chemical weapons does not depend only on
Saddam Hussein but also on the precision of the U.S. air force in relation to
air strikes on the communication channels of Iraq's military headquarters and
troops on the ground. It is possible
that such a command will be issued but that the chain of command will be broken
and the first-line units will not be able to act on it.... What kind of a conflict between America and
Saddam Hussein can await American soldiers: a 'de luxe' war or the Iraqis
preparing a surprising and aggressive defense. Lessons from Operation Desert
Storm from 1991 are more of political than of military nature and they can be
summarized in a few words: Do not mess with U.S. interests!"
ISRAEL: "The Banalization
Of Nuclear Weaponry"
Defense commentator Reuven Pedhazur opined in
independent Haaretz (12/18):
"Last week the U.S. Administration took another step on the
dangerous road toward turning nuclear weapons into a legitimate military
instrument used for offensives even if the U.S. is not facing an existential
danger. This is a genuine revolution in
attitudes toward nuclear weapons and has far-reaching implications regarding
their use. The new American concept also
has an influence on Israel's own nuclear weapons policies.... One of the interesting aspects of the policy
is the intent to accelerate development of 'small' nuclear weapons, to enable
the activist enforcement policy to hit well-defined targets in countries and
terrorist groups that do not comply with American demands. Of course there's no operational or moral
justification for this and the use of 'small bombs' is as grave as the use of
strategic nuclear weapons. However, the
Bush administration is trying to give logical and rational cover to its
policies.... The new legitimacy granted
by the U.S. to the use of nuclear weapons against 'rogue states,' most of which
are in the Middle East, has ramifications for Israeli policy. If nuclear
weapons are legitimate weapons that can be used for 'preemptive' strikes, then
seemingly the nuclear threshold has also been lowered for Israel's
commitments.... It's worth reminding
[Israeli] policymakers that they should not forget that what superpowers are
allowed to do, little countries that depend on the superpowers are prohibited
"When Is 'Elimination' Legitimate?"
Ultra-Orthodox Hamodi'a editorialized (12/17): "The U.S. Administration has reportedly
prepared a list of 25 international terrorists.
President Bush has given...an OK for their assassination. There is considerable logic in the U.S.
president's decision, because...those terrorists are personally responsible for
harming people and they plan to continue to hurt as many people as possible.... The problem is that there is no logic
in...the reservations of U.S. officials about 'pinpoint thwarting' by Israeli
security forces.... A superpower and a
small country should be able to allow themselves to act in the same way."
Leading pro-government Al Ahram's senior
columnist Salah Montasser observed (12/17):
"Americans know nothing of world news even though this has changed
somewhat since September 11--(events) which has made them feel, for the first
time, that their lives have been invaded by the people of that world.... The
U.S. is not merely a superpower; it is the strongest country in the world and
in history. When it emerged from World War II, it sought to extend its
influence to the world but, following the collapse of the USSR, that was not enough. The U.S. wanted to impose its control over
the entire world even to the extent of asking some countries to change their
school curricula and of attempting to foster powers in other countries to
spread democracy.... How can a nation
which ignores the simplest information about the world--such as geography and
history--rule the world?.... Do we not
have the right to ask America itself to change its school curricula to produce
American citizens who know where Afghanistan, Egypt and Iraq are?"
LEBANON: "The Philosophy Of Force With Bush"
An editorial by Awni Kaaki in pro-Syria As-Sharq noted
(12/17): "The world has not seen a
leadership so drowned in recklessness and so in love with the philosophy of
force as in the current phase. There
could be no phase similar to this era other than that of Nero who burned Rome
while playing his harp. The President of
the American Administration George Bush embodies that reality and has outdone
Nero in his behavior.... Just like that,
with all simplicity, the American President announces that he had given his
orders to the CIA and the FBI to assassinate twenty personalities in the world,
whom he accuses of terrorism... And the
weirdest paradox is that his Secretary of State Colin Powell announced a plan,
which he called the Middle East Partnership Initiative to change the political,
social and economic patterns in Arab societies.
The U.S. has placed twenty nine million dollars for that, while the
supposed war against Iraq will be costing it one hundred billion dollars...this
is what falls within the frame of subduing the Arab world and controlling its
capabilities to force it into accepting a new Middle East order."
MOROCCO: "Bush Has
Given Green Light To The CIA To Kill 24 Terrorists"
Government coalition, USFP party, French-language Liberation
commented (12/17): "This is the Far
West way. The "New York Times" has written that President Bush has given the green light
to kill 24 terrorists mentioned on the black list including UBL. The CIA was given the green light to kill
them in case it cannot arrest them or at least capture them live or
dead.... If this is not new in the world
of secret services, it is indeed the fact of publicizing the news openly that
is really surprising!"
"The U.S. Is The Biggest Criminal State"
Independent, Arabic-language politicaly weekly Assahifa
Hebdomadaire carried a letter-to-the-editor stating (12/16): "U.S. history is full of crime and
blood.... The U.S. is behind criminal
actions that have killed thousands of children and women in Iraq, Vietnam, and
most recently in Afghanistan. We all
remember President Bush's statement that 'You are with us or against us' and
this means that there is no choice but to support America in its war on
terrorism.... Everybody is aware of U.S.
transparent support to the Zionist state, and this is what Ambassador Margaret
Tutwiler said in response to the question of financial support to the Zionist
entity.... Up to now, the U.S. could not
put an end to Al- Qaeda that defends Muslims issues and retaliates for the free
killing of the people in Palestine, Chechnya and Kashmir."
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: "Appointment With The Nuclear Hell"
Dubai-based business-oriented Al Bayan
editorialized (12/13): "The nuclear
American threats mean that the American atomic weapon is approaching Arab
borders. It is possible that U.S. fleets
are carrying nuclear warheads. Thus, the
U.S. makes us live in an atmosphere of a likely and fabricated nuclear
war. Being the pioneer of nuclear
weaponry, the first to use it, and the only power now threatening to use it,
the U.S. is endeavoring to destroy the Arab world."
CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):
The independent English-language South China
Morning Post commented in an editorial (12/17): "U.S. President George W. Bush's
right-leaning administration is walking an increasingly dangerous path in its
war on terrorism. While it says the
fight is not against Islam, recent comments by senior officials point clearly
in that direction. Such naive views are
guaranteed to breed even more anti-American sentiment in Arab and Muslim
communities. Dissent is already rife
over Washington's insistence that Iraq's President Saddam Hussein be militarily
toppled and its inaction to resolve the conflict between Palestinians and
Israelis.... Rather than dissuading
Islamists, Washington's actions are causing a rise in the number of people
joining extremist groups. Last week,
Secretary of State Colin Powell announced a program of education and
development in poor Middle East countries.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is considering a proposal for the U.S.
military to conduct covert operations to influence public opinion among allied and
neutral nations. This would include attempts to undermine the influence of
mosques and religious schools.... To
adopt such a policy ignores a simple fact--that Muslims are peace-loving and
only a small percentage are extremist in their views. The more the U.S. tramples on these
fundamental rights and freedoms, though, the greater the likelihood of a
backlash. Mr. Bush and his advisers
would do well to formulate a global, multilateral approach with other
governments to fight terrorism, rather than one based on their own narrow
Danger Of CIA Authority To Kill Terrorists"
Leading independent Kompas commented
(12/17): “The authority that the U.S.
government granted to the CIA to directly kill terrorists has prompted protest
for it shows more arrogance and tyranny....
The demands and the strong protests from the world community will
certainly harm the global war against terrorism...[leading to] antipathy
against the U.S. The U.S. decision,
which essentially promotes unilateral actions, constituted one of the worst
decisions. Rather than strengthening
global coalition, the option precisely weakens it.... Anti-American sentiment would emerge, which
would become a factor to prompt radicalism and militancy and in turn would end
up with a terrorist movement. The
long-term effect of granting license to the CIA to kill terrorists would become
Muslim-intellectual Republika observed
(12/17): “The Pentagon’s plan [to launch
covert propaganda] is still debatable but it adds to the suspicion among
Muslims that the U.S. has thus far not only waged war against terrorism, but
also carried out a systematic effort to jeopardize and undermine Islam, both
through the opinions they have built and influences in Muslim countries.... The U.S. should understand that their main
enemy is not Islam or Muslim countries whose people are anti-American, but the
U.S. itself. The U.S. is not the
‘legitimate owner’ of the world civilization, but is part of the pluralistic
world.... They do not have the slightest
right to determine and force its desire, but to work together at the same level
[with other countries].”
INDIA: "World Peace Threatened By Use Of
Mumbai-based, right-of -center Gujarati
newspaper Mumbai Samachar vituperated (12/13): "America is showing its obstinacy on the
Iraq issue and with it more and more evidence establishing the arrogance of the
American rulers is coming to the surface.
The UN weapons inspectors have not submitted their report yet but the
United States has already determined that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction
in its possession. America has also
warned about the use of nuclear weapons.
The UN acts as if it were a slave of the U.S. All these developments are
detrimental to world peace. One must
never forget that it was America that used the atom bomb against Japan and it
was also the same America that started the campaigns of nuclear
non-proliferation and banning the production of nuclear weapons.... If terrorist groups do not accept the rule of
law and the United States does not care for the opinion of the masses, then
what is the difference between the two?"
"U.S. Warning To Iraq"
An editorial in nationalist, Urdu Rashtriya
Sahara intoned (12/13):
"Although Iraq is cooperating fully with the UN inspectors...and in
its earnest effort to satisfy the UN and the world community by providing
documented details of its arms program in addition to making it clear that it
had neither the facilities nor the intention to develop weapons of mass
destruction, the United States is single-mindedly pursuing its plan of waging
war against Baghdad. The way American
diplomats at the UN grabbed the documents submitted by Iraq, overriding the
world body's right to inspect them and denying other members of the Security
Council to get the 'undoctored' version of the Iraqi declaration also makes it
clear how the United States was trying to impose its own decision on the world
community. Apart from demonstrating the
U.S. disdain toward the UN, the incident leaves no doubt about its aggressive
designs against Iraq, which is also reaffirmed by the warning by the Bush
administration to use nuclear weapons against Baghdad."
"License To Kill"
The center-right national Nation opined
(12/17): "The Bush Administration
has handed over to the CIA a list of individuals considered to be terrorists,
along with authorization to eliminate them physically. The list contains the
names of about two dozen supposed Al-Qaeda leaders and operatives. The written authorization will relieve the
CIA of the bother to seek approval to
kill in each individual case....
Terrorism cannot be eliminated through terrorist methods. To end the
phenomenon permanently, the grievances must be removed that force people to
resort to suicidal acts. Similarly, unless governments strictly abide by the
rule of law they cannot win over the public to their side in the war against
"Preventing Or Combating Terrorism?"
Dr. Moonis Ahmar wrote an op-ed in the centrist national News
declaring (12/17): "In its essence,
if combating terrorism is the priority for the United States and its allies, at
the same time, it should not undermine the importance of preventing terrorism. The reason why the positive results for
combating terrorism are not coming has much to do with the failure of the
so-called anti-terrorist alliance to figure out a policy to address those
issues which give rise to terrorism and require subsequent prevention."
"American Threat Of Nuclear Bomb Use"
An editorial in the second largest Urdu Nawa-e-Waqt
stated (12/13): “The government of its
choice having been established in Afghanistan, the U.S. is yet to achieve the
goals of its mission in that country....
And then President Bush opened up another front with Iraq and has been
looking for a pretext to attack the country.
Basically the drive is a part of the Crusade that Bush senior had begun
to occupy the oil reserves of the Islamic world, which is being accomplished by
Bush junior. The U.S. President unwittingly
uttered the word 'crusade' after 9/11.
However, the events later on, including his explanation of the axis of
evil, proved that the hint at crusade was a conscious utterance.... The new U.S. warning demonstrates President
Bush's shortsightedness towards the world affairs and how fast the U.S. is
moving towards the destruction of humanity.”
"U.S. Threat To Use Nuclear Bomb"
An editorial in the Karachi-based right-wing pro
Islamic unity Urdu Jasarat (12/13):
“The U.S. threat of using the atomic bomb in case it is attacked by
weapons of mass destruction is not a mere threat. The U.S. has used the nuclear option in the
past. After this announcement, all the
U.S. allies should cease all sorts of cooperation with the United States. This threat once again reveals that the Bush
administration is in fact the name of the gang of warmongers. Most of the
people of the Bush administrations were part of the U.S. administration or
military during the Gulf war in the nineties, and the same gang is again imposed
on the U.S. and could take any severe step for the fulfillment of its
designs. Today, the United States is not
only involved in terrorism, but is the biggest patron of terrorism in the
"When Diplomacy Fails"
Under the sub-heading, "We have a right to
stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction," the nationalist Ottawa
Citizen opined (12/13): "The
scud seizure represented counterproliferation: what you do if prevention won't
work. In a paper this week, the White
House spelled out some details of the its counterproliferation strategy. While the term is new, the concept has been
around for some time.... The U.S. says it won't abandon nonproliferation, but
the emphasis on counterproliferation suggests a movement away from talk and
toward action. Many people will find
this disquieting: we prefer to believe that all conflict is amenable to
diplomacy. The problem, however, is that
signed agreements are often worthless, as Jimmy Carter learned from North
Korea.... Do we really want the U.S.
inspecting every shipment that seems out of place? Once you've exhausted the efforts of a Jimmy
Carter, there is little choice. Counterproliferation looks pretty good when the
alternative is another Sept. 11, or an Armageddon."
"American Voices Counselling Peace"
The liberal Toronto Star opined
(12/12): “Suddenly, America is
questioning its rush to war.... While a
majority of Americans support Washington's incessant drumbeat for war, nearly 2
in 5 are now opposed, and their numbers are growing. Bush's readiness to
brandish the nuclear threat has rattled the American public.... Increasingly, Americans are also nagged by a
sense that Bush is becoming distracted from tracking down Al Qaeda, as the
military prepares to invade and occupy Iraq. That distraction could prove
costly. While Iraq does pose a threat,
U.N. sanctions have hobbled the regime. Al Qaeda currently poses the greater
danger, and deserves priority attention.
A war on Iraq, absent strong U.N. backing, will hurt ordinary Iraqis
while leaving Al Qaeda freer to plot outrages.
It will undermine America's moral stature, sap the economy and increase
the prospects of terror attacks. That was
the message in Washington and a hundred other communities. It was patriotic, forward-looking and
spirited. It's okay again, to dissent."
The UN Process Take Its Course"
The leading Globe and Mail editorialized
(12/12): "Iraq deserves no
presumption of innocence from the international community. It has gassed its
citizens and invaded its neighbours. It
is a threat to Mideast stability and global security. Saddam Hussein is an
outlaw leader.... The Bush administration insists Baghdad does have chemical
and biological weapons. It also suggests
the dossier may already place Iraq in breach of November's United Nations
Security Council resolution, which has brought arms inspectors back to Baghdad
for the first time since 1998.... Some
Washington officials suggest the case for war has been made. They worry that, having agreed to a
multilateral process for disarming Iraq, the administration risks tying itself
indefinitely to the UN mast. Better, they suggest, to take the first off-ramp
that presents itself and go to war, since war is inevitable. The pretext might be the dossier, or it might
be Baghdad's first offensive action,
such as shooting down a U.S. jet patrolling Iraq's no-fly zones. But
precipitate action would be a mistake.
The threat from Iraq is not immediate. The international community,
having ignored Iraq's defiance of UN resolutions for years, has rallied behind
Mr. Bush's call to force Iraq to account. Washington should let the process set
out in UN Resolution 1441, which is hardly open-ended, take its course.... Mr. Bush should let the UN process take its
course. If war it must be, the U.S.
government will be guaranteed international support if it has exhausted all
"The Return Of Global Threats"
An editorial in leading Clarin read
(12/18): "The September 11 attacks
meant an abrupt change in the practices of international terrorism: no country
is out of danger. This was a turning
point in the direction of security strategic concerns of world powers and other
countries.... The U.S. has redefined its foreign policy claiming its right to
military intervene in a unilateral way everywhere in the world in the event it
considers its security is threatened.
This attitude...can be considered as the most meaningful and dramatic
aspect of the USG's policy of isolation and unilateralism. The first step of the internationally agreed
action regarding Iraq is verifying whether the country has weapons of mass
destruction it could use against eventual foes. But even before UN inspectors
arrived in the country, the USG acted on the assumption the UN reviews would
confirm the hypothesis that the Iraqi regime is an international
threat.... In addition to this, North
Korea, syndicated by the U.S. as one of the members of the alleged 'axis of the
evil,' added itself by announcing the reactivation of its nuclear program and
banning the entry of UN inspections in its nuclear plants. On the top of everything, the confrontation
between Israel and Jordan should be added, increasingly further from any possibility
of reaching a peaceful deal.... In sum,
an increasingly dangerous situation...that calls for reaching reasonable deals
to avoid an escalation of violence that could bring serious consequences to the
"The Other 'Pre-emptive War'"
Leftist Pagina 12 observed (12/17): "In February, it was the Office of
Strategic Influence, with the mission to release false information
while--surprisingly--announcing it would be doing so. Now, the Pentagon takes a step further on the
issue of propaganda, and is analyzing an ambitious plan which includes bribing
journalists, organizing pro-Washington rallies with leaders hired for the
occasion and the creation of Koran schools in the Middle East and Central Asia
to teach a more 'moderate'--and closer to the U.S.--version of Islam. The New York Times disclosed this
yesterday and, although it's currently under discussion and probably its
announcement will determine its ill fate (like in February), the project had to
be defended yesterday by White House spokesman Ari Fleischer.... Up to now, and in the framework of 'war
against terrorism,' propaganda was limited to throwing pamphlets in areas of
conflict, as occurred in Afghanistan in the past, or in Iraq, now. But the idea is now a 'more pre-emptive'
action, as indicated in the Pentagon's new strategic principle. So the project would initially include, not
only traditional tactics (paid stories in favor of Washington from the areas of
conflict), but also the possibility of secretly financing Koran schools which
will teach moderate Islamic positions in places such as Pakistan (where Al
Qaida members are recruited), or Germany (where most of 9/11 terrorists
departed from), with special emphasis on the way in which this religion is
practiced in the U.S. Pentagon Chief Donald Rumsfeld hasn't opined on this
project yet.... In any case, according
to USG officials consulted by the NYT, it's clear that Rumsfeld is deeply
frustrated because the USG doesn't have a coherent plan to mold public opinion
in favor of the U.S. in its global campaign against terrorism. Many government officials are in favor of
military involvement in 'information operations against enemies,' particularly
before and after the war, in addition to a working routine of public relations
with friendly nations such as Colombia, Philippines or Bosnia, whose
governments receive U.S. troops positively."
"U.S. Plans To 'Bribe' Foreign Journalists
Business-financial Ambito Financiero
mused (12/17): "The war against
terrorism is permanently surprising U.S. people. Yesterday, a day after the
Bush administration disclosed it had enlarged the list of terrorists that can
be murdered by the CIA, it was announced that the Pentagon has prepared a
propaganda plan, which includes paying foreign journalists to write stories in
favor of the U.S..... Amid growing
controversy, presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer told journalists that the
idea hasn't developed any further within the administration--as some
declared--and Bush has said he won't give a green light to any project that
implies lying. The conduction of
'psychological operations' is usual practice in military campaigns of all
nations, and includes the distribution of propaganda against the enemy and the
dissemination of false information to confuse the enemy or undermine its
people's determination. But the plan
prepared by the Pentagon, according to the NYT, goes beyond this because it
adds covert campaigns in ally or neutral countries."
"CIA's License To Kill Expanded"
Jorge Rosales, Washington-based correspondent
for daily-of-record La Nacion wrote (12/16): "In a new turn of the U.S. policy to
push the limits in its aggressive military policy, President George W. Bush
signed a secret authorization to empower the CIA to kill, without any need for
any other order, a number of terrorist leaders, who make up a list prepared by
intelligence institutions. The presidential order is in the framework of a new
US offensive in its crusade against terrorism.... But it is also a decision that places the US
in the dangerous field of performing cover operations in third countries, this
is to say the US will be only one step from infringing international laws and
"Nothing Is Sure But danger"
Oscar Raul Cardoso, international analyst of leading
Clarin, highlighted (12/14):
"Amid back and forth movements, Bush sent to US Congress a brief
and frightening document.... Its text,
entitled 'National Strategy to combat weapons of mass destruction' seems to
modify the US policy established since the Cold War. The possibility of using US nuclear, chemical
and bacteriological arsenals will be from now on 'preventive', not 'deterring',
as in the Cold War times. A US nuclear
attack... could happen not only as reaction to some concrete attack, but as
mere suspicion that somewhere in the world is ready to use these kinds of
weapons against U.S. interests. From a
formal point of view, the document does not change things too much. Since Harry
Truman's days up to the present no US president has found it improper to
renounce the use of these weapons in any event... But while the new 'National
Strategy' does not alter the substance of the US military decision, experts
believe that its new formulation is an invitation to other nuclear countries to
assume the same position. India,
Pakistan and even Israel... could find in the US position an umbrella of
legitimization to assume more aggressive attitudes and perhaps to pass from
words to deeds."
"U.S. Threatens With Nuclear War"
Leading Clarin observed (12/12): "Yesterday, the U.S. added a new
ingredient to its antiterrorist policy: it announced it's even ready to use an
atomic bomb in case of a biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear threat
against its country, its troops or its allies. It's a new and more aggressive
strategy against an enemy who - in Washington's opinion - may attack with
weapons of mass destruction. This new defense policy, announced yesterday by
the White House, foresees the use of preemptive military force: before the
alleged aggressor attacks. This information is disturbing if one takes into
consideration that the U.S. is convinced Iraq has weapons of mass destruction
that may eventually be used against U.S. interests or its allies. A version of
the draft says 'the U.S. will continue to make clear that it maintains the
right to respond with full force--including all our options--to the use of
weapons of mass destruction against the U.S., our forces abroad, our friends
and our allies.' This plan does away
with 50 years of U.S. non-proliferation efforts by authorizing preemptive
attacks against terrorist States or groups that are close to obtaining weapons
of mass destruction or long range missiles capable of transporting them.... The
announcement raised the temperature in the Middle East, where a ship with North
Korean Scud missiles was intercepted last Monday close to Yemen..... The White
House seems to have blended into a major document all the prevention, détente
and defense doctrines Bush has been announcing since he took office... Each
word in the document seems to be designed to show Saddam that the U.S. is
serious when it demands Iraq's disarmament."
"The Risks Of U.S. Isolationism"
University of Sao Paulo Professor Gilberto Dupas
wrote in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo (12/14): "If the U.S.'s most important task is
the elimination of terrorism at any cost, multilateral norms and accords
regulating the use of force become problems that the hegemonic power prefers to
put on hold. The assumption is that the
asymmetry that favors the U.S. would also ensure that this unilateral attitude
keeps the international order under control.
But there are risks resulting from such a choice. A U.S. that ignores norms and institutions
will generate increasing hostility and more threats to its intended goals. If the hegemonic model sanctions intervention
without evidence that legitimates the action, other nations may behave in the
same way. At the same time, the
proliferation of arms of mass destruction and terrorist attacks may be seen as
the only alternatives for those groups and nations opposing the hegemonic
power. And this does not help peace or
the international order."
"Information, Not Propaganda"
Conservative, influential, newspaper-of-record, El
Mercurio argued (12/19): "The Pentagon's plan to use military forces
to influence public opinion and the leaders of allied nations to support U.S.
foreign policy against Islamic fundamentalists puts the U.S. government in a
delicate position.... It is true that
the U.S. a legitimate right to defend itself from terrorism and that
fundamentalists have given many examples of their disregard for life.... It is also true that the support expressed by
some countries after the attack on the Twin Towers...has waned... But the plan outlined threatens the
principle of freedom of expression... It
misleads and obstructs the mass media's duty to freely and objectively inform. The independent media offer public opinion
the strength of credibility. This
credibility disappears with any attempt to manipulate it... Making the media government policy spokesmen
would crush the information with the weight of propaganda."
Popular, independent La Tercera argued
(12/17): "President George Bush
issued the CIA a written authorization to kill...about two dozen
terrorists. This decision, which is
consistent with the new U.S. preventive attack policy, shows once more the
unilateral inclination of U.S. foreign policy.... This new 'license to kill'...is far from all
forms international cooperation and is guided only by U.S. interests. The president has authorized the elimination
of those he considers a 'threat' without judicial process and by trampling
human rights.... Just because the fight
against terrorism is still in a gray zone when it comes to international
rights... does not mean the U.S. can behave in a manner contrary to those
principles and values that guide international organizations."
"U.S. Pits 'Overwhelming Force'--Has Bush Gone Crazy?"
Liberal Cape Times featured an op-ed
piece by political commentator Tony Weaver (12/13): "Has the Bush administration gone
completely mad? I pose the question in the light of George
W's threat to use nuclear weapons against Iraq.... Almost as ominous as the threat of nuclear
warfare is that the opposition Democrats have not objected to the White House
threats.... As terrifying...is the
steady erosion of civil liberties in the
United States.... The latest
manifestation of this was the appointment...of one of the shadiest character in
recent American history, vice admiral John Poindexter, as head of the
'Information Awareness Office'.... This is all happening in the country that
prides itself on being the greatest democracy on earth, a nation that has
always--until now--jealously guarded the personal freedoms of its
citizens. This is chilling staff, nay, terrifying... The current escalation in the war of words
looks dangerously as though we could soon be on the brink of a world crisis
every bit as serious as the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Happy Christmas, Mr. Bush, and thanks for the
"A Peace Officer And A Warrior"
Kofi Akordor wrote in the state-owned weekly Mirror
(12/14): "Global challenges must be
met with an emphasis on peace, in harmony with others, with strong alliances
and international consensus", former U.S. President Jimmy Carter told a
cheering crowd of more than 1,000 guests while receiving his Nobel Peace Prize
on Tuesday, in Oslo, Norway.... Today,
the world is at the brink of war, a senseless war that would do nobody any
good, a war that would further put more strain on the economies of the
developing countries that are struggling for survival. It is a war that could
be avoided of only the man in the White House would allow the voices of
moderation, tolerance, diplomacy and negotiation to sound louder in his ears.
Carter's Nobel Peace Prize is an indirect plea to President George W. Bush, to
give peace a chance, since the world recognizes and wants more of those who
make peace than of those who bring war."