September 11, 2002
'THE DAY THE WORLD CHANGED'
** As the
world's news outlets contemplated the enormity of the 9/11 attacks, two editorial
trends emerged. One line of thought
focused on the necessity of fighting the scourge of terrorism, which had
demonstrated an ability to strike even "the safest place in the
Another school contended that the Bush administration, by responding to
9/11 in a predominately military manner, had "squandered the almost
universal goodwill offered the U.S. a year ago."
U.S. must inspire global support for anti-terror fight; ideological
divide on preventive warfare, 'militarily-dominated defense.' One theme resounded across Europe's political
spectrum: With the war against terrorism
still in its infancy, the U.S. must impress upon the world that the campaign is
not just one country's response to a domestic terrorist attack but a global
quest to remove all terrorist threats.
Liberals and conservatives, however, parted ways on the doctrine of
preventive warfare and the reliance on military solutions. Liberal dailies in Britain, France and
Germany contended that while the U.S.' desire for justice is understandable,
its use of "undiscriminating violence" is not. They argued that an Arab-Israeli agreement
and "a global market that actually deserves its name" may ultimately
do more to minimize the threat of terrorism than the use of force. Conservative outlets in Britain and Germany,
however, applauded the U.S. for its "proportionate" military response
to 9/11 and exhorted Washington to show no "sign of weakness" in the
anti-terror campaign. London's Daily
Telegraph chided Europeans for "failing to grasp the political
dimensions" of 9/11, thereby requiring the U.S. to "act, preferably
in concert but, if necessary, alone."
MIDEAST, MUSLIM WORLD: Pledges of support against terrorism, but
criticism of U.S. methods and tactics. While Muslim writers
reiterated their abhorrence of the 9/11 attacks and their support for
eliminating terrorism, many asserted that the U.S. has not dealt with the roots
of extremism and terrorism. Turkish Milliyet
articulated this common theme, observing that America's war on terror has not
produced "full results" in eradicating social, economic and political
injustice. The Syrian Times,
though "with [America] in combating terrorism," criticized the
"injustice" the U.S. "arbitrarily imposes" on the Middle
East. If the "scourge of
terrorism" is to be defeated, Pakistani Dawn cautioned, the U.S.
should follow a minimum standard of "political morality, democratic
tolerance...and social justice."
Israeli writers were by far the most supportive of the U.S.
administration. Independent Ha'aretz
emphatically called upon the nations of the world to either "stand
together" or "stand aside" against "evil incarnate."
ASIA / PACIFIC: Aussie
paper stands behind Bush in anti-terror fight, others 'doubtful' of U.S.
approach. Australia's leading Daily
Telegraph raised a steadfast voice in support of a "continued
offensive against bin Laden and his murderous cadres and other military
incursions in the war against terror."
Most media outlets in East and South Asia, however, feared that the
global war against terrorism was compromised by a "flawed" U.S.
approach to the issue. Several
criticized Washington's "limited world view" and its insistence that
"terrorism remains only what America says it is," with the U.S.
apparently unconcerned with the "experience of so many nations" that
have come face to face with terror.
AFRICA: Debating the
lessons learned. African writers also
worried about the causes and roots of terrorism, and expressed concern that the
U.S. was not adequately addressing these in its war on terrorism. The Nigerian Guardian noted the
importance of understanding and confronting what drives terrorists to commit
such depraved acts. South Africa's Business
Day believed the main lesson to be learned from 9/11 was that even powerful
states like the U.S. are "increasingly vulnerable to unsophisticated
attacks by determined non-state actors."
To combat this properly, America and the world must rethink "the
nature of security threats and revisit the concept of 'the enemy.'" The paper declared that the defense of
democracy, justice and the rule of law is of paramount importance to the war on
WESTERN HEMISPHERE: 'A clash of civilizations has begun.' Observers from Canada to Argentina commented on
a wide range of after-effects of 9/11.
Brazil's liberal Folha d. S. Paulo declared that "the world
remains as confused as ever," while Mexico's nationalist El Universal
proclaimed that the continuing fight against terrorism and prospect of the U.S.
going its own way against Iraq meant that "everything has changed and
nothing has changed." Writers
worried that 9/11 "shut down democratic values and harmed civil
rights" and that the preoccupation with countering al-Qaida had swept
other Hemispheric issues like migration and trade off the table. The Toronto Star declared that
somewhere after 9/11 "the war on terror changed course to become a war of
civilizations"--or would soon, "unless both sides step back from the
EDITORS: Gail Hamer Burke, Stephen H. Thibeault,
James Iovino, Steven J. Wangsness
Editor's note: This analysis is based on 81 reports from 48 countries,
September 4-11. Editorial excerpts from
each country are listed from the most recent date.
"One Year's Work"
The conservative Daily Telegraph opined
(9/11): "After Sept 11, 2001, many
Europeans reacted to America's pain with the half-spoken thought 'Now you know
what it's like.'... The European
reaction itself was uncomprehending, for the fact is that no Western country
since the Second World War has been attacked as grievously, suddenly and
dramatically as was America a year ago. This moment was just as big as it
looked. Europeans...failed to grasp the
political dimensions of the event, and this explains their hostility to how
America has reacted. America...had to
act, preferably in concert but, it necessary, alone. The way in which America has acted over the
ensuing year has, in fact, been proportionate.
America has moved against terrorism.
Europeans are quite right to complain that America has been poor at
explaining to them what it is trying to do. Bush needs to explain, which is no
more than the truth, his war against terrorism is ours, too. America and Europe
ought to be on the same side."
"September 11: One Year On"
The independent Financial Times held
(9/11): "A year on...the victory is
not complete. The bigger battle to promote lasting stability and peace in a
volatile region and around the world is not even half-won.... The world must never forget. . .America has
the right and duty to protect itself from those who would do it harm. Today, however, the civilized world stands as
it did a year ago with the victims. Americans should be reassured, not
discouraged, by the willingness of allies to play their part in ensuring that
it never happens again."
The mass-circulation Sun opined
(9/11): "Today the civilized world
unites in an act of remembrance that spans the globe. We shall remember Sept 11 as the day the
world changed, the day it united in a war on terrorism. [The minutes silence] is but a brief moment
but its importance will echo through time.
It is a silence not just of grief--but of steely determination that we
will never let the terrorists win."
"A World And Its Losses"
The liberal Guardian held (9/11): "Specific U.S. responses to Sept 11 have
already set in train an aggressive, self-serving process of realignment
reassertion and revenge that may not soon be sated. Understandably enraged by
the violence done to its citizens, the United States offered even greater,
undiscriminating violence of its own. A
weak, second-rate president with no mandate and less nous has since Sept 11
gained unprecedented levels of voter support.
Only Bush's progressively higher-handed, unilateral and exaggerated
responses to Sept 11 could have made of bin Laden, and now Saddam, such potent
and (to some) heroic bogeymen. Bush
squandered the almost universal goodwill offered the United States a year ago.
Perhaps only Bush could have made Sept 11 even worse than it actually was. Sept
11 initiated a sorry year of violence. Now, if only to spare future generations
their own repeat cataclysms, it is time to strut, threaten and fight less,
delve and deliberate more, and reflect meanwhile that though America's cause may
be just, its heedless leader's still unfolding actions and aims increasingly
"The American Impasse"
Jean-Marie Colombani wrote in left-of-center Le
Monde (9/11): "A year later,
America is on the war path. It is also at an impasse which can cause us
harm.... Last year's reflex of
solidarity has turned into something that could imply we are all
anti-American.... George Bush has chosen to ignore the lessons of Sept. 11 and
decided to change nothing to his perception of the international scene.... It is as if after the war in Afghanistan, the
Bush administration had returned to the period before Sept. 11, taking the United
States back to Baghdad.... In the worst-case
scenario, the United States, without regional support, will engage in a
campaign of strikes. The result will be maximum disorder. The tension caused by
Sept. 11 is such that we are close to the breaking point... The most pressing
point about Iraq is that it is urgent to wait and see.... President Bush has chosen a no-win game. His
preventive war goes against everything which has been established since 1945 in
matters of international law.... Should
we rejoice about America's dangerous conduct and revert back to our
anti-American reflexes? Rejoicing in America's misery would be rejoicing about
our own. We are today and will remain for years to come Americans, because our
fates are intertwined. A weakened America is dangerous, what we need is a reformed
America.... But can America change?
America must remain one of the leading nations in the democratic
coalition. On condition that it accepts
the idea of a coalition. With partners, not satellites.... Development and containment have always been
the two pillars of the Atlantic coalition....
Bush has replaced them with protectionism and preventive
interventionism.... We need a better
America, a stronger America that will help us defeat terrorism."
"A Year Later"
Philippe Mudry wrote in centrist La Tribune
(9/11): "Churchill once said to De Gaulle: 'Between Europe and the Ocean,
Great Britain will always choose the Ocean.'
Between the Midwest and his allies, George Bush will always choose the
Midwest.... While it has never been easy for America to reconcile its national
interests with its responsibilities of dominant world power, the gap is today
patent. Ever since the intervention in
Afghanistan, the U.S. has been riding alone. It is preparing a military
operation against Iraq and will go ahead with or without anyone's consent. Such
an initiative will be harmful to the world's economy; it will also strain the
alliance of western nations... Sept. 11
called for a strong renewal of dialogue between the allies and the rest of the
world. Washington should have taken the initiative. It did not, but it isn't
"The Fate Of A Global Power"
Berthold Kohler noted in a front-page editorial
in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (9/11): "The United States has a pacifying and
constructive influence in many crisis regions ranging from eastern Europe to
East Asia. No other country has a
comparable influence. If the United
States were to give up its claim to leadership right now or created doubts
about its determination back up that claim, it would be seen as a sign of
weakness of the West and its leading nation, and not only in Iraq. The Bush administration's reaction to 9/11 is
clearly marked by a neo-conservative approach that relies on strength in
foreign policy and views multilateral attachments with skepticism. Even before 9/11, the United States had begun
to pay more attention to Central Asia and the Pacific region, where it sees
economic opportunities and possible threats.
Since then, Washington's relations with Europe, in the tradition of
realpolitik, have been determined mostly by whether Europe will be a help or an
obstacle in facing these new challenges.
As long as Europe does not develop into a significant international
player by itself, Washington will continue to groom the militarily advantageous
'special relationship' with Great Britain and focus its attention of countries
like Russia and China."
"Lessons For The West"
Wolf Lepenies judged in an editorial in
center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (9/11): "The great
post-9/11 coalition of countries clearly marked the beginning of a different
era. The West should have tried
everything to turn this new constellation into a coalition of cultures. However, even the coalition of countries is
already in the process of falling apart and threatens to break apart completely
over a war in Iraq. The United States is
not the only guilty party in this context.
It was the responsibility of all Western countries to use the shock of
9/11 to make progress on the road to global domestic policy. However, no serious attempt was made in this
area. In the long run, the West's
militarily dominated defense cannot replace the need for civilian concepts and actions. It is necessary to build up a global market
that actually deserves its name. The
industrialized nations must do away with custom barriers and subsidies and need
to open up western markets to agricultural and textile products from developing
countries. As a consequence of 9/11, the
decisions of the Uruguay round aimed at reducing trade barriers have become
obsolete: The United States will
subsidize its agriculture with 190 billion dollars between now and 2008. The EU is following the same course. Each subsidy of this kind is a small
declaration of war for the Third World."
"Europe's Lack Of Courage"
Brigitte Kols observed in an editorial in
left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (9/11): "Even one year after
9/11 the facts cannot be improved by spin control: The United States continues
to view the EU as a global lightweight.
The Europeans, however, are contributing to this state of affairs. What kind of EU standpoint is Foreign Policy
Commissioner Solana supposed to convey to Washington if Blair is ready to go to
war, if Schroeder says 'no,' and if Chirac sits on the fence? As long as the Europeans come across as
narrowly national in their dealings with the United States, Washington will
ignore the EU as a global player. A
world that is coming apart at the seams because its conflicts are not tackled
at the root cannot be helped by the Europeans' testimony for the history
books: We knew better and could have
prevented the damage. Unfortunately, we
could not implement our good intentions because we lacked courage and
"USA, Loneliness After Solidarity"
An analysis by Aldo Rizzo in centrist, influential La Stampa
(9/8): "Despite the common awareness of the danger and of the need to
defend themselves, the Europeans and the Americans have increasingly shown that
they disagree on the strategy. More
specifically, European governments (not all of them, but a considerable part of
them) have changed their perception of U.S. policy, switching from an
unconditional support to a critical evaluation. The American
superpower--wounded physically but also in its pride--is allegedly adopting a
too unilateral approach, based on a prevailing, if not exclusive, military
logic, without any attention to the opinions and the material contributions
provided by European nations. The United
States is, instead, showing that it can count on new (potential) allies such as
Russia and China. The two, however, did
not take too long to distance themselves (from the U.S.), especially
Russia.... Two of Bush's speeches
contributed to chill the allies--both real and potential. The first was the State of the Union Speech
on January 29, 2002, in which the President referred to the Evil Axis formed by
Iraq, Iran and North Korea.... The
second was the speech at the West Point Military academy in early June, in
which he expressed the theory of the United States' right to 'pre-emptive
defense' vis-à-vis any kinds of threat."
"Ice Between The U.S. And Europe: A Victory For Bin Laden"
Cesare De Carlo opined in conservative, top-circulation syndicate La
Nazione/ Il Resto del Carlino/ Il Giorno (9/4): “I don’t know if, once again, we will all
still feel ‘American,’ as most European
dailies ran their headlines after 9/11.
Frankly, I doubt it…. A year
after, America is almost convinced that with the European allies it cannot move
very far ahead and is ever more convinced to do it by itself. A year later, Europe is almost convinced that
the superpower is too ‘unilateralist’ and that it is possible to reach a
compromise with everyone, including those who swear to hate us forever. There are some who maintain that these
juxtapositions will last until the German elections. If the right wins in Berlin as well, then
Blair and Berlusconi will no longer be alone in resuming the transatlantic
relations and dealing with this new historical challenge with the spirit that
led NATO to win the Cold War. But, at
the moment Europe and America are further away from each other, not
closer. And this is already a success
for bin Laden, or his heirs."
AUSTRIA: "The 9/11
Deputy chief editor Andreas Schwarz opined in centrist Die
Presse (9/4): "9/11 was a live
event.... There's no doubt the media
have unwillingly and inevitably become an instrument of terror. Terror thrives on publicity.... And the current 9/11 hype--the never-ending
torrent of unspeakable images repeating themselves, which some cannot bear to watch
any longer and others consume all too greedily--is nothing but a second round
of success for the terrorists, with all the imaginable consequences, ranging
from economic slumps to a justification of the current U.S. foreign
BELGIUM: "Bush's War
Foreign editor Paul De Bruyn wrote in
conservative Christian-Democrat Gazet van Antwerpen (9/11): "Nobody blames Bush for having reacted
to the attacks. Such crimes must not
remain unpunished. The war against
terrorism also led to the disappearance of the Taliban regime in
Afghanistan--and that is a good thing.
However, Bush's behavior causes concern. The (U.S.) resignation from the
Kyoto Treaty and the ABM Treaty and its opposition to the ICC indicate that he
doesn't care much about the rest of the world.
His statements like 'the axis of evil' and Donald Rumsfeld's and Dick
Cheney's saber rattling have increased that concern. There is major concern because Bush
apparently wants to expand his war against terrorism without restrictions. The next target is known: Iraq.... Iraq will be a crucial test for international
relations. It will be decisive for the
world in the future. Bush has the power and the means to settle his account
with Saddam. However, if he wants a
safer world, two things are essential: an action against Saddam must be carried
out with the support of the UN and the Israeli-Palestinian problem must be
solved. If that is not the case, new
(acts of) terror will not fail to occur."
BULGARIA: "One Year Of
Influential weekly Kapital (9/6)
commented: "After September 11th
the world changed is the most frequently mentioned theory when it comes to the
terror attacks in America and everything...
Observers say that the most immediate and clear-cut effect of the
September 11th tragedy is that the U.S. once again began to isolate itself,
which reflected in unilateralist and aggressive foreign policy, based solely on
American interests and the new national security concept.... This trend became evident for the first time
in Afghanistan, when the US. completely ignored NATO and conducted an operation
on its own to oust the Taliban regime, which sheltered suspect number one Usama
bin Laden.... In Afghanistan the U.S.
openly demonstrated its capability to act as a global super-power, which only
cares about its' own interests."
"Are We Still Americans?"
Pavel Masa wrote in the center-right Lidove
Noviny (9/10): "(After the original shock from the terrorist attack
from September 11 and the initial unity in diplomatic, and military fields) old
differences between Europe and the U.S. have returned to world politics in full
strength, the same way as they were obvious during the Balkan crisis and before
the attack on Iraq in 1998. 'America
differs from Europe in that it has fewer historical experiences with what war
is about and what it contains,' Chancellor Schroeder pointed out, describing
one explanation for this status. A
simpler conclusion can be made--the United States has all the essential tools for
pursuing power politics. Europe lags
behind even more after September 11."
"Year After: War In the Eyes Of Al-Qaida"
Milan Vodicka noted in leading, centrist MF
Dnes (9/10): "There were many
successes (in al-Qaida's view); however, none of them were relevant from the
viewpoint of the final goal, militarily-speaking.... They didn't manage to turn Islam against
America. Retaliation of the Americans
wasn't revenge--and it wasn't such a one that would cause an outrage and
uprising in the Islamic world.... Nobody
rushed into the streets to overthrow monarchs and presidents in that part of
the world. And here is the weak spot of
al-Qaida to which the group will focus now.
If it wants to hold its own, it has to arrange two things: make Muslims
its followers and create a tension between Muslim states and the U.S. It may achieve the first goal by making a
display of its action capabilities....
The second one by forcing Americans to intervene in the most places
possible.... And this will be the
strategy of al-Qaida now--driving Americans out of the Muslim world by forcing
them to get stuck in it first."
"After The Year Of Mourning"
Foreign affairs writer Ivan Nagy concluded in liberal Magyar
Hirlap (9/11): "On 9/11 last year everybody knew that neither New York or America nor the world was
going to be the same. The most debated topic is the Bush government's performance.
The United States is becoming more and more introverted. There is only one main guideline that
remained: The U.S.' own interest. But
the year of mourning is over. The much
awaited 21st century will hopefully begin."
Victims And Heroes"
The liberal Irish Times held (9/11): "The huge increase in military and
security expenditures and preparedness inaugurated by President Bush and the
determined assault on the Taliban regime in Afghanistan accused of harbouring
the al-Qaida organisation which claimed responsibility for the attacks have
been followed by a much more ambitious and controversial affirmation of
unilateral U.S. power against a new set of enemies. Iraq has become its primary
focus, although that state's responsibility for the September 11th attacks
remains unproven. President Bush's administration has yet to convince its own
people and its friends and allies throughout the world that a military attack
on Iraq is a valid way to avenge this horrendous crime."
"Remember And Learn"
The conservative, progressive, populist Irish
Independent told readers (9/11):
"The United States had a right, in morality and in law, to defend
itself and strike back. That applies to the war in Afghanistan. It applies to interventions still to come.
The Bush administration correctly speaks of, and wages, a 'war on terrorism'.
But the means employed are another matter. Are they appropriate? Are they
well-judged? Will they serve the desired end? The war in Afghanistan was
justified and in military terms a brilliant success. But it did not bring the
death or capture of the terrorist mastermind, Usama bin Laden. It did not
settle that unfortunate country, which has since fallen prey to a resurgence of
warlordism..... Do we now risk another intelligence and political failure as
President Bush and Prime Minister Blair plan their campaign in Iraq? The danger
is enormous. At worst, the legitimate and necessary war on terrorism, if
conducted in the wrong way, could help the destroyers instead of isolating
them. The anti-terrorist offensive must go on. But along with it must go a
drive for reconciliation between the Western and Muslim worlds. A task,
perhaps, for generations. But a suitable ambition on this solemn
"Fear Is Their Weapon"
In social democratic Dagsavisen (9/11),
foreign affairs editor Erik Sagflaat commented:
"With the terrorist attacks of September 11 last year, history was
written. Not because terrorism is
something new, but because the method was so simple and the effect so
enormous.... But even worse is the
damage that fear is causing our open society.... For the terrorists it is also a victory that
we so easily have renounced our own lauded civil rights. The fear of new terrorism has caused a series
of countries to carry out anti-terror laws where the individual's rights are
pushed aside. For the terrorists, this
is a confirmation of their disgust for our democratic system when we so easily
can be scared into putting the rule of law's most central principles
aside.... If there should be any hope at
all of winning the war against terrorism, it is absolutely crucial that the
coalition against terrorism be maintained and even strengthened. The battle has only just begun... All over
the world people will today remember the many victims of terrorism. The best way that we can honor them is by
letting the terrorists lose. We will do
this by circling around our democratic values and our open society with respect
for human rights and for the rights of the individual. If we allow fear to have the upper hand, and
compromise these values, we will give the terrorists a victory that they do not
"America After September 11"
Leading circulation, independent VG held
(9/11): "Great powers politics has never been a Sunday school class, and
long before September 11 the U.S. played a strong leadership role.... The big difference lies in how the United
States is exercising this leadership role.
It began well enough in the days after the terrorist attacks. Sympathy flooded in from the whole world.... There is little left of this common feeling
today. Seen with Washington's eyes,
Europe is behaving almost like a bunch of spoiled kids. They have lived in a
security policy luxury for so long, thanks to American guarantees, that they
have almost lost sight of what is best for them.... In the long catalogue of issues of conflict,
the policy regarding Iraq's Saddam Hussein is the most burning. An American military solo run will make the
political fronts between Europe and the U.S. even more entrenched. God forbid that little Norway should be in
such a great political squeeze that in reality we must choose sides. We are convinced that Foreign Minister Jan
Petersen joins us in this wish."
"The Challenge Of Fighting Terrorism"
EU Commissioner and Socialist Party figure António Vitorino wrote
in a special commemorative edition in leading moderate left newsweekly Visão (9/5): "The (9/11) attacks made clear that we
are facing new threats that know no frontiers.... But our fight for security must not sacrifice
fundamental rights or restrict the liberty of citizens, nor can it serve as an
argument against immigration.... For
example, the legislation approved in the U.S. widening the immigration
service's powers of detention, and allowing terrorists to be tried by military
commissions, could provoke some apprehension.
There are also fears about those detained at Guantanamo Bay.... The fight against terrorism must at all costs
avoid creating restrictive effects that are disproportionate to fundamental
Official government Rossiyskaya Gazeta
(9/11) front-paged a comment by Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Federation
Council's foreign relations committee:
"One year on, the world, for all the vortex of events, has changed
far less than one might have expected....
The September 11 attack, among other things, was meant to strike a blow
to humanness and political correctness.
The idea was to incite enmity between the Muslims and
Christians.... The terrorists failed. Their efforts, futile, also proved
counterproductive.... It is true that those
who practice terror at home think nothing of sponsoring terror elsewhere. It is equally true that while some people
may be incorrigible, regimes never are.
War is a horrible and risky business and its outcome is hard to
Yuriy Sazonov commented on page one of official
parliamentary Parlamentskaya Gazeta (9/11): "The world has crossed
into a new age, with fanatics, furious at not being able to fit into an
increasingly technogenic and intellectual world, becoming hostages of dangerous
myths.... For the first time in the
history of Russian-U.S. relations, the two countries share a global aim,
joining forces in a war against terrorism....
Surely, Russia has not gone back on its commitments by one jot. And it certainly does not regret that. Some
politicians are trying to drive a wedge between Russia and the United States,
claiming that the only surviving superpower has been ruling the world with
complete disregard of other countries, including Russia. But they tend to forget that we did not
guide ourselves by time-serving considerations as we picked allies in the war
against terrorism.... No country, no
matter how powerful, can cope with terrorism.
To stop one evil from begetting another, all countries must work in
concert within the framework of international law.... If international terrorism is to be
eradicated, the Arab world must become part of international solidarity. This
means that the United States needs to change its ways.... As shown by the 9/11 attacks, the time of
power politics is gone. Superpowers must
learn to listen to others, as well as to themselves."
"A Year Later"
Conservative La Razon opined (9/11):
"After 9/11 there exists a world led exclusively by the Empire of the
United States of George Bush.... It is
the only one capable of leading a fight against a common enemy. To forget this fact is nothing more than a
"A World In Which Liberty Is Threatened And
Independent El Mundo stated (9/11):
"Bush seems decided in embarking on this dangerous adventure, in which he
can only count on the unconditional support of the UK, and by telephone
yesterday, with the unmatched support of Aznar, as a return for Bush's support
in the fight against ETA.... The plans
of Bush to attack Iraq, his unilateralism, his reactionary turn in the
treatment of liberties gives one the sensation that the U.S. and Europe are
going down different paths towards a future in which there are beginning to
figure new economic and political blocs."
"The U.S. Can Do Better"
Independent, liberal Stockholm tabloid Expressen
stated (9/11): "One year after the
9/11 tragedy the wide gap between the views of the Right and the Left with
regards to the terrorist attacks. The
Left continues to deny the need for military solutions to the threat of
terrorism while the Right refuses to acknowledge the political roots of bin
Ladenism. Both perspectives are equally
deceptive. Usama bin Laden and his disciples are extremist remnants of the Mujahedin
war against the Soviet Union. They must be found and neutralized. But in order
for the war against terrorism to become successful, the United States must do
something in order to change the environment that produces fanaticism and
hatred against the United States.
Immediately after the terrorist attacks there was certainly a clear
political dimension in the U.S. action. The Bush administration made every
effort to build the widest possible international coalition.... Today there are only remnants left of the
then existing consensus."
"The Impact Of September 11"
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (9/11): "The September 11 situation shook the
international equilibrium. Russia turned
into a Western-friendly country, and furthermore an ally. China and Central Asian countries as well as
Pakistan leaned towards the Washington line.
In other words, despite ongoing criticism, the Bush policy of 'you are
with us or against us' actually worked....
Yet the negative signs are there.
For instance, the war against terrorism has not produced full
results. Most important of all, UBL's
whereabouts are still unknown which implies an ongoing terrorist
threat.... The U.S. remains the sole
super power, and after the 9/11 it even enhanced its strength. However, the 'Rambo' image of the U.S.,
particularly in the Islamic-Arab world, is highly negative. War against terrorism should include a fight
against social, economic as well as political causes. The world leaders should focus on this
angle--otherwise the 9/11 type of fanaticism and tragedy might happen
Nihat Ali Ozcan argued in Islamic-intellectual Zaman
(9/11): "The 9/11 attacks provided
justification for the U.S. to increase its overseas military presence or
station itself militarily in new geographies.
It also met the need for 'new enemies' to be able to conduct a military
expansionist policy. In fact, terror is
a complex issue. It cannot be controlled
via only military means due to its social, economic, politic as well as
psychological components. Hatred is the
feeling, which paves the way for irrationality and terror. If the U.S. really wants to see a
terrorism-free world, it should work on eliminating injustice and prejudice as
well as discrimination."
ISRAEL: "Against An
Independent Ha'aretz editorialized (9/11): "On September 11 last, many people
immediately understood that the world had changed.... It took time for states and people to
comprehend that the term 'war on terror' was too narrow to encompass the whole
challenge that the developed world faced.
Hence, a year later the U.S. is preparing to attack Iraq as part of the
same all-out war because the challenge, and the war, is not limited to
eradicating the terrorist organizations, no matter how dispersed across the
planet and how dangerous they may be....
During the months that passed after September 11, the definitions were
sharpened. The enemy was understood to
be all those who threaten to use weapons of mass destruction against peaceful
populations.... That is the essential, horrifying link between Usama bin laden
and Iraq and other countries on Bush's list of the axis of evil.... On the not completely self-evident assumption
that Washington's political and military decisions will continue to be balanced
and responsible, the world now faces the same test that was thrust upon it with
sudden horror on that bitter day in Manhattan.
The world's countries must decide whether they will stand together
against evil incarnate, or they will stand aside."
"The War For Democracy"
The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized
(9/11): "On September 11, 2001, war
was declared against the United States, and by extension, the Free World. Or more accurately, America joined a war
launched against it by militant Islam.... The current war is essentially one to
transform the world from one in which freedom and democracy are the province of
the lucky few to a world in which the concept of universal rights finally comes
into its own.... One thing can be said
about the challenge of promoting democracy; It is much preferable to the
challenge of containing rogue dictatorships.
This is the fundamental lesson that America has and should have drawn
from September 11. It is the reason why
removing Saddam is nearer to the beginning than to the end of this war. And it is the reason that this war should
ultimately be seen as one for democracy even more than it is against terrorism,
which is after all but a tool of the dictators who live by it."
"For The Better Or The Worse"
Senior analyst Hemmi Shalev opined in popular, pluralist Maariv
(9/11): "Even after a year, when
the world's enthusiasm has chilled out, Israel continues to fully support
Bush's war against evil forces.... Only
in Israel we understand the frustration that exists today in the administration
by the fact that most of the world does not understand that terror is a whole,
from Bin Laden to Arafat and Saddam and that in the terror and evil business
there is no gray, only black and white and that there is no compromise.... When the Americans were shattered they had
full sympathy, but now when they want to return a fight the world doesn't stop
complaining.... The future of this
special relationship [between the U.S. and Israel] now depends on security
developments.... An American attack on
Iraq, even if successful, might demand an American effort to rebuild its status
in the Arab world.... If the case is of
a U.S. tangle in Iraq and another failure to remove Saddam Hussein it would
have far reaching results. Then Israel
shall absorb the full 'indirect damage' of the extremism and maybe even the
revolution that is predicted in the Arab world.... Therefore that's the package deal, after
September 11 and until further notice: wherever the U.S. goes Israel goes for
the better, but one should remember, also for the worse."
WEST BANK: "A Year
Independent Al-Quds editorialized (9/11): “The September 11 attacks have placed the
whole world in a new era dominated by what the U.S. has called ‘war on
terrorism.’ In addition to waging a massive
war on Afghanistan targeting Taliban and al-Qaida one of the most significant
effects of the attacks has been limiting freedoms in the U.S., of which Arabs
and Muslims living in America and Europe are a target. Another major outcome of the September 11
attacks has affected the Palestinian issue by giving the extremist right-wing
Israeli government the justifications to escalate its military offensive and
aggression against the Palestinians under the pretext of fighting terrorism.…
One year after the September 11 attacks, Arabs and Muslims, including
Palestinians and their leadership, have reaffirmed their condemnation of the
attacks and reiterated their willingness to provide full support and
cooperation with the United States.… Nevertheless, the Palestinian people and
the Arab and Muslim nations have unjustly been made to pay a tremendous price
for the 9-11 attacks. This should be [an
answer] for those in the U.S. who are still wondering why those attacks took
place and why many nations hate U.S. policy.”
“Americans Aren’t The Only Victims of 9-11”
Tawfiq Wasfi commented in Al-Ayyam (9/11): “We will remember September 11 as we wish to
remember it. Some see it as ‘pay back;’ others consider it as a tragedy that
exposes other tragedies; yet others will remember it as the ultimate terror.…
We realize the overwhelming horror felt by Americans on that day and the days
that followed as they experienced the pain of enormous death and
destruction. The bitter feeling of being
unsafe has shaken their faith in many of their principles and values. More than anybody else, however, we
understand this feeling because we, ourselves, have suffered from death and
destruction more than anyone else in the world.
As far as security is concerned, it’s one thing that we have not had the
chance to enjoy it thanks to Israeli aggression. Despite the fact that September 11 is an
American occasion, we should not be embarrassed to state that the Americans
bear responsibility for the agony that we and many other oppressed nations are
EGYPT: “What Happened To
Pro-government Al Ahram Editor-in-Chief
Ibrahim Nafi’e of Al Ahram concluded (9/11): “It seems clear after one year of
September 11 events that things have come back to normal in the international
order, as it had been before the attacks. The period of international sympathy
for the United States, and the abuse that dominated the policies of some
international powers to take advantage of the events to get rid of prominent
problems, has given the United States the chance to play the role of the sole
power. After a year, it seems the role
has shrunk, which the United States has to realize because if it doesn’t, it
might lead to many problems with its allies and friends.”
Measures Have Strengthened The Roots Of Terrorism"
The state-run television station Islamic Republic of Iran Network
commented (9/9): "Officials in
Washington are still insisting on a military solution for confronting the
so-called terrorism. From the viewpoint
of international community, not only this would not lead to uprooting of
terrorism, but it will seriously reduce the global security coefficient. As regards America's chaos creating, the
officials of other countries who are concerned about the threats against
international peace and security, are trying to attract the attention of
American officials to the observing of international regulations and the need
to take any measure within the frameworks of the United Nations
organization. From this point of view,
the news conference of the foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran and
particularly his hint about the fact that America's measures following 11
September have not led to a true campaign against terrorism and instead, they
have strengthened the roots of terrorism in the world, is a way of attracting the
attention of international and regional mechanisms to the unfavourable impacts
of the policies of Bush administration on the global peace and security."
IRAQ: "The U.S.
Administration Of Evil"
Ahmad Abd-al-Sahib wrote in independent pro-government Baghdad
al-Iraq (9/8): "Since 11
September 2001, the U.S. administration of evil has been exploiting so-called
terrorism in the service of its political, economic, and security ambitions and
designs. The undisputed fact is that the death of 3,000 people in the September
attacks as a result of what the Administration in Washington calls terrorism is
not equal to the crimes that have been committed by the American leaders. The hands of these American leaders are
stained with the blood and loss of more than 1.6 million Iraqi women, elderly,
and children who have not been deprived of drugs, medicines, and all other
humanitarian needs. The Americans should
feel the pain that has been inflicted on other peoples in the world as a result
of their criminal deeds in order to understand what the correct course is and
what the right treatment is. Will wisdom
seep into their minds or will the concept of unjust force continue to
JORDAN: "Who Will
Learn The Lesson And Stand Up For Humanity?"
Semi-official influential Al-Rai maintained (9/11): “The peoples and nations of the world stood
in clear sympathy with the victims and their families, they supported the
American campaign against terror, and they seemed united in realizing the ugliness
of the attacks and the savagery of the political motives behind them. But the changes in priorities of America’s
war on terror, and the U.S. refusal to deal with the causes of terrorism have
created disillusionment among peoples and democratic regimes in the world. In the days that followed September 11 there
emerged a state of hatred and racist incitement against all that is Arab and
Muslim, which resulted in summary arrests and attacks, despite some sane voices
that saw the war as being against terror not Islam. The American moves against terror would gain
credibility and respect by adopting a single standard in defining terrorism,
and in acknowledging that occupation is the worst form of terrorism; so is
preventing peoples from self-determination and electing the leaderships that
they chose democratically. This form of
terrorism is not annulled by power or unilateralism.”
The centrist, elite English-language Jordan Times asserted
(9/11): “As the United States mourns the
innocent victims of the premeditated assaults on major American landmarks one
year ago, Arab countries can only wonder:
What happened? In the aftermath
of a ragtag bomb-dropping campaign, Afghanistan looks more chaotic.… with an
interim president desperate for funds to rebuild, if he can stay alive long
enough to do so. Usama Bin Laden has
faded from the headlines, after Pentagon officials predicted capturing him by
last Christmas. Saddam Hussein has
reappeared on the scene as America’s most wanted man. Meanwhile, as the Palestinians cope with a
barrage of bullets, bombs and bulldozers, President Bush lectures their
leadership on the necessity to adopt more democratic procedures and produce a
constitution--a document that Israel itself lacks. It is the alienation of America’s friends in
the area that furthers the goals of extremists everywhere. With a tacit green light of Israel’s daily
oppression and a so-called axis of evil that includes two of three Arab states,
it is not difficult to understand why public sympathy for the U.S. has dried up
in the past year.”
Washington Learned Any Lessons?"
Government coalition, French-language Al Bayane
editorialized (9/10): "Tomorrow,
America will remember only its victims and certainly not the deep causes which
were at the origin of those attacks.
However, on this occasion, America should be ask whether its leaders are
not reinforcing anti-American feelings in various regions of the world. Whether on Palestine or Iraq, Washington's
attitude disturbs even its closest allies and thus serves the interests of
SAUDI ARABIA: "No To
Representative of several introspective pieces
appearing in Saudi daily supplements (9/11), Khaled Al-Maeena wrote in Jeddah's
moderate, English-language Arab News
(9/11), "The fact that those
responsible for the attacks were allegedly our fellow Muslims and perhaps even
our fellow Saudis should make us stop and ponder. We must ask ourselves for
reasons. Who were these people? Why did they do what they did? What led them
down that path? The first two questions are probably the easiest; it is the
third which may take us into regions we do not want to visit and force us to
ask unpopular questions which may give rise to even more unpopular answers. But this must be done — coolly, calmly and as
unemotionally as possible..... We must
confront them as honestly and sincerely as we can and then act according to the
principles and directions of our great religion, Islam.
"One of the most important things we—and
the rest of the world—can do is to educate our children very carefully. And I
do not mean provide them with an education which produces narrow minds and
self-satisfied individuals who feel themselves superior to every human being
who is in the slightest way different. Our children and the children of the
rest of the world must be taught to respect other religions, cultures and
traditions and out of respect will come in time understanding and
acceptance.... At the same time, those
from outside the region, those who are neither Arab nor Muslim, must not
generalize and smear all Muslims with a guilt which is not theirs.... On this day which is a very sad one, we must
think and reflect.... We should not
forget to reach out to those who have been most directly affected by the
terrorist acts. The obvious ones are those who lost loved ones on that day but
let us not forget that there are also those, much nearer to us in terms of
distance than those in America, whose innocent and unsuspecting lives were torn
apart by the events of that day.... I
most certainly do not advocate excusing the guilty or diminishing their sins in
any way; some of them have in fact already been punished and those who aided
and abetted them must now be brought to justice. The world must see punishments
meted out and those punishments must deter others who, for whatever reasons,
might be tempted to follow the same path."
"Black September 11th Remembered"
Mohamed Abo Al-Ibrahim commented in the Syria Times
(9/11): "On such a gloomy Tuesday,
any human everywhere cannot escape deeply unhurt; it was a heinous terrorist
attack by all accounts against fathers, mothers, employees.... The attacks indeed targeted every
civilization. The majority everywhere
stood by the U.S. in this tragic catastrophe.... Such acts are never to be justified under any
pretext; killing of a human being is forbidden by every religion. However, what adds more to the feeling of
sorrow and pain were the more irrationality and sweeping generalizations by
some to link the attacks with to Islam and to Arabs.... It is not either 'with us or against us', it
is indeed a heart-felt sincere stand in defense of the U.S. friendly
people.... We are united with you in
combating terrorism; but we beg to differ when it comes to injustice to be
arbitrarily imposed on us. Thus, some might hate and disagree with the U.S.
seemingly biased foreign policy, but never the U.S. citizens of whom, millions
are Arabs and Moslems and of whom the majority did contribute to the world
civilization and progress."
TUNISIA: "Finding Good
Responses To Our Problem"
An analysis by former politician and academic,
Chedli Klibi, in independent French-language Le Quotidien said
(9/11): "September 11 works in
nobody's interest, in particular those of Arab or Muslim countries.... But the biggest loss is the idea of human
fraternity. The principles of solidarity and respect for civilization have been
undermined.... We should make an effort
to find good responses to the problem of our societies. We should achieve real development and
establish the international norms to which our societies have a right. We should, by all means, continue to believe
in international law, because it constitutes the only rampart against the law
of the jungle. We should also make a
critical balance sheet of our past struggles before asking others to help us.
Our societies should rely on themselves and establish good work values.... The only pillars on which we can base our
ambitions on the international level are the good organization of our
societies, the efficiency of our economies, and the opening of our
cultures. This is how our societies will
overcome their weaknesses and tribal divisions... It is against these enemies
that we should direct our efforts."
"The Arab World Is At Stake"
Director M'hamed ben Youssef wrote in independent French-language
weekly Tunis-Hebdo (9/9);
"After September 11, America has conquered Kabul and has established
a pro-American regime that facilitates access to Asia and puts Iran under
surveillance from the Afghan borders.
The second victim is the Palestinian Authority, given as an offertory to
Sharon.... The next victim of the
Washington-London-Tel-Aviv axis will be Iraq, whatever the concessions of
Saddam may be...unless Iraq gives up the diverse immense petrol wealth to the
ogre of the world (America). Whose turn
is it after Iraq? Is it Iran or Saudi
Arabia?... Cutting up and reshaping geographically the Middle East in
accordance with the White House and Israel's interests is a secret plan that we
are witnessing the beginning of. But who
worries about the massacres that could result from this plan? No one will worry as long as Arab blood is
put at stake by the western politicians in search of black gold."
AUSTRALIA: “Hope Shines
Through The Dust Clouds”
The leading, tabloid Daily Telegraph
(9/11) read: “Today represents an
anniversary many of us would prefer to forget.
It is not because of apathy or even a lack of compassion but because
September 11 stole our innocence.... For
the first time we realized that no one is immune from terrorism.... While innocence may have been lost, it has
been replaced by a pragmatism that has better equipped us to handle the
challenges that lie ahead. This includes
the need for the continued offensive against bin Laden and his murderous cadres
and other military incursions in the war against terror…”
“A Failed Response To Terrorism”
The liberal Sydney Morning Herald (9/11)
editorialized: “The fear and uncertainty
spawned by the September 11 terrorist attacks is not confined to the United
States. One year on, it threatens the peace of the world. That is both the awful triumph of the terrorists
and the failure of America's--and the world's--response to their murderous
action.... The swift and terrible
response to the attacks--the bombing of Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban
regime which harbored al-Qaida and its leader, Usama bin Laden--was proper,
which Australia among other countries supported. The subsequent US shift of attention to Iraq,
to make war on it and to overthrow President Saddam Hussein, raises new
questions, however.... Mr. Bush, too
limited in his world view, has found the path of vengeance easier than the calm
reassessment required to see a bigger picture--one which would include, among
other things, knowing his enemy.... When
the desire for vengeance overcomes a patient commitment to justice, the chance
for peace is lost and conflict is inevitable.
Thus, through a failure of leadership is victory conceded to terrorism.”
CHINA: "Supremacy Not
Xin Benjian commented in the official
English-language China Daily (9/6):
"Re-evaluating the security environment in the post-September 11
world, the U.S. Department of Defense set new policy goals for its military in
its 2002 Defense Report.... The report
is obviously aimed at gaining absolute military superiority and security for
the United States. Some analysts say the
September 11 terrorist attacks, which took place after the United States had
shown contempt for other groups in the world, illustrated in an effective way
its vulnerability.... The United States
can realize its national security only by abandoning its unilateralist and
hegemonic practices in international affairs."
"Can The U.S. Treat The World In The Correct Way?"
Shi He noted in the official intellectual publication Guangming
Daily (Guangming Ribao) (9/6):
"September 11 is a sad day to the U.S. At present, American people should analyze
themselves carefully. The U.S. should
abandon unilateralism and coercive policies and seek political means based on
the relevant UN Security Council resolutions when dealing with questions like
the Iraqi issue. The U.S. should also
realize that all countries, no matter how big or small, are equal, and that
there should be mutual respect between people of different beliefs. The U.S. should cooperate with all peoples in
the world and strive for sustainable development.”
CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):
"A Lasting Legacy"
The independent English-language South China
Morning Post commented (9/11):
"Diplomatically, the changes are immense. The Cold War has finally been laid to rest
amid new alliances and cooperation.
Still, questions remain and U.S. President George W. Bush and his
administration do not seem to be addressing them. Dictatorships are being
accepted and separatist and minority causes bulldozed in the name of fighting
terrorism.... U.S. hegemony and
insensitivity to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians are the obvious
root causes, yet are being sidestepped by Mr. Bush and his advisers. Instead, their approach to tackling the
hatred and anger directed at the U.S. is to use threats and military
force. They misguidedly believe that the
best way to fight violence is with more violence. By doing so, they are avoiding the
time-tested solution of diplomacy, as well as the issues. The U.S. approach does nothing to ease the
nervousness felt by people worldwide.
The consequences of its actions will be widespread; they will further
damage global stability."
JAPAN: "World Economy
Continues To Fight Terrorism"
Business-oriented Nihon Keizai observed (9/11): "The
negative effect of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was not as damaging to the U.S.
economy as originally feared thanks in part to quick corrective actions by USG
and financial officials. But there is no
guarantee that the American and world economies remain immune from
terrorism-related effects, as the U.S.-led antiterrorism campaign is continuing
and may expand into Iraq. What if crude
prices jump because of rising tensions in Iraq?
Recent corporate scandals, including Enron and other major firms, have
made the prospects for U.S. economic recovery somewhat gloomy. Neither Europe nor Japan is yet ready to
replace the U.S. as a new economic pacesetter."
PHILIPPINES: "A Year
Liberal Today editorialized (9/11): "In the aftermath of September 11, the
world waited with bated breath to see what America would do. It ended up seeing the United States
declaring war on an ism, in this case terrorism.... The fight against terrorism, however, is
flawed in that America has faltered and failed to reach the logical conclusions
that should stem from its declaration of war, in large part because of
political and financial constraints....
Instead of clearly defining terrorism, terrorism remains only what
America says it is, in contrast to the experience of so many nations including
ours. Terrorism cannot be merely what
America says it is; to do so is to deny the commonality of experience, the unit
of outrage, that should unite all nations that have endured terrorism and
should be united in stamping it out....
America went after al-Qaida, but not after all the nations in which
al-Qaida hides. More to the point,
although it has gone after the smaller, easier targets, it has not gone after
nations much bigger and more powerful who have provided the breeding ground for
terrorist of the al-Qaida variety....
America is the wounded giant yet the giant that refuses to throw its
weight against the targets that matter.
From an American perspective its support for Israel, odious as its
tactics may be, and for Pakistan's President, reprehensible as his method and
politics are, are understandable."
"War Drums In A Time Of Reflection"
The widely-read Philippine Daily Inquirer
(9/11) stated: "America did not
mourn alone after the horror of Sept. 11. America's grief was also the world's
grief. And it was not only because of
our common humanity but also because the sons and daughters of many nations
around the globe were incinerated and crushed into dust when the World Trade
Center crumbled to the ground. But it is
doubtful now if he (President Bush) has the world behind him as he threatens to
carry further his war against international terrorism. It is not because the rest of the world
doesn't recoil in horror at the wanton destruction of Sept. 11. Neither is it because other nations want to
coddle terrorists. The problem is that
only British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
seem to agree with his definition of who is a terrorist. Even America's allies in Europe and its
neighbors, like Canada, cannot agree that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is a
terrorist and poses a threat to world peace."
“One Year After September 11”
Pro-government Hankyoreh Shinmun
editorialized (9/11): “We cannot help
but express our deep concern about U.S. unilateralism in the wake of the Sept.
11 terror attacks. Since then, the U.S.
has used military force indiscriminately, as if the terror attacks had granted
it a ‘license to kill and wage war,’ and has even gone as far as to adopt a
very dangerous and arrogant strategy for pre-emptive strikes against countries
developing weapons of mass destruction.
Furthermore, it has increased global division and hatred by splitting
the world into the U.S. side and the terrorist side. The underlying cause of such terrorist acts
as the Sept. 11 attacks or suicide bombings by Palestinians lies in extreme
hatred and frustration toward erroneous U.S. foreign policies, including the
pro-Israel policy. The U.S. should
reflect on its role in this tragic situation.... Unless the U.S., as the world’s sole
superpower, exercises restraint in using power, there will be no genuine peace
in the world.”
"From Unilateralism To Isolationism--Change In U.S.' Role"
Conservative, pro-unification United Daily
News commented (9/9): "The U.S. leading and working with the
international community in fighting terrorism is morally justifiable in nature
and necessary for its survival and security.
But the Bush administration's self-willed action - namely, it wants to
play the world police on one hand and implement unilateralism on the other -
have cornered it in utter isolation, both opposed by the masses and deserted by
its followers. Given the new
international situation, we need to watch closely the impact of the changing
global strategic situation on Taiwan's survival in international society.
Taiwan always follows whatever the U.S. does.
It has donated over $U.S.100 million to the anti-terrorism efforts over
the past year and has supported Washington's call for counterterrorism with
full vigor and urgency. But in fact, the
triangular ties between Washington, Beijing and Taipei are very subtle when it
comes to the anti-terrorism agenda. Of
course it is important for Taiwan to participate in the campaign against
terrorism. But if Taiwan only follows in
the wake of the U.S. without paying attention to the development of
isolationism, Taiwan may not find itself in a favorable position especially
when it comes to its survival. This is the lesson we need to ponder on the
anniversary of the 9/11 incident."
“A More Positive Outlook On Sept 11”
The lead editorial in the independent,
English-language Nation read (9/11):
“The liberation of Afghanistan was obviously the most notable positive
outcome of the September 11 attacks. The
terrorist attacks against the U.S. have also jolted the international community
into action now that many countries realize that even the mightiest nation on
earth is not immune to savage attacks.
Although the global network against terrorism that the U.S. has tried to
put together, comprising many friendly countries around the world, has failed
to reach uniformity in the degree of commitment and approach to dealing with
terrorist groups in all their guises, the heightened awareness of the danger of
terrorism and increased international cooperation have made the world a safer
place. But the international community
has to go beyond making this world a safer place. September 11 is a golden opportunity for us
to reflect on the past and find the courage to make world a better place, a
more tolerant place where differences of opinion and ideas are respected.”
In an analysis (9/8) in the centrist Asian
Age, M.J. Akbar opined:
"Despite at least a dozen serious reminders America always treated
terrorism as, essentially, someone else's management problem. The insularity of America is not an
accidental growth. It is a deeply
cherished thing. There is an obvious
contradiction in an insular people talking charge of the world. But facts do not change just because they are
distorted by paradox. 9/11 will have
different connotations.... The message
that terrorist violence is not acceptable as a means of change has traveled
down to those roots in the grass from where anger tends to bubble. If that is the central concern of Pax
Americana, then terrorism can only be counterproductive to whatever cause the
Kashmiri might dream of. And once terrorism, and its sponsorship is out of they
way, all sides to the problems are committed to a dialogue to break the
three-generation deadlock. That will not
be easy. That dreadful lock will take
time to pick open. But a process will
begin. That is the expectation that
gives this election its special energy.
This is a war in the mind. Its
most effective weapon is going to be, therefore, intelligence. Its biggest need is going to be
"The World After 9/11"
Karachi-based independent, national Dawn opined
(9/11): "America's experience of
using fundamentalism to further its strategic objectives has been as
counter-productive as our own experience in doing the same. Perhaps the one
conclusion to be drawn from 9/11 is that governments and states must follow a
certain minimum standard of political morality, democratic tolerance and
pluralism and social justice if the
scourge of terrorism is to be exorcised."
The center-right, national Nation noted (9/11): "There is a need to initiate a
'civilization' dialogue based on mutual tolerance and respect if the planet is
not to be ultimately blown to bits. The
West must address the genuine grievances of the Muslims especially, as well as
of adherents of other faiths, and also correct its rapacious economic policies
which have divided the world into 'haves' and 'have-nots.' The tragic 9/11 should also be seen as an
ultimate act of desperation against accumulated injustices. A policy of 'live and let live' needs to be
COTE D'IVOIRE: "Why
The USA Cannot Change"
State-owned Fraternité Matin told readers
(9/10): "Self-proclaimed world policeman, the United States gets involved
in any battles it decides it needs to manage. They are at the front lines and
they bloody the world...Go find out how these American leaders make their
strategic decisions that influence the world, with the aim of making the US the
center of the world. They do not travel, those who decide the future of the
planet. One could ask oneself how many of them have ever opened a geography
book to find out if the world is round or flat.... This is why the USA cannot
"Not All Are Americans..."
Opposition Le Jour held (9/11): "One
year later, the USA are having a hard time keeping alive the flame of solidarity
and support born the day after the attacks that, according to official sources,
killed almost 3000. In effect, the
management of the crisis by the American executive, seems instead to have given
birth to a sort of anti-Americanism....
Those who do not share the concerns of the USA are against the USA. This
is the credo of George Walker Bush. But we are not all Americans. The concerns
of the USA are not necessarily our concerns. And the attitude of the USA
regarding large international issues shows that American interests and not
those of Europe, nor those of Africa, and even less so those of Asia."
"Lessons From America"
The respected, Lagos-based, independent Guardian
commented (9/11): "Whatever
happens, certain questions would not go away.
For example what really, is it that drives people to such a depressed
level that they would become suicide-bombers in an event such as September 11,
2001? Why would anyone seek
self-abnegation to prove a political point?
The terrorists of September 11, 2001 thought they were on a holy
mission, but what kind of holiness is inspired by hate and violence? September 11, 2001 is a date that would
forever be remembered as a landmark in human history. It exploded the myth of America, unarguably
the most powerful nation on earth, as the safest place in the world. It has forced President George Bush Jr. to
declare the fight against terrorism as the focus of his administration. There are lessons here which our country, and
its leaders can learn from America's handling of the incident and its
aftermath. The American society is built
on a foundation of optimism. The people
expect the American state to work always, in pursuit of the common good. Every American administration takes this to
heart as the substance of its contract with the people."
"Lessons Learnt From Attack On U.S."
Kuseni Dlamini wrote in balanced Business Day
(9/11): "What did September 11
teach us? It revealed the extent to
which states--even powerful ones--are increasingly vulnerable to
unsophisticated attacks by determined non-state actors.... This entails fundamental rethinking of the
nature of security threats and
revisiting the concept of 'the enemy'.
This in turn requires states to
pool their sovereignty in defense of the
universal principles of democracy, justice, the rule of law, peace and
security for all."
"America Should Fight Causes Of Terrorism"
The independent English-language African opined (9/11),
"Terrorists murdered more than 3,000 innocent people in America a year
ago. It was an act of terror, pure and simple. Virtually the whole world
condemned it, including Tanzania. But
how many innocent people have American forces killed since then? Certainly,
much more than this figure, and still counting. For example, isn't the killing
of scores of Afghan civilians at a wedding party not an act of terrorism?
American forces have committed just so many military errors in Afghanistan,
killing hundreds of innocent people.
These can no longer be called just 'errors.' American must realize that there is no quick
and clean military solution to the terrorism.
The only remedy is for it to change its foreign policy--not just the
UGANDA: "War On
Kampala's New Vision editorialized
(9/11): "It is a natural state of
affairs for different sets of people to have an axe to grind against others.
But the methods of al-Qaida, who in attacking civil institutions claimed to be
representing Islam, are simply not acceptable in modern civilization. It was sheer, unadulterated terrorism. A deeply wounded U.S. was therefore justified
in taking the anti-terrorism war to Afghanistan, where al-Qaida had been given
sanctuary, subsequently toppling the regime there. In the U.S., certain liberties have been lost
in the interest of greater security, and this probably is a price worth
paying. But in his otherwise steadfast
approach to fighting terror, President Bush has been too linear that he has
lost focus. By unjustifiably turning his
guns on Iraq, Bush is alienating many, destroying the anti-terror coalition and
undermining the international support that he got in the wake of September 11,
"A Blow That Still Hurts"
Business-financial El Cronista declared
(9/11): "The September 11 attacks
on the center of US power demonstrated that a country's military superiority
does not guarantee its invulnerability. The Bush administration's immediate
reaction was undertaking a war on terrorism and its supporting countries. And
with this purpose in mind it proposed a military budget that is higher than the
combined budget of the other 25 countries having the highest expenditure in
their armed forces... Nevertheless, the outcome of all this is doubtful. As
pointed out by expert Moises Naim, the U.S. seeks the protection of its
citizens by increasing some kinds of expenditures that were useless on
September 11... This role of world gendarme assumed by the US is not having a
positive echo in other countries. While after the September 11 attacks
Washington obtained conclusive support for its campaign against al-Oaida in
Afghanistan, now Bush is not getting enough support to overthrow Saddam
Hussein... Regarding Latin America , the post-September 11 changes have also
had their impact, particularly in relation to funds allotment. If before the
September 11 attacks the region expected to receive more US financial aid and
reach profitable trade deals, the Bush administration made clear its priority
concerning security issues."
"Everything To Be Done"
According to conservative O Globo (9/11): "The September 11 tragedy...has provoked
worldwide a curious mixture of feelings.
There were those who simply saw the human side of the
question--thousands killed in a brutal manner.
But there was also a surprising explosion of anti-American feelings--as
if some old repressed resentment surfaced like 'now they are seeing what
suffering is.'... A government and a
country mortally offended by an hallucinatory attack has been having difficulty
coordinating its relation with the rest of the world.... On both sides however, the September 11
crisis continues to demand a mature vision, that makes the real tragedy a
concern of the whole Mankind, not only of a group with resentments pro- or
"September 11 Was Yesterday"
Liberal Folha de S. Paulo political columnist Clovis Rossi
wrote (9/9): "Has Sep. 11 changed
the world or the U.S. or the unutterable George 'Baby' Bush's
administration? So far it seems that
only bin Laden has given meaning to Bush's life and government. An
administration that was tailored only to help corporations and rich people now
says it is ready to make the world 'safer.' But will the U.S. remain on the
same course after Bush?.... The world continues to be as confused as always,
worsened after the USSR's collapse. Some commentators had the stupid illusion
that Bush would put order in the scenarios of horrible massacres, such as in
Palestine. But Bush seems just to fight in a disorderly manner another battle
of the Islamic war started in Iran in 1979. He may set fire to the Middle East.
But he can just overthrow Saddam Hussein and proceed on his course of usual
horrors. We don't know yet."
CANADA: "Charting The
Ripples From Sept. 11"
The leading Globe and Mail held
(9/11): "Countries were willing to
stand with the United States to fight terror. But the developing Bush Doctrine
is something more: a self-imposed right to act pre-emptively against any
country developing weapons of mass destruction that could be turned on
Americans. Mr. Bush's description of Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an 'axis of
evil' was the first step. And that is
where support started to diminish. There are signs the White House recognizes
the seriousness of this. Mr. Bush gives a speech tomorrow at the United Nations,
aimed at convincing the world decisive action against Iraq is needed. Americans
too are regaining their voice. The upsurge in nationalism in the wake of the
terrorist attacks remains, but there is a real debate over the wisdom of trying
to overthrow Saddam Hussein.... The acts of megaterror one year ago stunned
Americans because they believed their country was a place apart--not just a
beacon of freedom but a new land where history didn't apply.... The deaths of
3,025 people, killed in attacks on some of America's core institutions, transformed
that. Sept. 11 likely marked the real
end of the 1990s, an optimistic decade that began with the demise of the Cold
War. Just as 9/11 has entered the
lexicon, so has 9/10, denoting a blithe, unsuspecting nature. But no one is
naive any longer. And the aftermath of Sept. 11 has barely begun."
"A Dangerous Clash Of Cultures"
Richard Gwyn commented in the liberal Toronto
Star (9/10): "Somewhere between
9/11 and today, the war on terror changed course to become a war of
civilizations. Why else would the U.S.
target only Islamic 'rogue' states?....
It is exactly what Bush promised would not happen when he launched his
counterattack on terrorism a year ago....
But it has happened, or is very close to happening unless both sides
step back from the brink and unless leaders like Bush talk out clearly against
it and act decisively, and generously, to make certain it doesn't
happen.... What happened in New York a
year ago--that all the hijackers were Muslims and justified their acts as those
of holy martyrs--explains the fear and suspicion of many ordinary Americans
towards individuals of Islamic origin.
The demonization of Islam, though, has to be seen as an ideological
expression of hawks and right-wingers and of the military-industrial
complex. They are seeking an enemy who
can be fought for years, as once the Communists were."
An opinion column by Hernan Perez Loose in
Guayaquil's (and Ecuador's) leading center-right El Universo stated
(9/10): "It is not a coincidence that
the attacks of September 11 were conducted by a group of individuals from
closed, autocratic societies, dominated by oligarchies, which view Western
civilization, and especially Western values, as a threat to their vision of the
role of religion, politics, education, and women in society. A recent UN study prepared by a group of Arab
scholars denounced the alarming deficiencies Muslim nations suffer today in the
fields of science, art, and culture because of the political repression and
religious fanaticism that dominate many of them. The collapse of the Twin Towers put an end to
more than a decade of U.S. complacency after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today the U.S. political establishment has
been forced to break with one of its most cherished political traditions, that
of isolationism. But in doing so it will
have to avoid, however, the temptation of going to extremes, especially in view
of its power. A leader, not a dictator,
is what the world needs from the U.S. At the end of this year, it is unavoidable
to wonder what those who masterminded the terrorist attacks had in mind: to humiliate the U.S.? To take revenge against the West? To further their own cause? No.
They accomplished nothing like that.
Only the death of thousands of ordinary men and women who were getting
ready to start another day in their lives and will never return to their homes
and their families. It was certainly a
day of indignity."
Leading Prensa Libre (9/6) ran the
following comment by staff writer Rodrigo
Castillo del Carmen: "While Washington debates its imminent
military action against Saddam Hussein, the great nation prepares to
commemorate the terrible attacks of September 11. Following the attacks against New York and
Washington, the Bush administration has prepared to face a new terrorist
attack, considering not whether it will take place, but rather where it
will. All the cities in the country have
been put under maximum alert.... The
authorities have taken measures to the point that security is mistaken for
paranoia… Intelligence agencies have
implemented new training programs to face the challenge. It is known that the FBI has been training
its people in anti-terrorist techniques as well as to read body language. For its part, the CIA is looking to recruit
people with language skills, especially those who speak Arabic."
"Everything And Nothing Has Changed"
Jesus Vergara Aceves stated in nationalist El
Universal (9/10): "Bush
continues an international campaign of searching for allies against Iraq
because he is still looking for the perpetrators of the terrorists attacks and
the nations that give them shelter. Bush
has called this offensive a pre-emptive strike.
Does he think other nations will respect him because he is tough?… The
point is that terrorism is a spreading cancer that affects everyone. The American people hardly understand the
true message of terrorism: to prevent the imposition of Western models on other
nations, and to renounce to the hegemony of power.... Everything has changed, and nothing has
"Mexico And Sept. 11"
Luis Hernandez Navarro wrote in far-left Jornada
(9/10): "September 11 shut down
democratic values and harmed civil rights almost everywhere in the world. The attack on the WTC canceled the
possibility of a new migration agreement with the United States, in addition to
hardening police measures against Mexicans crossing the border, leading to
serious transportation and quality of life problems from Tijuana to Matamoros.
U.S. military intervention revived classic anti-imperialist views in leftist
political circles. Anti-U.S. sentiment
continues to run deep among many Mexicans, even those with relatives in the
United States or those who have been migrants."
The afternoon El Mundo, usually critical of the U.S.,
opined (9/6): "Fundamentalist
Islam, represented by the Talibanism of al-Qaida and supported economically by
the countries of the Gulf, with Saudi Arabia at the head of the group, is the
clearest diabolical representation of the evil intrinsic to human
nature.... We are beginning to believe
that Bush is right: either we defeat terrorism where it is housed, or
civilization as we know it will disappear.
I believe, without reservation, in being at the side of the man from the