November 25, 2003
2ND WAVE OF BOMBINGS REITERATES 'VICIOUS' MESSAGE
second wave of Istanbul bombings targeted moderate Muslims as well as the West.
** Arabs decry attacks that
"only serve the enemies of the Arab nation."
** Attacks underscore the
need to "refocus" on the war against terror.
A 'message' for Turkey...and the West-- European writers judged that the second round of
bombings in Turkey "had a twin tactical purpose, which in turn is part of
a concerted, ruthlessly prosecuted anti-Western strategy." Turkey's mass-appeal Hurriyet remarked
that by attacking synagogues and British institutions in Istanbul,
"killing two birds with one stone," attacking the interests of their
"target countries [e.g., Israel, UK], but also striking a blow against
Turkey." The message being
delivered to Turkey, France's Catholic La Croix held, "is perfectly
clear: ‘choose your side, do not serve as a bridge'" between the West and
the Islamic world. Islamists
"flatly reject" the idea of Turkey as "an optimal model" of
the marriage of Islam and modernity, a Russian paper stated. Another commentator added that the wave of attacks
in Muslim countries "shows that there is a war going on" against the
U.S., the West and "Muslim regimes that are willing to cooperate with the
Arabs say terrorism 'ignites hatred' against Muslims-- Saudi papers condemned the attacks as "a measure
of terrorist desperation." The
pro-government, English-language Saudi Gazette declared that "such
contemptible acts enjoy no popular support and can only serve to alienate the
self-appointed guardians of Islam from the overwhelming majority" of Muslims. An Algerian daily observed that the bombings
"had no other visible effects than to get Saudi Arabia to return to the
bosom of America and to re-unite Turkey and Israel." Egypt's pro-government Al Akhbar
called the killing of innocent civilians "an unforgivable sin" and
worried that "these terrorist acts definitely...hurt Islam and the image
of Muslims." Lebanon's pro-Syria Ash-Sharq,
while calling the Istanbul bombings "totally unacceptable," blamed
"American barbarism against the Islamic world" for producing
"dangerous radicals" and concluded "the radical Bush
administration is responsible for these operations."
The war in Iraq 'has made things even worse'-- "With every attack it is becoming more
obvious that the success in the fight against terrorism has been limited,"
declared a center-right German paper, expressing a common sentiment. Russia's reformist Vremya Novostey
editorialized that "neither the Americans nor their allies have come up
with anything effective to help fight terrorism" and that the attacks
confirmed the war in Iraq is contributing to "an escalation of
violence." The "evil policies
of Bush and Sharon" have caused terrorism to grow, said Turkey's
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak. A
liberal Australian broadsheet, stressing that the "surest answer to
terrorism is the removal of the causes of the grievances and the hatreds on
which it feeds," counseled that the terrorist attacks should not
"deflect the U.S. from its purpose" of establishing a "free,
strong and independent Iraq."
EDITOR: Steven Wangsness
EDITOR'S NOTE: This
analysis is based on 75 reports from 34 countries, November 21-25, 2003. Editorial excerpts from each country are
listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "The Real
Nature Of The Threat"
The center-left Independent editorialized (11/21): "For once Tony Blair stepped up to the
microphone after a shocking event and failed to strike the right note. He paid his respects to those killed and
injured in Istanbul and their families with suitable sympathy, and he expressed
with clarity the sense of outrage that most people must feel. But the simplicities of his analysis of the
war against terrorism seemed strangely at a tangent to what had happened a few
hours earlier in Turkey. The choice of
Turkey as a target underlines the extent to which the war in which al-Qaida is
engaged is as much a war within Islam as one against the West. It might have been wise for Mr. Blair and Mr.
Bush to have expressed more support for the Turkish nation in its time of trial. Even if the attacks were clearly aimed at
British targets, most of those that died were Turks.”
"Age Of Terror"
The conservative Daily Telegraph maintained (11/21): "The bombings in Istanbul yesterday had
a twin tactical purpose, which in turn is part of a concerted, ruthlessly
prosecuted anti-Western strategy. Many
Europeans have been astonishingly slow to understand the impact of what
happened on September 11. Yesterday's
atrocities are yet another reminder that the West and its allies, and moderate
Muslims throughout the world, are up against a foe, who, blasphemously, given
that God is the creator of life, glorify their deaths and the innocent people
they kill as a passport to Paradise.
They represent a radically new and ever-present danger. And the sooner
we wake up to it, the better.”
"Al-Qaida: A Mythic
Richard Labeviere argued in right-of-center Le Figaro
(11/24): “An erroneous analysis will
necessarily lead to the wrong response.… The world war against terrorism has
not improved worldwide security, on the contrary.... The misunderstanding stems from the
interpretation of the 9/11 attacks...and the demonization of al-Qaida.... Al-Qaida is nowhere and everywhere.... The fantasy of a worldwide
organization...serves to justify America’s growing military and strategic
deployment.... The war against terrorism
has supplanted the war against communism....
For the American empire it is important that the myth of al-Qaida
live. To survive, the empire needs a
worthy enemy against whom to wage war, a war without end.”
"Carnage And Messages"
Bruno Frappat wrote in Catholic La Croix (11/21): “Terrorism is madness, but it is cold-headed
madness.... The choice of targets is the
message. The perpetrators have carefully chosen the different levels on which
to read the message.... The attacks in
Istanbul--anti-Semitic last week and anti-British yesterday--carry portentous
significance. The targets, the country and the moment all carry a
meaning.... The message to Turkey is
perfectly clear: ‘choose your side, do not serve as a bridge'.... The moment chosen is also significant, just
as President Bush and Tony Blair were about to seal their alliance.... But the terrorists’ new challenge will help
to strengthen even further the British-American relationship.”
Patrick Sabatier noted in left-of-center Liberation
(11/27): “The attacks on Istanbul were
aimed against Europe.... By hitting
Turkey the terrorists are hitting a secular democracy, our NATO ally, who wants
to become part of Europe. It is a nation
that shares our values and which fanatic Islamic radicals abhor all the more so
because it welcomes its Jewish population and recognizes Israel’s right to
exist.... Whatever our differences with
America’s strategy in Iraq it would be a mistake to believe that we are not a
prime target. Bin Laden’s infernal
machine will one day be launched against Berlin and Paris, as it was against
New York and Istanbul.... In this war,
neutrality is not an option.”
Center-right Maerkische Oderzeitung of Frankfurt on the
Oder held (11/25): "It is clear
that extremist forces in Turkey by no means like Erdogan's planned
rapprochement to the West. They want to
reverse Kemal Ataturk's life's work and strive for a re-Islamization of the
Muslim nation. But this fact should be
strictly separated from the debate over Turkey's EU accession, which Erdogan
always has in mind. In this respect, the
EU Commission in Brussels must make a decision that is strictly based on
criteria and its own possibilities and goals.
Considerations that have nothing to do with such a decision like to
stabilize Europe's periphery, to do the United States a favor, or to lure
German-born Turks to vote for one's own party, have nothing to do in this
"Bombings And The EU"
Right-of-center Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten
judged (11/25): "Turkey finally
needs a clearly understandable and chronological timetable for an accession to
the EU. The decisive argument has now
been supplied by those who pulled the strings in the Istanbul bombings. Turkey has now come in the crosshairs of
Islamists because of its secular principles and the European orientation of a
large part Turkey's elite. It has turned
into a threat for their crass imaginations of a Turkish religious state. To give in to them means to give up
Turkey. This should never happen and is
in Europe's well-understood self-interest....
In addition to the necessary logistical support in the fight against the
Islamic danger, government leader Erdogan needs the reassurance of European
integration; the more concrete, the better."
"Punishment For Western Orientation?"
Center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine concluded (11/24): "Are the terrorist attacks in Istanbul
the punishment for Turkey's links to the West and openness to western
interests? Do the perpetrators and the
ones who pulled the strings aim at shaking up the state, breaking these links
and undermine the people's sense of security?
This would at least be an explanation that is as plausible as the
related one that strikes are carried out in Istanbul and Riyadh, but that Washington
and London are the real targets. From a
western point of view, there can only be one answer: This attempt to create trouble and to stir up
unrest should not succeed. If the
civilized world wants to stand the fight against the forces of global terrorism,
it must stand together."
"No More Pithy Words"
Center-right Westdeutsche Zeitung of Duesseldorf declared
(11/22): "Regardless of whether it
was in Casablanca, Mombasa, Bali, or Jerba, we hear pithy words following every
attack. From Bush to Schroeder, from
Interior Minister Schily to Turkey's PM Erdogan, the politicians responsible repeat
their determination to continue their fight against terrorism. But this does as little to reassure as the
global situation after 9/11 does. With
every attack it is becoming more obvious that the success in the fight against
terrorism has been limited, while terrorism itself no longer knows any
borders. And it seems that the concern
that the war in Iraq is contributing to an escalation of violence...is
confirmed more and more. One thing is
certain: there cannot be 100% security,
either in Turkey or elsewhere."
"Fight On Two Fronts"
Markus Ziener opined in business-oriented Handelsblatt of
Duesseldorf (11/21): "Intelligence
services say that the attacks had their own language. And their message
is: following a period of weakness that
followed the war in Afghanistan, al-Qaida is again capable of acting. Al-Qaida has a good chance to win the fight
for the minds of the people. In the long
run, the controversy between violent fundamentalists and democratic societies
will not be won on the battlefield but in the minds. And in this respect, the West is threatened
with a real defeat."
Guenter Nonnenmacher judged in center-right Frankfurter
Allgemeine (11/21): "Even sick
minds produce a logic, even if it is very perverse. We must try to understand this logic in order
to take effective measures to prevent attacks and to effectively fight
terrorism. Nevertheless, there is no
clear answer but only a number of speculation to the question why Turkey, why
Istanbul has turned for the second time to a site of devastating terrorist
attacks.... The fact that British
institutions were targets of the terrorists could be an indication that it was
a kind of substitute activity: a crime
that is almost ruled out in London where Prime Minister Blair and President
Bush meet under high security conditions has now been transferred to
Istanbul. Over the past few months, the
terrorists proved that they are able to strike all over the world. Now the community of civilized nations must
prove that it is able to react to this challenge in a resolute way."
ITALY: "The Axis Of
Alberto Ronchey commented in centrist, top-circulation Corriere
della Sera (11/21): "After the
latest bombs in Istanbul, it seems apparent that Saddam Hussein and Usama bin
Laden are pursuing coordinated or parallel strategies. The Iraqi post-war, the
continuation of the war 'with other means' has set off hostilities. For the last few months, Islamic
international terrorism was gathered on the Tigris River for the 'holy war'.... The 'holy war' or the Jihad, at this point,
is on the offensive on a number of fronts.
In Iraq, without sparing Iraqi civilians, it tends to make the
ungovernable situation chronic. Outside
of Iraq, also using Saudis against Saudis and Turks against Turks, it tends to
destabilize moderate Islamic governments.
'We will not give in to terrorism,' announced Erdogan for Ankara's
government, which is close to the Westerners.
Bush and Blair assure: 'We will
remain until necessary.' It's clear that
a retreat from Iraq, more or less in the short term, could give rise to
disastrous chain reactions from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean.... Therefore, Bush and Blair's announcement 'we
will stay until necessary,' is an inevitable conclusion, rather it is uncontestable
even by those in Europe who had raised strong objections against the thesis
that the war was necessary or against the misconceived and badly conducted
handling of the post war."
Robert Fox held in leading business-oriented Il Sole-24 Ore
(11/21): "In the recent wave of
terrorist attacks carried out by al-Qaida and its affiliates, those in Istanbul
yesterday were the most complex and the best coordinated.... The timing is just as important as the
targets: and it goes to show once again
that al-Qaida and its friends are the organization that pays the most attention
to publicity and the media on the story of international terrorism. The bombs exploded...while President Bush was
about to begin the second day of his official visit to London with the most
solemn moment--by paying homage to the tomb of the unknown soldier at
Westminster Abbey, and followed by the important joint press conference with
his great friend Prime Minister Tony Blair.
These bombs make a clear statement. They are telling the entire world that whoever
planned the attacks sees Blair as an enemy, alongside Bush. The bomb at the Carabinieri headquarters in
Nassiriya sent Italy the same message.
The terror squads affiliated with al-Qaida...are showing a new audacity
and precision, and a clear strategy."
RUSSIA: "After Turkey,
No Country Can Feel Safe"
Aleksandr Samokhotkin and Yelena Suponina commented in reformist Vremya
Novostey (11/21): "The number
of suicide attacks and other terrorist acts in the world has grown
alarmingly. One may dispute the opinion
about World War III going on, but realities reflect radical changes in global
politics and in regions that are more open to attack than others. Clearly, Turkey is one of the countries with
a high risk to life. The list of
terrorist targets includes the United States, Britain, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey,
Morocco and many other countries. In
fact, there is a threat to the whole world....
Explosions and gunfights are common in U.S.-occupied Iraq. The U.S. invasion, it will be admitted, has
infuriated the Islamists.... Radio
Ankara yesterday compared the Istanbul bombings to the 9/11 tragedy in the
United States. Regrettably, since then
neither the Americans nor their allies have come up with anything effective to
help fight terrorism. The war in Iraq
has made things even worse."Vremya Novostey
Sergey Strokan opined in business-oriented Kommersant (11/21): "Yesterday's events in Turkey bring back
to mind the memory of September 11, 2001.
Even though terrorist acts are almost a daily occurrence and probably
surprise no one, what happened in Turkey, for a number of reasons, stands in a
group by itself.... What happened on
September 11, 2001, and November 20, 2003, was shockingly unexpected, stunning,
and hard to perceive at once. It is
symbolic, too. Besides killing and
intimidating, terrorists in Istanbul were after a new symbol. The global war on terror is also a war of
symbols. Picking Turkey as a new target
attests to a new phase of the war. Now
what is Turkey? It is a showcase of the
West in the Islamic world, an optimal model, so the West believes, for many
countries from former Muslim republics of the USSR to Pakistan. Islamists flatly reject that idea of Turkey,
convinced that Turkey is theirs. The
antiterrorist coalition suffering a defeat in Turkey would strengthen the
Terrorist International on a global scale.
Conversely, Turkey standing its ground would be a major defeat for the
Senior editor Hans Rauscher wrote in liberal daily Der Standard
(11/25): “After the recent terror
attacks, there are arguments for including Turkey in the EU, most of which are
based on the assumption that the country should join the EU all the sooner
precisely because it is backward in many ways, but at least displays a clear
willingness to belong to the West....
The question remains whether Turkish society is sufficiently European
not to upset the structure of the European Union when the country joins the EU
in 2012, the year that was suggested.
True, the moderate Islamist government under Erdogan is at least trying
to modernize the laws of the country--but their implementation is a different
"An Outpost Against Terror"
Deputy chief editor Viktor Herrmann maintained in independent Salzburger
Nachrichten (11/22): “The decision
on whether Turkey is part of Europe or not has already been made, because the
country is now included in the list of al-Qaida’s terror targets. It is futile to debate on how closely the EU
and Turkey really are related--the reality of terrorism has settled that issue
once and for all. During the Cold War,
Turkey was the most important NATO bulwark in southeastern Europe against the
Soviet Union. Today, the country is
forced to take over the role of a European outpost against terrorism at the
borders to the Middle East. Europe needs
this outpost, both on a military and a political level.”
"Stuck In The War Against Terror"
Markus Bernath observed in liberal Der Standard
(11/21): “Turkey seems to be the logical
new target for al-Qaida: a NATO country with a moderately Islamic leadership, a
political and military partner of both the US and Israel.... Al-Qaida and its henchmen have now hit an
‘icon:’ as a secular Islamic country,
Turkey is considered to be the model for future Iraq.... Terror is terror and is never justifiable,
but terror sometimes needs different answers, depending on its regional
origins. Nothing would go more against
al-Qaida’s grain. As a kind of franchise
of international terrorism, Usama bin Laden’s organization works with
ideological simplifications, and thus gains more and more support in more and
more countries. Turning the conflict
between Israel and Palestine into a war of all Muslims against the U.S. and its
allies is one example for such simplification; using occupied Iraq as a new
arena for jihad is another. The war
against terror, which was declared by the U.S. and its allies, is stuck in a
dead end. This is the true symbolism
behind the overturn of the Bush statue in Trafalgar Square by opponents of the
Erik Ziarczyk wrote in financial-oriented De Tijd (11/22): "The cooperation between al-Qaida and
small terrorist groups has advantages for both parties. Al-Qaida can continue its program: the war
against the U.S., Israel and the other ‘enemies of Islam.’ Furthermore, the risks for the terrorist
network are relatively limited. For
instance, in the case of a terrorist attack in Indonesia, the authorities focus
on the local radical movements. Local terrorist
groups also profit from their cooperation with al-Qaida. It is an excellent means for them to acquire
international recognition. In a certain
way, al-Qaida has become a brand name for modern international terrorism. In other words: al-Qaida is more and more operating as an
employment agency for terrorists. It is
in a position to act like that because it continues to have a lot of money at
its disposal--as was leaked by a UN report last week. According to the UN, the struggle against the
financing of terrorism has been a failure--because only few countries had the
political will to stop the floods of money to al-Qaida and other terrorist
groups. And, unanimous international
cooperation was not a success either.”
Mia Doornaert stated in independent Christian-Democrat De
Standaard (11/21): "The
wave of bloody attacks in Muslim countries shows that there is a war going
on: against America, against the West
and against Muslim regimes that are willing to cooperate with the West. That war was going on for quite some time,
but it burst into our living rooms on September 11, 2001. Osama bin Laden and his followers hate less
what the West does than what the West is:
democracy, tolerance, ‘infidelity’ and the equality of women--an
abomination in bin Laden’s eyes.... It
would be an absolute mistake to regard Islam as the enemy. That is why the Americans and their allies
must do their utmost to support the Muslims who strive for modernity and
democratization. That means that the
U.S. president must give much more priority to peace between Israel and the
Palestinians and demonstrate to the Arabs that he is not using double
standards. As long as the conflict
remains a wound, it will be difficult for the Arabs to be our friends. And, it will be easy for our enemies to spark
hatred and violence. Those who want
peace and reconciliation must also hope that the Americans and their allies can
find an honorable solution in Iraq. A
modern Iraq with an efficient government could be a beacon in the entire Middle
East--but that is exactly what many terrorists and many reactionary regimes in
that area do not want.”
Unleashed A Wave Of Terrorist Attacks"
Center-left Sega opined (11/24): "The U.S. is drowning in the Iraqi
quagmire, no one can find Saddam's WMD, and a wave of terrorist attacks have
been unleashed in recent months. All of
these are tough questions for the officials in Washington and their allies
around the world. What is happening at
the moment is exactly what the anti-war protesters were afraid would
happen. Iraq is yet another very bloody
reminder that you can't fight terrorism with war, because this only exacerbates
the situation. It's like chasing wasps
with a baseball bats. Even if you hit
one, you will break everything in the house, while the rest of the wasps keep
stinging you. It's better to keep your
house in such order as to keep the wasps out."
"Attacks At The Crossroads"
Center-right Dnevnik editorialized (11/21): "It is quite telling that the terrorists
are targeting Turkey--a country which is an example of a relatively successful
reconciliation of political Islam and democracy.... The bombs in Istanbul are a warning to all
countries, in which even authoritarian regimes find it easier to ban political
parties than to close down mosques. The
Islamic world is facing two options--either to find its way towards the 21st
century or to be drawn back into the middle ages by bloody Islamic
revolutions. Al-Qaida and its offshoots
in Istanbul are heading backwards in history.
Turkey will change more by integrating into the EU than by desperate
suicide bombers. The worst thing to do
now would be to abandon this country in a difficult moment, because if Turkey
fails, the next buffer zone between Islam and Europe is Bulgaria."
CZECH REPUBLIC: "The
Enemy Is Here"
Emanuel Mandler wrote in mainstream daily MF Dnes
(11/25): "The attacks in Turkey
partially suggested the strategy of Islamic terrorists. In connection with their previous actions, we
know: A. Apart from states that are at
war with terrorism, countries supporting the fight against terrorists will also
be dragged into the war. B. Jews will be
pursued all over the world. C. An
Islamic country cannot cooperate with the U.S. or Great Britain, or else it
will be punished. D. Terrorism will
advance territorially as well.... The
only thing that is clear now is that there is a way to avoid terrorist attacks
in the foreseeable future: to refuse
antiterrorist cooperation with the U.S. and Great Britain and to take a hostile
attitude towards Israel.... Leading
forces of terrorism thus set the lure of peace as an important part of
preparations for their attacks on the entire Euro-American civilization. It is about to split the West. Of course, the West can win only with a
strong antiterrorist alliance. There is
no need to emphasize how important the U.S. is including its ability to make
and keep alliances with other countries not only European ones. But in order to make such a strong alliance
feasible, even big states (France) must not stipulate the same conditions as
the superpower or work against it."
"Attacks In Istanbul Demonstrated Importance Of Turkey"
Petr Pesek wrote in center-right Lidove noviny
(11/21): "Yesterday’s bloody
attacks at British targets in Istanbul...are exceptional in the choice of the
site. Turkey is situated on the boundary
of two continents, not only geographically, but also culturally, politically
and militarily. Inciting instability in
Turkey and its extraction from the European sphere of interest would certainly
come in handy [for Islamist fundamentalists].... The attacks should be a warning to all those
who doubt the importance of including Turkey in [the European Union].... A helpful hand from the European continent
will definitely pay off. Turkey is the
gateway to the turbulent Asian world, and the stronger the gate, the better for
the safety of Europe."
GREECE: "The Vicious
The lead editorial in popular, pro-government, anti-American Eleftherotypia
read (11/20): "The increase of the
suicidal attacks, both inside and outside Iraq, proves that Bush and Blair's
tenacity on the doctrine of the irrational 'war on terrorism,' waged through
illegal raids in tandem with occupation of countries that sink into hell, does
not strike terrorism, it merely feeds it."
Leading Hungarian-language Nepszabadsag declared
(11/21): "The terrorists have
chosen a soft target (not an obvious target).
It has been proven again that the terrorists enjoy killing without
preference. More Turkish than British
people died yesterday. As regards the
Turkish government, though it has Islamic roots, it is prominently a friend of
the West. And this is especially true of
the Turkish army. Turkey’s political orientation
is Europe, a fact that is simply unbearable and unacceptable to the Islam
fundamentalism that drives al-Qaida.
There is, in addition, a key card (not yet played) in the Turkish government’s hands: it can send its soldiers to Iraq any
time. The terrorist bombings in Istanbul
yesterday revealed a new dimension of al-Qaida’s activities. Only the ‘British component’ of the (forced)
‘United States-Great Britain-Israel’ axis had remained untouched so far. The terrorists have done their best to make
sure to all involved that it won’t be the same again. So they waited until U.S. President George
Bush began his ‘demonstrative’ official visit to the faithful ally Great
Britain and hit only then. Their message
therefore is indeed the timing [of their attack].”
Left-of-center Trouw maintained (11/21): "The events in Turkey are reason for
great concern. The fact that al-Qaida
could once again carry out attacks after the attack in Saudi Arabia and earlier
this week on the European continent, shows that the war on terrorism is far from
over. This is what British PM Blair and
President Bush emphasized yesterday at a joint press conference. The attacks strengthened the two leaders in
their conviction that the war in Iraq was necessary and has not yet been
completed.... The series of attacks are
a serious setback for Turkey.... The
Turkish government deserves full support from Europe, particularly now that it
seems prepared to implement the necessary reform in order to qualify for EU
membership.... It is possible that
Turkey became a target of Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization because of
its pursuit of western values and, of course, also because of its close
military relations with the United States and Israel. The attacks could have drastic economic
implications and therefore also threaten to destabilize Turkey.... This, too, is reason for Europe to fully
support the government in Ankara, and not just politically."
POLAND: "It’s Not
Marcin Bosacki opined in liberal Gazeta Wyborcza
(11/21): “On Thursday night, a few hours
after the attacks on the British targets in Istanbul, one hundred thousand
people took to the streets to protest--no, not against terror, but against the
policy of the U.S. president. Many
shouted that Bush is a threat to peace, that his attack on Iraq provoked the
acts of terror. I strongly
disagree. It’s an open question whether
the war with Saddam was reasonable, or whether it brought more good or evil. But when during a demonstration against the
U.S. on such a day no one loudly opposes al-Qaida, not only the foundations of
common sense but also decency are shaken....
One could debate how to fight with bin Laden, or whether Bush is doing
it properly. Above all, however, we must
understand that not Bush (as they shouted in London) or Israel (as Europeans
responded in the well-known poll), but fanatical terrorism is a threat today.”
ROMANIA: "At The
Foreign policy analyst Gabriela Anghel commented in opposition
daily Romania Libera (11/24):
“Turkey is now at the center of the Muslim fundamentalism terrorist
strategy, because it is situated at the gates of Europe, and has American
military bases on its territory....
Turkey was targeted because of its ‘way’ of successfully linking Islam
Left-of-center El País said (11/21): "Putting Turkey up against the
ropes...excellently serves al-Qaida's interests: the more repression of Islamic
fundamentalism, the more weapons of global victimization for bin Laden and his
ilk.... The answer is made more difficult
by the diffuse nature of armed Islamic fundamentalism, its organizational
multiplicity, and the lack of clear economic and organic links between the
assassins and their leaders.... But the
maintenance of the very foundations of the international order we know depends
on the efficient pursuit of this opaque and scattered world."
Sedat Ergin wrote in mass-appeal Hurriyet (11/21): "There seems to be a close relationship
between the spiritual mood of the suicide bombers and their preference to
choose Turkey as an operations area.
This fact is related to the vision of the terrorist organization behind
the bombings and its peculiar interpretation of Islam. Let's be clear and bold: the gist of the issue stems from an interpretation
of Islam which legitimizes bloody terror acts in the name of Allah. This interpretation has supporters in the
vast Islamic geography, including in Turkey....
It does not come as a surprise that these fundamentalists have chosen
Turkey for their terror attacks. They
have attacked synagogues and British interests in Turkey, and by doing so they
are killing two birds with one stone.
They are not only sending a message to their target countries, but also
striking a blow against Turkey, which stands as the complete antithesis of this
fundamentalist approach to Islam."mass-appeal Hurriyet
"A Brutal Message, And We Know What It Means"
Mehmet Ocaktan argued in Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak
(11/21): "There is a clear message
to read in these events. This is a
vicious plot against Turkey. It does not
matter any more whether al-Qaida or some other terrorist organization actually
carried it out. It has almost been two
years that we are dealing with bin Laden and al-Qaida, which is an organization
designed by the U.S. We see neither the
capture of bin Laden nor anything happening against al-Qaida. It is very likely that it will continue like
this. Yet we are aware of the fact that
America is occupying countries, killing women and children, and stealing
others' democratic ideals on the pretext of a war against terrorism. The gang which is turning the world into a
hell is now free. The evil policies of
Bush and Sharon have caused terrorism to grow and to spread."
"The Istanbul Bombings"
Sami Kohen remarked in mass-appeal Milliyet (11/21): "The attacks yesterday in Istanbul
indicate the fact that Turkey is facing a terror campaign which has many
international dimensions. This is a very
critical situation. Turkey must act as
quickly as possible to respond. One
response is through more solid security measures, efficient intelligence and
better coordination. The second response
is to make an objective analysis of the reasons behind these events and to make
necessary fine-tunings in both foreign and domestic policies. Results in the fight against terrorism can
only be achieved by following these two channels simultaneously."
Rusen Cakir contended in mass-appeal Vatan (11/21): "Immediately after asking the question,
'Why Turkey?' it is also necessary to ask, 'Why Istanbul?' If al-Qaida had targeted only Turkey's
foreign policy establishment, then probably it would have chosen Ankara. But by striking Istanbul, it also targeted to
a great extent the culture and civilization of the Islamic world, and all of
the values created by the Islamic world throughout history. It is necessary for Turks, as the subjects of
these values, to stand up and be counted in the fight against global
terrorism. The society--not the
state--can be the catalyst for this response."
ISRAEL: "Living By The
Arab affairs correspondent Jackie Hoogie wrote in popular,
pluralist Maariv (11/24):
"The Islamic world is presently learning the hard way that terror
is a malignant growth that sends out errant offshoots, and he who lives by the
sword--suffers its blade.... What we
have already forgotten is well inscribed on the walls of the ops rooms and
presidential chambers of the Arab states.
Since May 2003, when the mass terror attack in Saudi Arabia took place,
more Muslims have been killed in terror attacks than Israelis. In all cases, the murderers were Muslims who
slaughtered members of their own nation....
The Arab and Islamic states are now paying the price of their hesitant
silence over nine years of horrific sights on the streets of Tel Aviv,
Jerusalem, Netanya, Hadera, Afula and other cities, since the Hamas and Islamic
Jihad suicide bombings began. The
intellectuals and leaders of the Arab world were not there to shout that the
Palestinians were also guilty of crimes against humanity. Slowly but surely, mass terror attacks
against civilians were received as a reasonable and proper means of
struggle.... It would be an error to say
that bin Ladenism's sources of inspiration stem from Hamas alone. It would be naive to think that the Arab
states have the power to completely put a stop to the ideology of the 'human
bomb.' But if these regimes had
mobilized in the first place, and waged a comprehensive public campaign against
killing innocent people, perhaps the prevalent question among Arab League
states today would not be--who's next?"
"Let Turkey In"
The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized
(11/23): "Fortunately, the Turkey
that emerges from the trauma it has just been dealt appears to have no
misconceptions about the challenge it faces, and is eager to tackle it with
resolve. Its leaders' pro-Western statements
sound genuine, and contain the unequivocal tone some had previously failed to
detect in their pronouncements and actions.
Hopefully, Europe, too--in the spirit of Chancellor Schroeder's
recommendation last week--will now understand this is no time to nitpick about
Ankara's location in the atlas. The free
world is under attack, its enemy is Islamist fundamentalism, and its major ally
is the Muslim world's only solid democracy--Turkey. If Brussels and Ankara do not immediately get
down to the business of not only mending, but expanding the East-West bridge
that Turkey has so painstakingly built and shouldered, a new dark age in the
history of mankind will emerge from its debris."
Editor-in-Chief Amnon Dankner declared in popular, pluralist Maariv
(11/21): "The majority of the
western world hasn't internalized the fact that it is in the midst of a bitter,
long lasting war. President Bush keeps
saying it again and again since the twin towers disaster but only few listen
and understand. Others, drenched with
fear, stupidity and ignorance object to this war, blame the West, Israel and
everyone who understand that something historical is happening here.... Since Adolf Hitler's days the world hasn't
been witness to such a great, scary flood of hateful propaganda coming from the
Muslim world.... Exactly as in Hitler's
days the one who won't read and listen, the one who won't find interest and
search, the one who will ignore and underestimate will not understand where he
lives and what the future holds for him....
This outburst of fear, hatred and feelings of inferiority won't end in
several terror attacks a few times a year.
Istanbul is only a station on the way.... What is needed, and still unfortunately
hasn't happened, is a total understanding of the danger and aside from that the
understanding that this monster cannot be satisfied by throwing to its mouth
selected pieces like the elimination of Israel.
The whole West...must understand that this time it stands before a great
appetite of hatred that only the destruction of the West would satisfy."
"Al-Qaida Is Winning"
Ronnen Bergman opined in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot
Aharonot (11/21): "The
September 11 terror attacks were only the beginning.... Isolated attacks...became a huge wave of
terror attacks, which the world has never known before.... From terror to terror it becomes clear that
it is about a world jihad, about an all-out war. And meanwhile, despite the U.S. and other
countries' efforts...al-Qaida manages to carry out again and again deadly
terror attacks.... The attacks in
Istanbul are mainly a challenge over the country's government. This country symbolizes exactly the opposite
of al-Qaida: Turkey proves that a
country can be both Muslim and Western, liberal, secular and
democratic.... Regarding the West--it
stands without a worthy answer to the dreadful paradox: of all things, the war
on terror, declared by President Bush after September 11, has brought an
increase in the level and amount of terror attacks."
EGYPT: "We, The
Ambassador, And Conspiracy"
Magdy Saran wrote in opposition Al Wafd
(11/24): "What U.S. Ambassador
David Welch said about the Egyptian press is mostly true.... It is stupid to fail to realize that the
entire world and we have become prisoners of a conspiracy plotted by international
Zionist gangs...and their neo-conservative supporters at the White
House.... All the wars and tensions
reveal this truth about the conspiracy....
Terrorism suddenly moving to Muslim Turkey.... The terrorist explosions in Saudi
Arabia...and the bombed cars in Iraq...all want to give a message that Muslims
are terrorists.... The conspirators are
exposed when a bomb was diffused near Ottoman monuments.... Who would believe that a Muslim could commit
such impossible acts?... The ambassador
accuses us of ignorance because we speak about conspiracy, while he forgot the
history of the successive administrations in conspiracy and igniting
strife. Do not throw stones at us if
your house is made of glass."
"Who Is Al-Qaida Serving?"
Mohamed Wagdy Qandil argued in aggressive pro-government Al
Akhbar (11/23): "Undoubtedly,
killing innocent civilians is an unforgivable sin, especially if it is
conducted in the holy lands [of Saudi Arabia].... These terrorist acts definitely...hurt Islam
and the image of Muslims, and only serve the enemies of the Arab
nation.... Apparently, al-Qaida has
transferred its operations to Saudi Arabia and is using gullible elements in
the name of religion.... Is there an
Israeli penetration of al-Qaida?.... Are
foreign intelligence authorities, including Mossad, enlisting trained elements
to penetrate it to achieve certain plots?"
"They Are Destroying Muslim Interests"
Pro-government Al Ahram's unsigned
editorial declared (11/22): "If those who killed innocent people with
car bombs understood the true teachings of Islam...the bloody explosions in
Istanbul, Riyadh, Baghdad and New York would not have occurred. What has an innocent person done to be killed
in this horrible way merely because his government is pursuing a different
policy, doing injustice to a nation, or supporting Israel?... Killing and murder [in Saudi Arabia or
Turkey] against a country that has never usurped Muslim rights hurts Islam and
Muslims and ignites hatred against them, as was the case with September
11.... These acts never achieved their
purposes: the U.S. did not abandon its
support for Israel, nor was Palestine liberated.... The U.S., Britain and Israel should
reconsider their policies toward Arab and Islamic issues and be persuaded that
terrorism will never stop as long as injustice prevails."
Jeddah's English-language pro-government Saudi Gazette
noted (11/23): "There can be no
doubt that the indiscriminate bombing of civilian 'soft targets' in which the
majority of victims must inevitably be Muslims is a measure of terrorist
desperation. Such contemptible acts
enjoy no popular support and can only serve to alienate the self-appointed
guardians of Islam from the overwhelming majority of Muslim people.... The bombing in Istanbul, far from advancing
the terrorists' cause, can only hasten its eventual demise."
"We Need Serious International Initiatives To Eliminate
Riyadh's moderate Al-Jazira editorialized (11/22): "Within less than a week, Istanbul was
subjected to four terrorists attacks...a matter that requires all states of the
world to take additional steps to confront all aspects of terrorism, in order
to eliminate it completely. These
efforts should not be limited only to condemnations but, as the Kingdom has
demanded, they should include serious initiatives aimed at putting an end to
this global evil."
"One Message, Two Deliveries"
Abha's moderate Al-Watan opined
(11/22): "If the explosions in
Istanbul were supposedly a message of protest aimed at Bush and Blair, one
cannot help but compare them to the civilized message sent by the tens of
thousands of protesters who marched in the streets of London. The same message was delivered in two
different ways.... To reach honorable
goals, such as the liberation of Jerusalem and Baghdad, no Muslim blood should
be shed and no innocent people should pay the price with their lives. The means of delivery of this message should
be compatible with these sacred goals."
"The World's Resolved Is Tested"
Jeddah's English language Arab News
declared (11/22): "The massacre in
Istanbul is the latest test of the civilized world's resolve. The civilized world must pass it. Surely, these Istanbul butchers and their ilk
are the worst humanity has to offer--among the worst it has ever had. We must not allow them to rob the rest of the
world of conviction.... The reaction to
the bombing in Istanbul and any similar act must be to increase tenfold the
commitment to defeat those who perform such acts."
Countries Are Now Targets Of Fundamentalism"
Influential, journalist-owned French-language El
Watan stated (11/22): "Who
would have thought that Arab countries would one day condemn terrorism? Since 9/11, Gulf countries turned their back
on Islamism because it hit the U.S. Now
they have turned into eradicators of this phenomenon after becoming targets of
"The Interest Of Israel, The Dementia Of
Largest-circulation French-language daily Le
Quotidien d'Oran observed (11/22):
"The recent bombings had no other visible effects than to get Saudi
Arabia to return to the bosom of America and to re-unite Turkey and
Israel. So, a fundamentalist country
(Saudi Arabia) and an Islamist-oriented country (Turkey) have become tied to
the U.S.-Israeli alliance in the name of the anti-terrorist fight. If it is clear that this situation does not
augur well for Syria and Iran, which are exposed to Tel Aviv and Washington's
hostility, it does not augur well for Europe either. At the least, and supposing that UBL's
organization remains a reality, the fact is that Israel's interest and al-Qaida
insanity are dovetailing."
Aouni Al-Kaaki held in pro-Syria Ash-Sharq (11/21): "Obviously, we denounce the explosion in
Istanbul. What happened is totally
unacceptable.... This explosion killed Muslim
Turks much more than British...and confirmed the saying that violence only
produces violence and counter-terrorism does not produce anything but more
terrorism.... The American barbarism
against the Islamic world is producing dangerous radicals.... We can conclude that the radical Bush
administration is responsible for these operations."
MOROCCO: "Roots of
Ahmed Zaki editorialized in Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS) Al
Bayane (11/23): "The
wave of terrorist actions that have been going on in Arab and Muslim countries
since the American-British intervention in Iraq constitutes a worrisome
phenomenon that, in addition to killing innocent victims, threatens regional
stability.... It seems that this is a
new way to struggle against the U.S. and its allies, taking into account the
difficulty of reaching American territory since September 11. We need to take the threat seriously and not
minimize the danger of the new terrorist attacks.... This implies political struggle against
obscurantism and its terrorist and totalitarian drift, as well as the struggle
against imperialism that opposes...the peoples' interests and supports
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
Are Targets Of Al-Qaida Now"
The liberal Sydney Morning Herald observed (11/22): “The latest terrorist bomb attacks have
shaken Istanbul, but not Turkey's resolve to resist the demands of those behind
them. Nor should they deflect the U.S.
from its purpose in Iraq: to rebuild and
strengthen it with democratic institutions and restore its
independence.... The surest answer to
terrorism is the removal of the causes of the grievances and the hatreds on
which it feeds. In that sense the war in
Iraq--to establish a free, strong and independent country--is indeed the main
battleground. Unfortunately, there are
many more, and this war will be very long.”
CHINA: "Why Turkey Has
Become a Target of Terror"
Li Zhanjun observed in official intellectual publication Guangming
Daily (Guangming Ribao) (11/25):
"First, besides Iraq, Turkey is the place in the Middle East in
which the U.S., UK and their allied countries have the most offices. Terrorists can easily get to targets
there.... Second, most Turks have been
disgusted with U.S. hegemonic behavior in the Middle East for a long time, and
the Iraq war initiated by the U.S. augmented their hatred.... In addition, the Iraq war has caused severe
economic difficulties in Turkey, which neighbors Iraq.... Turkey is located at the convergence of three
continents: Asia, Africa and
Europe.... Its special geographical
position is not only convenient for terror organizations to transport arms to
for attacks, but also for them to retreat to and hide in after launching the
"Terror Running Rampant"
Huang Qing commented in Communist Party-run Global
Times (Huanqiu Shibao) (11/24):
"The first question: what changes has al-Qaida made in regard to
its attack targets?... Al-Qaida's early
targets were so-called 'traitors'...then they changed to 'infidels' and plotted
9/11. Now they have changed back to
'traitors.'... The second question is:
why has al-Qaida still been able to run rampant even though the world has been
severely striking at terror?... Experts
believe that since the Afghan war...about 20,000 persons from 47 countries have
been trained by al-Qaida. Now these
members have been spreading into every country, using their radical ideology
and other resources to create and activate many regional terror
organizations.... It should be pointed
out that a connection exists between the U.S. and the globalization of
al-Qaida. The al-Qaida network was
developed during the Afghan war against the Soviets, and at the time that bin
Laden was recruiting supporters from around the world, the U.S. was complicit
in bin Laden's behavior. The third
question is: can the international
community deter these wild attacks from al-Qaida?.... It is said that al-Qaida is not only an
organization but also an ideology. The
al-Qaida phenomenon carries the rich color of cultural conflict.... It represents the contradiction and conflict
between tradition and modernization, religion and global civilization."
CHINA (HONG KONG AND MACAU SARS):
"Terrorist Attacks May Spread"
Pro-PRC Chinese-language Macau Daily News remarked
(11/22): "Terrorist groups continue
to expand the scope of their attacks.
Their goals are to upset U.S. deployments in the Middle East, create
heavy casualties, give the U.S. a hard time, trigger domestic grievances and
finally force the American forces to leave.
Now, the situation in Iraq is getting harsher and harsher. It is like the Vietnam War.... Al-Qaida has issued a threat that it will
launch a large-scale attack that will kill 100,000 Americans. From the series of terrorist attacks recently,
the scale seems to get bigger each time--the threat may not be an empty show of
strength.... The people that get hurt in
terrorist attacks are innocent. Such
attacks should be strongly condemned.
Now is the time for the international community to look for ways to
prevent further terrorist attacks."
"Muslim Nations Key To Winning War On Terror"
The independent English-language South China Morning Post
stated (11/22): "Thursday's blasts,
as well as many others on Islamic soil that have been attributed to the
al-Qaida terrorist group in recent years, bring into the open the conflict
between this radical group and the moderate majority of the Muslim world. In attacks taking place in Pakistan,
Indonesia, Tunisia, Yemen, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and now Turkey, most of those
killed have been Muslims. As much as
anything else, the success of the war on terror will now depend on what
direction their governments and citizens choose: will they turn away from doing business with
the West or will they renounce the extremists in their midst?... In London, Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush vowed not
to be cowed by the violence, but with little indication that the response to
terrorism will become more sophisticated."
"Don't Let Up In Efforts To Prevent Terrorism"
Pro-PRC Chinese-language Wen Wei Po observed (11/21): "Terrorism contaminates human
society. Any terrorist attack that takes
the lives of innocent people should be strongly condemned and resolutely
combated. In the meantime, the
international community should reexamine why more and more terrorist attacks
are occurring, despite stepped-up counter-terrorism efforts since the September
11 attacks. Why are the regions that are
involved are becoming larger and larger?
Why do people feel that the world is even more insecure?.... Power and hegemony are two of the major
reasons that provoke an endless stream of terrorist activities. The U.S. should conduct a thorough
self-examination. It is worrying that
during President Bush's UK visit, he still emphasized 'replacing one tyranny
with another.' He simply does not have
any intention to adopt new ways, and terrorist attacks may possibly spread
further. People should be
"Winning The Counter-Terrorism War But Not Terrorism"
Independent Chinese-language Hong Kong Economic Journal
editorialized (11/21): "Turkey's
capital Istanbul suffered two devastating bombings yesterday, causing heavy
casualties. Representatives from
al-Qaida and a radical Turkish group claimed responsibility for the
attacks. The U.S. and coalition forces
may have won the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but they did not defeat
terrorism.... The targets have turned
from organizations symbolizing western power to civilian organizations and
businesses.... The U.S. was able to
overthrow the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the Hussien regime in Iraq in
just a few months. However, it is quite
helpless in dealing with al-Qaida. It is
obvious that al-Qaida may no longer be a well-organized group...but it
continues to maintain a terrorist network that is spread around the world. In the past, mainly the U.S. and some
European countries were worried about their presence. Now, there is no paradise on the earth. Terrorist attacks in the name of al-Qaida may
be anti-U.S., anti-Jewish, against sending troops to Iraq or against U.S.
allies--all these have become excuses to launch attacks."
INDONESIA: "Bombing In
Istanbul Shows The Difficulty In Confronting Terrorism"
Independent Kompas commented (11/22): “The U.S. was really extremely humiliated and
insulted when it was attacked in September 11, collapsing the World Trade
Center in New York that was the symbol of the economic excellence and damaging
part of Pentagon in Washington that is the symbol of the U.S. military
supremacy as a superpower. The effort to
suppress terrorism activities by some people is not yet effective. The campaign against terrorism that was
launched after 9/11...has not yet brought a satisfactory result.... With advanced technology, the global
community knows of the terrorist attack in Istanbul at once. The psychological impact and fear aren't
confined to Turkey, but soon grip the entire world. The impact of terrorist threats also
surpasses its actual power by using the mass media publication effect.”
Max V. Soliven wrote in the independent Philippine Star
(11/23): "The Istanbul blasts, if
anything, were favorable to Dubya Bush.
He had begun to sound shrill in his speeches, despite the logic and courage
of their content, when he sought to explain why the U.S. was intent on fighting
terrorism so furiously that it carried this war to Baghdad. The Istanbul attacks have served to remind
everyone that terrorism is the most cruel form of blackmail, and if we yield to
blackmail there will be no end to our travails.
The blackmailers will constantly demand more and more."
That Need Answers"
Rachan Husen maintained in conservative, Thai-language Siam
Rath (11/22): “There are several
interesting questions that should be pondered.
For example, does al-Qaida have the capability to stage terrorist
attacks whenever and wherever it pleases?...
Why wasn’t the U.S. the victim in recent attacks? The U.S. Department of State issued earlier
warnings of terrorist attacks here and there and when it happened, it was the
U.S. who could draw a conclusion even before the host country could. It could even identify the perpetrators. Why?
Besides being a NATO member and a host of a U.S. military base, Turkey
is the country with closest ties to the U.S., Israel and western nations in the
region. Is it possible that no
intelligence agencies of allied countries exist in Turkey that could have
prevented those attacks?... News reports
are now attempting to highlight the fact that Turkey is a Muslim country and
the accused organization is also Muslim and that assaults between Muslims are
forbidden, especially when it is carried out during the Ramadan month. Could it be that there are ongoing attempts to
‘stamp out’ Muslim organizations and paint a vicious image of Muslims the world
over? Why is there no mention of the
Kurd separatist movement currently rankled by Turkey’s troop commitment to
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA
INDIA: "New Bearings
The nationalist Hindustan Times editorialized (11/22): "After the latest suicide bombing in
Istanbul, some kind of a pattern can be discerned. The terrorists are now choosing western
targets in non-western countries, presumably because the security measures have
become much more stringent in the West.
In contrast, they may have found Asian and African countries far easier
to enter for the purpose of conducting their deadly operations. Bali was followed by Casablanca and
Riyadh. Istanbul has now seen two
successive attacks.... Except for Saudi
Arabia, against whose royal family al-Qaida bears a special grudge, in all the
other attacks the country wasn't really the target. Only the western offices and personnel
were.... The latest outrage may have
prompted George W. Bush and Tony Blair to reiterate their determination to
fight terrorism, but they cannot deny that, at the moment, the western powers
are groping in the dark. Iraq remains a
festering sore and the Palestinian issue a breeding ground of anti-Jewish and
anti-U.S. sentiments. Clearly, the war
against terrorism is far from being won."
The centrist Indian Express judged (11/22): "Istanbul has once again been firmly
placed at the crossroads.... Certainly,
the attacks, most probably by the al-Qaida and a fraternal organization, are
aimed at extending the terrain of the America-led war against terror.... The attacks seek to spur Turkey into making
choices it has always tried to banish--between political Islam and secular
democracy, between Western and West Asian alliances. Many of these tensions came to the surface
since the run-up to the war in Iraq, when Turkish territory was requested for
an U.S.-led invasion into northern Iraq and recently when domestic outrage made
the government rethink its offer to contribute to the stabilization force in
post-Saddam Iraq. Intelligence agencies
speak of fresh terror alerts. It's a
threat that must be countered, both strategically and ideologically."
"Terror In Turkey"
The centrist Asian Age editorialized (11/22): "By virtue of being a key member of the
western alliance and for long perceived to be quite unabashedly pro-American in
its policy orientation, Turkey has always been vulnerable to attacks from
Islamic terror groups. Turkey has
systematically refused to allow Islamic fundamentalists to develop roots on its
soil, and it is equipped with a highly sophisticated intelligence network. In spite of that, al-Qaida, riding on the
shoulders of the hitherto unknown Islamic Great Eastern Raiders Front, has
managed to strike hard at soft targets....
The attack comes at a time when Tony Blair has been hosting George Bush,
discussing how ineffective the war against terror has turned out to be over the
last several months.... Significantly
from the early clues that the Turkish police have picked up, there are some
that point to Pakistan's links in the suicide bombings.... If the Hezbollah turns out to be the
immediate outfit behind the attack, it will signify how al-Qaida has succeeded
at roping in several disparate groups under its wings. The war against terror must take a
qualitatively new form.... George Bush
and his advisers need to internalize the changed nature of the fundamentalist
challenge. For long, the 'noble and
necessary' mission led by Bush and endorsed by Blair has failed to impress huge
section of the two leaders' domestic constituents. The attack in Turkey is bound to make further
inroads into the road map charted out by Bush and company."
"War Without Frontiers"
The centrist Times of India declared (11/22): "George Bush's global war against
terrorism met with a savage rejoinder in Istanbul.... The terrorists' message was chillingly clear: we don't have to attack you on your home
turf, we can hit you where you least expect us.
The latest outrage cast a pall over Bush's show of solidarity with his
most trusted ally, Tony Blair.... The
terrorists showed that their war knows no boundaries. This really is the Achilles' heel of Bush's
'global war against terror': while
terrorism is indeed a global phenomenon, the U.S.-led battle against it has
unfortunately acquired the look of an all-American operation. It would have been much better strategy for
the U.S. to have built a global consensus on the way to fight terrorism by
eliciting support from all parts of the world.
Instead, Washington's 'you are with us or against us' rhetoric put an
American stamp on what should have been a coordinated international
effort. Indeed, thanks to Washington's
ill-judged vocabulary, terrorism came to be seen as fundamentally associated
with Islam, thus creating a grievous civilizational schism.... By putting the imprimatur of itself and its
allies on the anti-terrorism war, the U.S. in fact has put itself and its
friends at grave risk.... Though late,
it is still not too late for Washington to enlist the help of the international
community through the all-too willing offices of the UN. This and this alone is the way to make for a
truly global war against the global threat of terrorism."
The pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer held (11/21): "The report that the recent incidents of
suicide bombings in several conflicts indicate that al-Qaida has switched into
a new form of functioning, is hardly surprising. Islamist fundamentalism has
been growing in many parts of the world since the late 1970s.... What al-Qaida did was to take advantage of
the doctrinal climate and integrate the Islamist organizational infrastructure
that existed in many parts of the world into one global terrorist network
functioning on the cellular pattern.
Interestingly, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is widely regarded as second
only to Osama bin Laden in the al-Qaida hierarchy, was a leading light of the
violent fundamentalist Islamist movement in his own country, Egypt.... Osama bin Laden, and his second-in-command,
Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, remain at large.
By all indications they are under the ISI's protection in Pakistan's
Federally Administered Tribal Areas bordering Afghanistan. So much for the U.S.'s stalwart ally in its
war against terrorism!"
SOUTH AFRICA: "A New
The liberal Witness commented (11/24): "Last Thursday's terrorist bombings in
Istanbul...may have had several motives, but one must surely have been to cause
doubt and fear in the UK and the other countries that have conspicuously
assisted the U.S. in Iraq.... There is
uncertainty about how close the connections are between terrorist acts such as
these in Istanbul, the Bali atrocity, the recent bombings in Saudi Arabia,
al-Qaida, the guerrilla war in Iraq and extremist Palestinian groups like
Hamas.... The only discernible
pattern...is that the targets are generally American, or perceived as pro-American,
or even international organizations with considerable Western involvement. The messages may vary from one atrocity to
another...but the threat to world peace and security is the same.... Hardly any country in the world can consider
"World War Three"
Balanced Business Day held (11/24): "Fourteen years since the fall of the
Berlin Wall and more than two years after the attack on the World Trade Center,
World War III is being fought against terrorism, notably the al-Qaida network. And...SA is involved.... All of Africa is on the frontline of this war
as much as the U.S., UK or Turkey.
Attacks in Kenya and Tanzania prove this.... Effective international cooperation alone is
a necessary, albeit not a sufficient, condition for success in this
war.... The widespread perception that
U.S. acted unilaterally in Iraq and is prepared to do so again must undermine
international support for the U.S.-led war against terrorism.... It is too much to expect the UN to have an
overarching role in fighting terrorism, but it is certain that there is a role
for an international body with a more neutral coordinating role."
CANADA: "What Turkey
Can Do To Fight Back"
The leading Globe and Mail editorialized (11/22): "Why Turkey? The terrorists who detonated two suicide
bombs in Istanbul this week chose the Turkish capital for a reason. As the only Muslim country to belong to the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Turkey is an ally of the West. It has been a stalwart member of NATO for
decades. Last year it led the
peacekeeping force in post-Taliban Afghanistan.
It is also an ally of Israel. It
was the first Islamic country to recognize the Jewish state, and the two
countries maintain close economic and military ties. All this makes Turkey an enemy of al-Qaida and
other anti-Western extremist groups....
What can Turkey do to fight back?
First, avoid flinching. If the
Turkish government gives any sign that it is intimidated, if it makes any move
to shrink back from its Western ties or draw back from the war on terrorism,
the extremists will take heart and strike again. Turkey would be wiser to strengthen its
alliances and increase its involvement in the struggle against terrorism. One way to do that would be to send troops to
neighboring Iraq--a step the Turkish government nearly took this year, before
getting cold feet. In return, other
countries need to help Turkey face the terrorist threat. One way would be to speed its entry into the
European Union, binding it closer to the Western world.... What a message that would send to the killers
"Refocus War On Terror"
The liberal Toronto Star observed (11/21): "The 9/11 war on terrorism is nowhere
near over. And it will not be won by
President Bush's military adventures in Iraq.
That's the brutal message in yesterday's terror bombings in
Turkey.... Above all, the bombs served
notice that al-Qaida and friends remain a potent threat more than two years
after Bush vowed to 'smoke out' the 9/11 killers and bring them to
justice. This is serious, more so than
Bush will admit, obsessed as he is with Iraq.... But it misses the point. After 9/11 the main thing was to put al-Qaida
out of business. That didn't
happen. Instead, Bush invested vast
resources into hammering Saddam Hussein's regime, which, while criminally
brutal, was not a terrorist threat.
Terror had not taken root in Iraq, before the invasion. It has now. Meanwhile, bin Laden remains free
to preach murder, and to bankroll it as his adherents stage a deadly
comeback. Yet Bush is poorly placed to
counter the threat to America and its allies, so bogged down is he in
Iraq. This is tragic. Bush has no priority more important than
running bin Laden to ground and putting his crew out of business. It's past time to refocus the war on terror."
Places The Turkish Government At A Crossroads"
Elisabetta Pique commented from Istanbul for daily-of-record La
Nacion (11/24): "While many
believe here that the attacks...were the price of maintaining a strategic
alliance with the U.S., there are also those who think it was a clear message
to Erdogan's Islamic administration. We
should not forget that out of all the countries having an Islamic majority,
Turkey, a bridge country between the West and the East, is the only lay country
and, from the political viewpoint, is the only Islamic country that is a West's
ally, a NATO member, and has a strategic-military relationship with
Israel. Something considered 'real
treason' by a good number of Islamic fundamentalists.... Erdogan has demonstrated he has a firm
pro-European and pro-West line....
However, this line confronts him with the crossroads of dexterously
handling an alliance with the U.S. that public opinion looks at with suspicion,
while finding a balanced serenity in a lay and Western society, on one hand,
and religious and Islamic on the other hand."
Marcelo Cantelmi contended in leading Clarin (11/21): "In view of the tragedy in Turkey, it is
clear security is today jeopardized...but also assurance about the truthfulness
of political leaders' statements is endangered.
This is due to the prevailing chaos and lack of control. Iraq is completely out of control, no matter
what is being said against this. There
is an ongoing national rebellion in Iraq, no matter how much it is denied. But Iraq is also an argument that has been
used by terrorism after the controversial allied military action in the Persian
Gulf. Blair and Bush are promising more
of the same. And they relate Iraq and
organized terror. They choose a simple
way of looking at it: everything is done by al-Qaida and its chief bin Laden
from some hidden cave in the Afghan desert."
BRAZIL: "Terrorism In Turkey"
Liberal Folha de S. Paulo political analyst Boris Fausto
asserted (11/24): "The macabre
sequence of recent terrorist actions has demonstrated not only al-Qaida's
capacity to carry them out but also a logic that is far from being one of
despair.... Turkey differs very much
from the other Islamic nations in the region.... However, none of this means that tensions
have evaporated, especially between Islamic sectors and the Army.... But the scenario is in general positive and
constitutes an example of coexistence between groups with conflicting
views. To destroy such coexistence by
sowing uncertainty and panic with consequences in all areas, including the
economic one, is a basic goal of terrorist fanaticism. To hit Turkey, Jews and the British at the
same time was another calculated action whose escalation must be stopped."
Political columnist Clovis Rossi remarked in liberal Folha de
S. Paulo (11/23): "The U.S.
occupation in Iraq was aimed at taking the war on terrorism to one of its
supposed epicenters, and therefore making the world safer. What has happened is exactly the
opposite. Terrorism has taken its war to
the hearts of the Italians, British and Turks.... There is no safeguard possible against this
type of crime.... It has been said that
Turkey became the most recent target of violence because it is a Muslim nation
that cooperates with the West.... Well,
there are several nations with Muslim majorities that cooperate with the West,
beginning with the largest one, Indonesia....
How many banks or other British, Spanish or American symbols exist in
those nations to serve as targets, such as those in Istanbul? It is impossible to keep watch over all of
them. What terrorism has done is to
disseminate insecurity. It is no longer
possible to proclaim victory and withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan with the
expectation that terrorism will end. It
will not be easy to close this Pandora's box."
"The Result Of Bush's Mistakes"
Center-right O Estado de S. Paulo judged (11/22): "The suicidal attacks in Istanbul last
Thursday once again demonstrated the failure of U.S. policy to combat
terrorism. In addition, they exposed
even further the emptiness of Bush's rhetoric that the U.S. is winning the war
against terror.... The contrast between
the president's bombastic statements and the very real bombs with which the
terrorists mock them [Bush's words] is shocking.... The U.S. began to lose the confrontation that
has galvanized it since Sept. 11 when it failed to identify the enemy and opted
for subordinating this fight to a supremacist plan to redesign the Middle
East's geopolitical map."
Liberal Folha de S. Paulo editorialized (11/21): "President Bush has certainly been
making mistakes in several areas, but he is right to be indignant with the
barbarism that is terror. It is
unthinkable that the international community would just fold its arms when
faced with such a tragedy. But it is
ever growing the feeling that the way the U.S chose to fight [terror] is
inefficient. Specialists say that
al-Qaida has restructured itself.... It
is close to impossible to defeat the intentions of a suicide terrorist. Acknowledging so does not mean one will give
up fighting [terror], but it means one understands that military actions are
COLOMBIA: "Bush: Under The Shadow Of Terror"
Top national El Tiempo stated (11/21): "The suicidal attacks, the daily
explosions of car-bombs, and the ambushes by organizations like al-Qaida show
how far away the day is when the U.S. and its allies can proclaim victory in
the war against terrorism.... It would
be a tragedy for the West, if terrorism turns a victory that increased the
pride of the American people into a humiliating defeat.”