May 19, 2003
CASABLANCA BOMBINGS: A 'DECENTRALIZED,' MORE DANGEROUS AL-QAIDA?
** The Casablanca bombings reveal Islamic terrorism is by "no
means contained" and may be a harbinger of a more "dangerous
phase" that includes targeting Arab "traitor" countries.
** Critics, mainly on the left, say the attacks indicate the Iraq
war may have enabled a "second generation" of al-Qaida; conservatives
claim "soft targets" reflect a "weakened" terror network.
** While official Arab papers denounce the "criminal
guerrillas" for "slandering" Islam, other Muslim outlets claim
the U.S. makes "no effort" to understand causes of deep resentment.
** Fighting terrorism requires a "unified West" and
"democratization" of Muslim civil society.
A new wave of terrorism, 'nobody is safe anymore'-- On the heels of Riyadh,
the Casablanca attacks demonstrated how al-Qaida and other groups, although
"decentralized," were united
in their "common hatred of the West" and have the "cruelty and
resolve" to attack Arab regimes in the "Western orbit." Moscow's reformist Vremyna Novostey
noted that the terrorists have resorted to "killing their Muslim
brethren" to "undermine the authority of the pro-Western
monarch." Similarly, Jordan's mass-appeal
Al-Arab judged the fact that al-Qaida moved its "war against the
U.S. into Arab countries" showed the "seriousness" of this
terrorism, but added, it will serve only the "warmongers" and
"the Zionist lobby" in Washington.
The fight against terrorism is 'by no means' won-- Editorials attributed
the attacks to the "failure" of the U.S. and its allies in the global
war on terrorism, emphasizing the West must work together against a common
threat. Critics, mainly on the left, claimed
the attacks "confirmed" fears that the Iraq war would
"inflame" Islamic fundamentalists and spawn terrorist reprisals. They "vindicated" those who warned
that "U.S. policy was creating new centers of hatred." Writers agreed with Germany's business Handelsblatt
that rather than diminishing the threat by eliminating Saddam Hussein, the Iraq
war "drove many new supporters into the hands of the
extremists." By contrast,
conservative Western papers shared the Australian Financial Review's
reasoning that the incidents were actually a "perverse" reminder of
the "substantial progress" made in the war on terrorism, which had
forced al-Qaida to choose "softer targets."
Muslim outlets decry 'crime against humanity,' but say U.S. must
Arab and Muslim outlets denounced the bombers as "criminal
guerrillas" who belong neither to Islam "nor even to
humanity." Capturing the typical
reaction in Saudi editorials, Abha's moderate Al-Watan accused the
terrorists of having "no real cause," and using "a religious
cover to lure...those with weak faith" into suicide missions. Just as European papers urged Arab regimes to
"change the way they govern,"
Algeria's French-language La Tribune held that "the absence
of democracy will eventually nurture all forms of terrorism." Others blamed the U.S. for Arab resentment,
with Pakistan's centrist News insisting the U.S. must "assuage the
Arab anger for the grievous harm," posed by the "western act of
imposing Israel in their midst."
EDITORS: Irene Marr
EDITOR'S NOTE: This
analysis is based on 49 reports from 28 countries, May 17-19. Editorial excerpts from each country are
listed from the most recent date.
Soft-Target Strategy Could Eventually Be Its Downfall"
The left-of-center Guardian commented (5/19): "There's no command and control system
to disrupt: just loose groupings of the desperate and the deluded with lorries
full of explosive or grenades strapped to their waists, ready to die from Casablanca
to Riyadh. Blood brothers of the Israeli
bus bombers. You can't cut off the head,
because the manic heart still beats on regardless.... Worse there is no shortage of recruits, human
fodder for annihilation.... Who really
suffer the most after Casablanca, for instance?
Moroccans.... Authority under
challenge cracks down automatically....
Morocco needs to be more free, not less.
The Saudi princelings...are the problem, not the solution.... The Arab street has to have something better
than death to look forward to."
"A Tidal Wave Of Hatred Is Sweeping"
A commentator for the center-left Independent
(Internet Version) held (5/19):
"There is today a huge divide between people who see the universe
through the eyes of neo-con America and its right-wing European devotees and
satellites, and the rest of the world that feels disempowered and caught
between all these New World barbarians, who are seeking to dominate and
destroy, to bully, threaten, humiliate and crush the will and spirit of
populations the world over.... What is
truly scary is that the powerful in the wild west coalition do not begin to
understand (nor do they want to) just how much dormant suspicion and hatred is
now spreading to all countries....
"Most of the victims of this latest spate
of terrorism are Arab or Muslim, the terrorists' own brothers, sisters and
children - that is, if they really believe in the umma, the bond that unites
diverse Muslims.... Talk to East
Africans and Moroccans and they will tell you that they are traumatised by the
bombs and threats thrown into their fragile countries by the suicide
bombers. But they will add that they
can understand why Al-Qa'ida is attracting recruits and why this evil will not
be beaten by Bush and Blair with all their weapons and hubris.... The inhabitants of beautiful places that are
terrorist targets are the collateral damage in this war and their deaths hardly
ever count in this clash of the pitiless. And all we have to console us is
George Bush with a silly smile on his face saying: "These guys are on the
run, we are going to get them."
FRANCE: “The Islamic Challenge”
Renaud Girard wrote in right-of-center Le Figaro
(5/19): “Political Islam is at war with
the West, ‘the Jews and their crusaders.’
Al-Qaida has managed to put together a second generation of terrorists.…
Its strength lies in its heterogeneous nature and its decentralized
organization. Its strategy is clear: to
punish the ‘impious’ regimes of Muslim nations who rely on tourism.… It would
be a mistake to underestimate these new soldiers of Islam who are ready to die
for their ideology.… What should the West’s answer be? First and foremost it must be united against
this Islamic threat. The transatlantic
relationship is essential. The Americans have their courage working for
them. But they are lacking in
method. The Europeans know the
Arab-Muslim world better than the Americans.
But the Europeans seem to be paralyzed by the threat: it is high time
they woke up.”
Left-of-center Le Monde editorialized (5/19): “Saudi Arabia and Morocco are considered to
be friends of the U.S. by the Islamic extremists.… Al-Qaida is a decentralized
movement with growing regional groups taking root locally.… This is today’s new
source of concern. There are major differences between the regimes in Riyadh
and Rabat, but also great similarities.… Islamic movements in both countries
feed on economic difficulties which the regimes do not know how to handle…
Al-Qaida can easily find new members to recruit among these groups.…
Democratization is the only answer to stop this new violence. It is up to
Morocco’s King to understand the message.”
“A Warning to the Regimes”
Dominique Bromberger stated on government-run France Inter radio
(5/19): “It is probably correct to say
that al-Qaida served as the inspiration for the perpetrators of Casablanca’s
attacks. But these could not have
happened if the country's regime did not trigger so much exasperation and
create such fertile grounds in part of Morocco’s population.... The attacks in Riyadh and Casablanca carry
disturbing similarities. We can see
where an international terrorist group, such as al-Qaida, and certain
frustrated elements of society found a meeting ground. In both instances the message to the local
regimes is clear: they need to change how they govern.”
Patrick Sabatier in left-of-center Liberation (5/19): “The
attacks in Riyadh and Casablanca prove to what extent President Bush was wrong
to declare that America’s victory in Iraq ‘was a turning point in the war
against terrorism.’ The Islamic war on the West is not about to end. Whether
Bin Laden is behind these attacks or not, he is clearly the inspiration behind
them.… His group may have suffered reversals in Afghanistan, but his network
has spawned metastases, which are creating a more decentralized, transnational
and clandestine movement. By hitting ‘weak’ targets the terrorists are hoping
to break the economic and human ties between the West and Muslim nations, and
to eradicate a certain model of society, where certain values, such as
political democracy and freedom have progressed. Morocco is a case in point. In the face of
such a challenge, the war against Iraq is nothing more than a temporary and
ineffective diversion. It has probably
even made things worse, by reviving resentment.”
GERMANY: “Wave Of
Guenter Nonnenmacher editorialized in center-right Frankfurter
Allgemeine (5/19): “The wave of terrorist attacks, ranging from the Arab
peninsula via the Middle East to the Western Maghreb...is an indicator of the willingness
of radical Islamists to use violence and of the impossibility to guarantee
protection from suicide attackers....
The attacks may have been planned and executed by local groups for local
reasons, but their common origin is the hatred against the unfaithful, the
West, whose representative and bastion in the Islamic world is considered to be
the state of Israel. That is why it is
no coincidence that such atrocious terrorist attacks happen always when all sides
involved try to organize better relations between the Jews and Arabs in the
“Fighting A Losing Battle”
Andreas Foerster held in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung
(5/19): “The devastating balance sheet of the terrorist attacks after 9/11
shows the cruelty and resolve with which fanatics are fighting the 'unfaithful’
and Islamic states collaborating with the West.
But the figures also document the failure of the U.S. and its allies in
the fight against international terrorism.
Even the successful U.S. campaigns against the regimes in Afghanistan
and Iraq cannot obscure the fact that the West is fighting a losing battle in
the war against the jihadis. The
strategy dictated by the Bush administration to use solely military means and
to establish dubious power alliances to fight the widespread hatred against the
West and the Jews in the Islamic sphere of influence has failed. Not only this. The reckless way in which the Bush
administration asserts its political interests, the open striving of the U.S.
for global rule are driving an increasing number of fanatics into the arms of
Business Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf stated (5/19): “Those who felt safe after the wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq, have now been brought back to reality. The Al Qaida hydra is active, even if some
heads have been cut off. The fight
against terrorism has by no means been won.
During the Iraq war, Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaida network was able to
restructure itself and is now systematically striking. This is the bitter message following the
attacks in Riyadh and Casablanca. The threat has not let up after Saddam
Hussein’s ouster. On the contrary, the
Iraq war drove many new supporters into the hands of the extremists. That is why the self-satisfaction that spread
in Washington after the first successes against the organization is not
justified.... Irrespective of whether there has been a rift among G-8 members on
Iraq...terrorism belongs on the top of the agenda of the G-8 summit in Evian.”
Center-right Leipziger Volkszeitung commented (5/19):
“Since the latest bloody attacks in Casablanca it should be clear that the
international, Islamic terrorism has by no means been contained. Statements from Washington that were
presented with grandiloquence wanted to make us believe the opposite in view of
the military victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, but in view of reality, they
only demonstrate the failure of the intelligence services and of politics. It is true that the world was spared from
immediate attacks after 9/11, but the people killed in Jerba, Bali, Karachi,
Riyadh and Casablanca speak a clear language:
terrorism continues, not exclusively against the West, but also against
brothers in faith, who do not follow Osama bin Laden’s inhumane doctrine of
ITALY: “Nobody Is Safe Any More”
Marcella Emiliani commented in Rome's center-left Il Messaggero
(5/19): “If the U.S. and Great Britain, as well as Russia in Chechnya, resorted
to the use of military force to impose their New Order, well, Islamic terrorism
is capable to respond by spreading death and instability everywhere. This is the message sent out in particular to
the U.S. superpower, even though suicide killers have carefully selected the
countries that would be the target of their violence, since they wanted to
attack in particular the Arab regimes that have always been in the Western
orbit: Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and obviously their eternal enemy,
Israel.... Terrorism is capable of
influencing political developments in the entire Middle East and the decisional
process in the West. In order to be able
to avoid this blackmail, that is only the harbinger of more catastrophes, it
would be necessary, at least, to rebuild the dialogue between the two sides of
the Atlantic, within the UN and in all regional cooperation forums. Nobody, in fact, can think of winning this
kind of battle alone.”
“Where Terrorism Is Born”
Boris Biancheri opined on the front page of centrist, influential La
Stampa (5/19): “It is not legitimate to link the terrorist attacks and the
war in Iraq, almost to say that the former would not have taken place if the
latter had not occurred. We may like it
or not, but terrorism the way it is now involves the entire Western world and
it would be dangerous to limit its causes to a single episode or a single
political decision.... We may hold
personal opinions about the war in Iraq...but let’s not blame ourselves or the
U.S. for the hundreds of dead caused by the latest terrorist attacks or for
those that will be caused by the dozens of attacks that we will unfortunately
see in the future.”
RUSSIA: "Moroccan Bombings"
Aleksandr Samokhotkin said on page one of reformist Vremya
Novostey (5/19): "To undermine the authority of the pro-Western
monarch, terrorists killed their Muslim brethren. That bears out the words that letting up in
the war on international terrorism (President Bush did this for the time of the
Iraqcampaign) will revive its deadly power."
"Any Terrorist Act To Be Associated With War In Iraq"
Gennadiy Sysoyev held in reformist business-oriented Kommersant
(5/19): "Of course, it would be
wrong or at least simplistic to say that the war in Iraq has provoked a wave of
terrorist acts...but there is certainly a link between the operation Shock and
Awe and the latest acts by terrorists.
If only because the U.S. efforts to knock together a worldwide
antiterrorist front have prompted international terrorists to close their ranks
and become more active. That,
objectively, is the price of the U.S. victory in Iraq. It could be that terrorist acts in Morocco
and Israel would have happened anyway.
After all, there had been terrorist acts even before the first U.S.
Tomahawks hit Basra and Baghdad. But now
wherever a terrorist strikes, people will tend to link it to the war in Iraq in
retaliation for the capture of Baghdad."
Deputy chief editor Victor Hermann stated in
independent provincial Salzburger Nachrichten (5/19): "The arrest
of about a third of al-Qaida’s leadership in Afghanistan was not the
decapitation the U.S. hoped it was.
Worse: intelligence services worldwide are speculating that the
terrorist network is now under the command of a second-generation group of
leaders...whose names are unknown to the U.S.... Apparently, Washington has been relying far
too much on its track record of success in fighting global terrorism. Important anti-terror resources were diverted
to fight the war in Iraq, giving al-Qaida sufficient breathing space. Saudi Arabia, Morocco and other countries
will pay the price.”
CZECH REPUBLIC: "Limited Success"
Petr Pesek opined in center-right Lidove Noviny (5/19):
"The logical assumption after the recent terrorist attacks might be that
the campaign against terrorism is not successful.... The reality is, however,
different. After 9/11 in Europe and the
U.S., terrorist cells have been crushed and their network disrupted. Thus, the Western world has been spared so
far another big attack.... Al-Qaida has
limited its attacks to the Arab world, which is a much easier target due to the
intentional sluggishness of its governments.
This should be a warning to us."
The lead editorial in top-circulation
influential pro-government Ta Nea (5/19) stated: “Americans are supposed
to have been at war on terrorism for two years.… But terrorism re-emerges
vindicating those who warned that U.S. policy was creating new centers of
hatred.... The U.S. chose blunt violence
which can't and won't distinguish aggressors from victims. Today, the U.S. and all humanity risk suffering the consequences.”
The lead editorial in popular, pro-government
and anti-American Eleftherotypia stated (5/19): “The ‘war against terrorism’ declared by
emperor George Bush achieved everything that those who opposed military
interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq had predicted, i.e. recycling and reproduction
of violence…The problem of terrorism is clearly political and has been dealt
with by political means in the past, after the oppressing colonial powers had
tried all other means. Unless the causes
that create, nourish and reproduce terrorism are sought, the phenomenon will
expand and intensify.”
"The Reorganized Al-Qaida Is More Threatening"
Paris correspondent Andras Desi pointed out in
leading Nepszabadsag (5/19)
“Al-Qaida now considers even those Arab ‘traitor’ countries that have
entered into (secret) pacts with Washington
potential targets. The war with
Iraq has brought about such a turn that the inhabitants of the ‘traitor’ Arab countries
have become as much a target as the ‘infidel Western invader’ countries.”
POLAND: “Gloomy Surprises”
Stanislaw Lem opined in leftist weekly Przeglad (5/19): “In
the wake of attacks directed against Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the Arab world is
entering a new chapter in its history.
The entire Middle East will certainly plunge into destabilization, and
the outcome is unpredictable. Actually, terrorism is a new kind of a disease
that affects societies not much differently than new mutations of viruses....
The destructive mean terrorists have adopted were in fact created by highly
advanced Western civilization.”
SPAIN: "Five Countries
Conservative La Razon asserted (5/19): "For...Bin Laden, the whole West, with
the U.S. at the front...is one battlefield.
Those who think a strict policy of neutrality can keep them out of the
fight are mistaken. [This fight] has
much to do with the concept of 'globalization', where the whole 'First World'
is, in the eyes of the disadvantaged, and with a overwhelming logic, guilty of
weighing down the countries of the 'Third World.'... Armoring our borders and reinforcing internal
surveillance is not enough. Above all,
it is necessary to help those Muslim countries that, like Algeria and
Morocco...have bet on the path of progress."
EGYPT: "Fighting Terrorism is an International
Leading pro-government Al Ahram warned (5/19): “Some may
say that lack of justice and equality in weak nations are the reasons for the
rise of terrorism. This could be partly
true for many...see superpowers adopt double standards, use their armies to
achieve their self-interests--regardless of the interests of other nations--and
destroy international legitimacy. As a
result, these people, especially the youth become angry and frustrated and so
commit foolish acts... Everyone can now
buy arms and use them to pursue terrorists or to occupy countries. But this will not prevent angry, desperate
youth from putting an explosive belt around their bodies and killing innocent
The pro-government Al Ahram’s editor-in-chief, Ibrahim
Nafie, observed (5/19): “Those who
committed the Riyadh and Casablanca terrorist operations have adopted the model
of heroic resistance operations of Palestine and Beirut. But this time, it is not against occupation,
but against the stability of Arabs and Muslims.... Clearly, these acts are instigated by some
who do not want Arabs to be liberated in Iraq and Palestine.... As the goal of these acts is suspect, Arabs
and Muslems should be on highest alert and use an iron fist to combat it.”
SAUDI ARABIA: "What Cause Justifies This Migratory Terrorism?
Abha’s moderate Al-Watan editorialized
(5/19): "Here it is again; terrorism claimed another victim in Morocco.
And once again terrorists proved that they are nothing but blind hateful groups,
without any real religious identity. As a matter of fact, religion and these
groups are mutually exclusive. This type of black dirty terrorism aims only at
inflicting pain on innocent civilians, and disturbing the stability. Those who sneak around at night like bats,
hiding behind fake beliefs have no real cause. They use a religious cover to
lure naive people and those with weak faith into suicide missions. They target
innocent citizens, unarmed and peaceful victims. They kill for the sake of killing.
Those who say that these people are fighting in the name of God are speaking
like infidels. God never said to kill the innocent elderly, women, and
children. God forbid.... What kind of jihad gives you the right to murder your
own people and to take the lives of innocents in your own homeland? Terrorism
is migrating from one country to another, and we do not know where it is going
to hit next? But this dark long tunnel must have an end. We must all work
together to uproot this beast from our countries and inflict the highest
punishment upon those who commit crimes against us."
Mecca’s conservative Al Nadwa editorialized (5/18): "Not even four days after Riyadh’s
explosions, terrorism hits once again. This time in Casablanca, the Moroccan
city. In exactly the same method, same planning and the same terrifying scenes
of wounded and murdered innocent people as in Riyadh. Many people paid a high price for the impetuousness
of some lunatics. What did these
innocent people do to deserve this fate?
Did the terrorists ask themselves this question before they committed
their crime? No, because they
deactivated their minds while executing this horrible act. They are nothing but
dummies in the hands of criminal guerrillas who have convinced them that their
attacks were part of the jihad, and that they will be rewarded in paradise for
these crimes. This, of course, is a
serious deviation from the truth and the right path. Killing oneself suicide, and it will send the
soul to hell forever, not to heaven.
Despite the clarity of our ideologies, those criminals found someone to
brainwash their minds, and fill them with radical ideas, encouraging them to
participate in actions that our faith does not approve. For Muslims to clear themselves, and for
Islam to be cleared from all these crimes committed in its name, Muslims must
establish a new unified strategy to seize and destroy these dangerous
"Islam Has Been Slandered"
Abha’s moderate Al-Watan editorialized (5/17): "We have heard recently about new
terrorist al- Qaida cells being awakened to perform terrorist actions in many
countries in the world. From Asia to Africa, these cells, aided by extremist
organizations have one goal in mind, the disturbance of peace and stability.
What kind of a cause can justify the killing of innocent people and the
mutilation of bodies? Who are those people who pretend to be defending a cause
and hiding behind religious motives? God has forbidden the killing of the soul,
and especially the murder of innocent men, women, and children. Islam is a
religion of peace and love. The dirty war that these terrorists are initiating
is a war against Islam and Muslims wherever they were. What has been the result
of all these terrorist actions that have been falsely executed in the name of
Islam? They have only brought about calamities for Arabs and Muslims and put
them in confrontation with the whole world. Islam has been slandered. Islam, the
religion of peace became synonymous with terrorism. Muslims have been
blacklisted all over the world, whereas lists of real Zionist criminals have
been ignored. We were portrayed as criminals, beasts that should be avoided and
feared. We have become outlaws because of a foreign history. We can no longer
be quiet... everyone has a religious and human obligation to destroy those who
have put our future on the verge of destruction."
The principal French-language independent Le Quotidien d'Oran
commented (5/18): “The whole Arab world is toppling into fragility and security
exclusion, along with their accompanying economic consequences.... Algeria didn't emerge unscathed by its ten
years of nurtured terrorism, even though it is said that it is now over. The country still has orange-light status.”
"From Riyadh To Casablanca"
French-language independent La Tribune editorialized
(5/18): “After the 1994 attack in Marrakech, which was at that time like a
warning, Morocco hastened to accuse the Algerian security services of being the
instigators of the attack. With this blow to the heart of the kingdom,
terrorism shows once again that it spares no state. From Riyadh to Casablanca
through Djakarta and Manila, no country can pretend to be safe from terrorism.
But, the sole difference consists in the national policies to fight against
this curse. Although in the Western countries civil society constitutes a
secure rampart, in the Arab countries the deficiency - can we say absence? - of
democracy will eventually nurture all forms of extremism.”
"A Poor Student"
El-Bilad, close to Islamist MSP, editorialized (5/18): “The bombings in Morocco...point to signs of
the beginning of a new confrontation between ‘terrorism’ and the U.S. If Washington's claims are true that
al-Qa’ida is behind both the Morocco and the Saudi Arabia strikes, this
indicates that the capabilities of ‘Bin Ladin’ and those with him are far from
receding, and that the American invasion of Afghanistan was without
effect.... Naturally ‘Islam’ will be
thrown into the confusion of this recent confrontation, with no effort to
understand the true causes of the deep resentment that many Muslims feel
towards the U.S., resentment sprouting from the tragedies of Palestine,
nourished by the tragedy of Afghanistan, and developing within the Iraqi
disaster. The U.S. has engaged in its
global war against what it calls ‘terrorism’ and has so far refused to see its
enemy or understand him. What grade
would you give this student?"
JORDAN: “Events And Mysteries”
Daily columnist Rakan Majali wrote on the back page of
center-left, influential Al-Dustour (5/19): “The world embarked on a new era after the
9/11 attacks. It did have something to
do with America wanting to take advantage of this terrorist crime to launch new
strategies and new policies and implement its plans for the Arab world and the
Muslim world in order to affect its hegemony over the world. Worse than achieving these objectives by
military force and aggression is this mystery, the sneakiness and all this
mystery that envelops the events that started with the 9/11 attacks and
continues until today.... Mysteries
continue, including the bombings in Riyadh and Casablanca. The bombings in Saudi occurred a few days
after Saudi’s agreement with the United States to get the latter’s troops out
of Saudi. The bombings in Morocco
occurred after the successful of the democratic experience there. We must also note that these bombings
occurred in two big countries, one in the east and one in the west. The purpose is to weaken and confuse
everyone.... We must therefore ask this
legitimate question: is what is
happening in the Arab world now another form of and just another part of the
war and pressures that aim to weaken and confuse everyone to pave the way for
what the U.S. Secretary of State spoke of regarding a comprehensive change in
the region within ten years, or is just pure coincidence?”
“The Arab World Between Two Fires”
Chief Editor Taher Udwan writes on the back page of independent,
mass-appeal Al-Arab Al-Yawm (5/18):
“The fact that Al-Qa’eda moved its war against the Americans into Arab
countries is an indication of the seriousness of this terrorism that is sending
tens of young Arab people to blow themselves up in operations that, at the end
of the day, serve only the warmongers within the U.S. administration and the
policies of the Zionist Lobby that is trying to drag the American nation into a
state of constant battle with the Arabs.
The Arab world is now caught between two fires: the fire of blind
terrorism that wants to turn the domestic scene of Arab countries into arenas
for destruction and sabotage, and the fire of Bush’s war against the terrorism,
the person who does not want to understand the reasons that serve terrorism and
does not want to resolve the issues, without which terrorism cannot be
eliminated.... The Arab world is
destined to pay for the mistakes and sins of American policies in the form of
blind terrorism destroying the security, stability and economy of Arab
countries. As much as the Bali bombings
destroyed tourism in Indonesia in favor of tourism in Australia--an ally of the
United States and took part in the Iraq war, the bombings in Casablanca will
destroy tourism in Morocco in favor of tourism in Spain--one of the allies in
the war on Iraq.”
LEBANON: "Ending Terror Needs Action From Police And
The English-language Daily Star editorialized (5/17): "The continuing incidents of
terror...demand a more effective response than higher security fences, harsher
military assaults, mass detentions, and more frequent travel warnings.... Terror is a man-made phenomenon.... Some terrorists have no legitimate
grievances, and they must be dealt with through police action. But other kinds of terror reflect a complex
combination of causes.... The current
wave demands that we work together to acknowledge that all terror is
unacceptable criminality, but also that it springs from a variety of causes
that should be carefully and rationally analyzed, identified, and addressed in
the appropriate manner."
"'War On Terror' Is About Results, Not Revenge"
An unsigned editorial in English language The Daily Star
(5/19): "Following on the heels of
attacks in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the weekend suicide bombings in Morocco
underscore a clear need for the United States and other countries to reassess
the direction of the 'war on terrorism.' The events of recent days seem to
demonstrate that while Al-Qaeda and its allies have been weakened by the
U.S.-led effort, the manner in which it has been pursued is supplying extremist
elements with the fodder they need to attract new recruits.... There is no excuse for what happened to the
people of the United States on September 11, but the primary responsibility of
George W. Bush and his administration is not to seek revenge: It is to guard against similar acts in the
future ...Overall, the U.S. approach has
been judged by many to be too unilateralist and militarist...Attempts to
achieve a purely military solution...can only backfire. The key is to ensure that the terrorists become
isolated ideologically, to diminish and eventually eradicate their ability to
attract new adherents."
MOROCCO: "People From Casablanca See That Bush's Policy Is
Government coalition, Istiqal Party Al Alam asserted
(4/19): "Many people from Casablanca think that the aggressive policy and
the threat to stability that the U.S. is leading was the cause behind
Casablanca explosions last Friday.... Mohamed Baadi, specialist of Political
Sciences stated that since September 11, Americans have led aggressions and
threats against the whole world. America's unacceptable aggression against
Afghanistan and then against Iraq, when both countries cannot match the U.S. in
terms of military power, all this is behind what happened last Friday in
Casablanca...there are times when we must say 'NO' to America and not agree
with it. As Morocco has not done so, its Muslim citizens know that their
Palestinian brothers suffer daily in Palestine from Israel that is supported by
the U.S.... Recently Moroccans have seen
their Iraqi brothers were killed by U.S. bombs and this cannot go on. Anger
will break out one day!"
Compromising With Terrorism”
coalition,PPS Party French-language Al Bayane editorialized (5/19): “The
responsibility lies in the hands of patriotic forces that will have to mobilize
energies...to prevent our country from drifting to extremism and obscurantism.”
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES:
"War On Terrorism Asks For Changes In The Gulf"
Shamlan Al Eissa wrote in Abu Dhabi's semi-government Al
Ittihad (5/18): "It's a big
mistake to concentrate on the security aspect to solve this problem. The issue of extremism and terrorism against
the innocent is a social phenomenon that needs research regarding its reasons,
first culturally, socially, and religiously.
Were the Gulf governments really surprised with these operations?! What we want to say is that the war on
terrorism in the Gulf region asks for changes in the methods of its
governmenance. Regional and
international changes call for popular participation in the government."
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: "War On Terror Is Being Won"
The business-oriented Australian Financial Review (5/19)
stated: “Last weeks’ bombings in Saudi
Arabia and Morocco were a chilling reminder that the war on terrorism is going
to take the U.S. and its allies a lot longer to prosecute than the relatively
swift war in Iraq. But they were also, perversely,
a timely reminder that substantial progress has been made in that war, and that
Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network in particular has been weakened and is being
forced to choose softer targets as security is cranked up across the rich
Western world.... It is pretty clear there will be further terrorist
attacks. None of this should be cause
for any great surprise.... The war on
terrorism is surely being won, but slowly....
It is a war the West cannot afford to lose, because the liberation and
tolerance that define its institutions and way of life are at stake.”
"War On Terror Is Being Won"
An editorial in the business-oriented Australian Financial
Review stated (5/19): “Last weeks’ bombings in Saudi Arabia and Morocco
were a chilling reminder that the war on terrorism is going to take the United
States and its allies a lot longer to prosecute than the relatively swift war
in Iraq. But they were also, perversely, a timely reminder that substantial
progress has been made in that war, and that Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network
in particular has been weakened and is being forced to chose softer targets as
security is cranked up across the rich Western world.... It is pretty clear there will be further terrorist
attacks. But none of this should be
cause for any great surprise.... The coalition against terrorism has made real
progress.… The war on terrorism is surely being won, but slowly.... It will take patience, courage and
persistence to subdue terrorism and its causes.
It is a war the West cannot afford to lose, because the liberation and
tolerance that define its institutions and way of life are at stake.”
CHINA: “Casablanca Blasted
Ren Yujun commented in the official Communist Party Global
Times (Huanqiu Shibao, 5/19): "Although no Americans died in
the Casablanca blasts, it is undoubtedly a severe strike to Bush, the U.S.
president, who worked for ‘anti-terrorism.’...
A series of severe terrorist activities aimed at Americans will cause
more doubts among (U.S.) voters on Bush’s measures on anti-terrorism.”
SOUTH KOREA: “The World Has Become More Dangerous”
Nationalist, left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun
editorialized (5/19): “The recent series
of suicide bombings in the Arab world show that the world has become more
dangerous following the Iraq war, as opposed to the U.S. assertion that the
world would be safer should the U.S., in collaboration with the international
community, democratize Iraq, a nation developing WMD and supporting terrorist
organizations. The U.S. is failing to
win the hearts of Arab people because many perceive the Iraq war as ‘a war for
the U.S.’ and the U.S.-led war on terror as part of a U.S. strategy to
strengthen its hegemony and expand American national interests.... If the U.S. wants a safer world, it must
abandon its power-based approach to waging the anti-terror war.”
INDONESIA: “Suicide Methods Increasingly Used by
Leading independent Kompas (5/19)
commented: “Regardless of who the perpetrators were, the targets of the [Riyadh
and Casablance] attacks were generally Western countries’ interests. The anti-Western sentiment [there] remains
strong, which must have roots in the colonial era.... However, the use of terrorism is not solving
the problems, especially because it is a crime against humanity. In fact, every terrorist attack not only
causes fear and damage in the West, but also the world community as a whole.”
PHILIPPINES: "Blurred Lines"
Columnist Belinda Olivares-Cunanan noted in the widely read Philippine
Daily Inquirer (5/19): "For
those who have been closely monitoring the terrorism front even before 9/11,
these recent bombings are quite confusing as the lines are blurring. It should be noted that Riyadh and Casablanca
are situated in Muslim countries whose citizens are now getting hurt
themselves, because of the terrorism ascribed in the past as handiwork of
Arabs. Al-Qaida is being eyed in Riyadh
and yet, in the 9/11 attacks,15 of the 19 terrorists involved were
THAILAND: "No Time To Relax The War On Terror"
The lead editorial in top-circulation, moderately conservative,
English language Bangkok Post read (5/19): “There are those who feel it
is possible to alleviate the violence of al-Qaeda, perhaps to deal rationally
with the Osama bin Laden group through some sort of negotiations. They are wrong.…The terrorist network has no
quid pro quo bargaining position. The
presence or removal of U.S. troops is a red herring, as is the plight of the
Palestinians. The expressed goal of the
terrorist network in Southeast Asia, for example, is to establish a single
stretching across borders from the Philippines to Bangladesh, under a single,
Taliban-type regime of perverted Islamic law.
Never mind that an infinitesimal number of residents in our region share
that goal. Al-Qaida leaders believe any
amount of violence is justifiable to try to achieve it. Appeasement is not a choice.”
INDIA: "Fear Factor"
The nationalist Hindustan Times held (5/19): The fears expressed at the time of the Iraq
war that the conflict would inflame Muslim public opinion and enable Islamic
fundamentalists to find easy recruits have been largely confirmed by the
suicide attacks in Riyadh and Casablanca....
Al-Qaida, has obtained a new lease of life, posing a grave threat mainly
to Westerners, but also to those who get caught in its murderous
offensive. What seems to have helped
al-Qaida is the inability of the Americans to nab Osama bin Laden. As a result, he is probably able to provide
inspiration to the jihadis for their deadly enterprise along with financial
help and organizational direction....
Clearly, the intelligence agencies of virtually all the countries will
have to act with far greater determination to fight this resurgent menace."
"The Spreading Tentacles"
An editorial in the centrist Hindu stated (5/19): "The series of terrorist strikes in the
past week, all carrying the imprint of the Al-Qaeda network in terms of their
degree of sophistication and required level of coordination, have shaken the
Western world, prompting precautionary measures on an unprecedented
scale.... After remaining dormant for a
while waiting for the dust to settle in a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, Al-Qaeda is
letting the world know that it might have been wounded by the operations of the
U.S in Afghanistan but it is far from defeated.
With Osama bin Laden alive and free, the terrorist organization is
thought to have begun recruiting new adherents and reorganizing bases of
operation in many countries, including Sudan and the Chechen province. The
Saudi operation perhaps signaled the resurgence...one inescapable reality is
that the celebrations in the U.S. and the U.K. to mark the 'victory' in Iraq
may be premature. As Washington prepares
to install a friendly regime in Baghdad, it is receiving awesome reminders of
its incomplete work in Afghanistan and Iraq. Clearly, as it draws up the
balance sheet in the 30-month-old war on terror, the U.S. will find as many
entries on the debit side as on the credit."
PAKISTAN: "Attack On
An editorial in the centrist national News (5/19): "But while the Muslim states will need
to be on highest security preparedness, the ultimate responsibility rests on
America to reduce the threat. It must pursue a policy that will assuage the
Arab anger for grievous harm caused by the western act of imposing Israel in
their midst. The Zionist entity has
since been protected and nurtured by its western patrons at the cost of the
neighboring Arab states. In recent time U.S. has even adopted a position that
virtually makes it a partner of Israel in the pogrom it has unleashed at the
Palestinians. Every effort to seek UN's intervention was shot down by an
American veto which gave Israel a carte blanche to deal with the Arabs. One of
the factors that led to the creation of what Americans call "Islamic"
terrorists is its overt support for Israel in its anti-Arab policy. The terrorist attacks on Saudi Arabia and
Morocco were criminal acts, but the culpability rests on the United States for
having caused them."
"East African Governments Should Be Prepared For These
The Kiswahili anti-government Majira
editorialized (5/16): “After a quiet
phase, the issue of terrorism has emerged again and instilled fear in many
people. There are reports that terrorists are planning new attacks in this
region. Terrorist attacks are not new in East Africa. The 1998 Embassy bombings
in Tanzania and Kenya and the recent one in Mombasa came unexpectedly. But now
we have been warned, and should therefore prepare ourselves.... It is very possible that the reports might
only be empty threats, but it is better to be prepared. Terrorism is now a
worldwide problem and there is no way of predicting when it might strike again.
Our governments must remain vigilant at all times.... We the people of East
Africa must also be alert and report all suspicious people and things to the
relevant authorities, in an effort to confront terrorism."
ARGENTINA: "Extent Of an Escalation"
Claudio Uriarte, left-of-center Pagina 12's
international analyst, wrote (5/18): "Does last week's wave of terrorist
attacks mean that al-Qaida is increasing its power, or that the U.S., far from
winning the war on terrorism, is losing it, perhaps precisely due to its same
victory in the campaign against Saddam Hussein?... While al-Qaida's operating
ability is more or less stable, this does not mean that the war on Afghanistan
has left it intact... The outcome of the war on Iraq is indistinct and has not
changed the military balance, among other things because Iraq was not a
sanctuary-country or a supporting base of al-Qaida.... Osama bin Laden's organization has decided to
activate its multiple dormant groups to send an unequivocal message: 'We are
alive and will continue attacking'....
They have not impaired Bush because the panic installed after the
September 11 attacks and Bush's proclamation of the antiterrorist war have left
him, at least for now, in a win-or-win situation: if terrorist attacks lower,
the president can always claim it is a fruit of his policy; if they increase,
they show how necessary the intensification of his policy is."
"The Bloody Return Of al-Qaida And Suicide
Alejandra Pataro, international columnist of
leading Clarin stated (5/18): "George W. Bush's triumphant
statements made fifteen days ago...were destroyed last week. Between last Monday and Friday 150 to 200
people died in a wave of attacks from Morocco to Chechnya by such brutal
terrorist attacks that they wasted the life of 30 militants turned into human
bombs. The most disturbing peace of information is that, behind this massacres
is al-Qaida, an organization presented by the White House 'as seriously
beheaded'.... Where is the positive
outcome of war on terrorism?...
According to some analysts, the somber reminder that al-Qaida has not
lost its sting can be for the U.S. much more concerning in the framework of its
failure to trap Saddam and its inability to restore order in chaotic Baghdad.
Iraq's instability, Israel's reluctance to accept the Road Map supported by
Washington, the Middle East spread poverty, and the non-existent reconstruction
of Afghanistan conspire against the efforts to combat terrorism. On the
contrary, they seem to foster the appearance of extremists willing to kill
while dying, without anything to lose... The truth is that Bush has just
launched his reelection and he will do whatever is necessary to avoid what
happened to his father, who won the 1991 Gulf War with 90 per cent of
popularity and lost his reelection due to a slight recession."