August 1, 2005
UK, EGYPT BOMBINGS REFLECT 'PLAGUE OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM'
** Writers say the changing face of "islamist terror" poses "brutal and macabre" global threat.
** Outlets worldwide advocate search for "root causes" of terrorism.
** Media urge Muslim moderates and Arab leaders to work together to "eradicate" terrorism.
** Commentators fear the "war on terror" may erode "civil liberties and freedom."
'Terrorism without borders'-- Many commentators analyzed the "new type of war" being waged by Islamists against multiple symbolic targets in the West and East. Pakistan's liberal Daily Times stated the "Sharm el-Sheikh bombings...alert us to the changing view of Islamists in Egypt." Other writers expressed concern about the "hydra-headed terror franchise" that is "no longer commanded by bin Ladin." Contending that "no one...is safe from the threat of terrorism," the independent Malta Independent joined others in noting "this terrorism does not differentiate among Muslims, Christians, and Jews." India's independent Ananda Bazar Patrika declared the "Internet has replaced Afghanistan" as a terrorist training ground.
'Answer to terrorism'-- Several outlets emphasized identifying and addressing the underlying causes of terrorism in order to "uproot them fiercely and strongly" and put an end to "calculated barbarity." While some analysts attributed terrorism to U.S. foreign policies, others identified growing poverty and injustice in Muslim countries and the "isolation" of Muslim communities in secular nations. Syria's government-owned Al-Ba'th declared that the world must make "concerted efforts" to "define terrorism and seriously discuss how to eradicate it, dry up its sources, and address the reasons for its existence and exacerbation."
'Muslim reaction to terrorism'-- Some observers asserted that moderate Muslims and Arab leaders should be included in the fight against terrorism. European analysts deduced that "terrorism can be stopped," but Muslim communities must be "integrated" into Western societies; a Belgian observer commented, "even a signal from moderate imams...would spark a lot of sympathy." Bangladesh's independent News Today questioned whether Arab countries would take an active role to "persuade the boiling minds in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Palestine and elsewhere" to "work out a deal acceptable to all." Iraq's Taliban led Al-Ittihad opined that there should be "Arab unity" in response to terrorist attacks.
'Security at freedom's expense'-- Numerous papers discussed trade-offs of the "global war on terror." Russia's reformist Izvestiya declared that "tightened security and personal vigilance are a must." Japan's liberal Asahi criticized the U.S.' "anti-terrorism strategies" using "military force to resolve crises"; a Syrian commentator declared that U.S. plans "unleash might and military hegemony" to impose "occupation." Canada's liberal Toronto Star asked, "how much freedom are we willing to sacrifice to ensure our security?" As a result of continuing anti-terrorism efforts, Argentina's left-of-center Pagina 12 concluded, "respect for individual liberties and civilian rights will tend to decrease...in the coming years."
Prepared by Media Reaction Branch (202) 203-7888, firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR: Susan Emerson
EDITOR'S NOTE: Media Reaction reporting conveys the spectrum of foreign press sentiment. Posts select commentary to provide a representative picture of local editorial opinion. Some commentary is taken directly from the Internet. This report summarizes and interprets foreign editorial opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government. This analysis was based on 77 reports from 31 countries over 24 - 27 July, 2005. Editorial excerpts are listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "Calculated Barbarity"
Left-of-center Guardian editorialized (7/25): "Sharm el-Sheikh earns the distinction of being the largest terrorist incident in Egypt since 1997, when militants killed 58 tourists outside Luxor. It will be followed, like last October's murderous attack on Israeli tourists at Taba in Sinai, by an inevitable crackdown that will provide a volatile background to presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for the autumn. These were always going to fall far short of Western norms. They are now likely to be even less free and fair than before this latest terrible bloodletting. Whatever else the bombers hope to achieve, advancing the cause of Arab democracy is not their concern."
FRANCE: "The War Is Intensifying"
Pierre Rousselin observed in right-of-center Le Figaro (7/25): "We’re undergoing a campaign of terror with multiple targets around the world and a general climate of apprehension. We’re confronted with truly a new type of war. In London, as in Egypt, the attack has multiplier effects--beyond the cost in human life. In Sharm [el-Sheikh], it is the images of tourists of all nationalities fleeing the bombings and the vacation resort. We don’t really know anymore what al-Qaida is because its actions are so efficient, whether the attacks are initiated by autonomous groups or coordinated. And where is bin Ladin? We don’t know for sure, but the terrorists can attack at any time, and this is worrisome."
Guillaume Goubert commented in Catholic La Croix (7/25): "The terrorist attack against Sharm el-Sheikh was aiming at several symbolic targets. As a missile with multiple heads, it tried to reach tourism, Egypt and any process of detente in the Middle East.... Such holiday resorts are places of contacts between cultures and civilizations.... They also wanted to economically weaken Egypt whose financial balance depends very much on tourism.... The international actions of Egypt are also responsible.... Sharm el-Sheikh is a symbol since this city has been the host of several high-level conferences for peace in Middle East.... Is it a coincidence that the Sharm el-Sheikh attacks took place a few weeks before the arranged date for the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza?.... The Israeli withdrawal is not in question for now. In face of terrorism, the 'peace camp' must stick together."
Gérard Dupuy editorialized in left-of-center Libération (7/25): "Scotland Yard’s unfortunate mistake may seem very slight in face of the new slaughter by the soldiers of Islamic terror but the lesson to draw is the same one. No matter how justifiable, anger is a bad adviser when it comes to action.… There is no need and it is even counterproductive to over-react in order to assess one’s strength and toughness.… The wave of attacks of the last days confirms that for the police and secret services of western countries, Islamic terrorism constitutes the biggest challenge that they ever have had to face, including the Cold War.... Terrorists are not fighting the West’s strength but its weakness."
"Answer To Terrorism Through Economy As Well"
Erik Izraelewicz editorialized in right-of-center Les Echos (7/25): "The war against terrorism that we entered simultaneously with the new century will be long and difficult.... The ‘political’ networks at the core of these attacks have blindly killed. However, until today, they have not managed to destabilize democracies nor put into question the running of their economies.... Every time terrorists tried to weaken some of the basic links of the world economy. With New York and the World Trade Center towers, it was also Wall Street, premier financial place in the world, which was targeted. With London, it is also the City, Europe’s financial center, the city of the 2012 Olympic games, that was chosen. Last Friday, with Sharm el-Sheikh, it’s the symbol of a rising industry in the world, especially the Arab world, that was targeted.... For the moment, these attacks have not achieved their goals. Security measures have been reinforced in the democracies without putting liberty into question."
GERMANY: "Egyptian Danger"
Tomas Avenarius commented in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung (7/26): "Mubarak knows how to deal with militant Islamists. He tracked them down so ruthlessly in the 1980s and 90s that they gave in. His police officials, agents and torturers will go for the same strategy again. They will not be careful about human rights-the American approach in Guantánamo will sever them as a welcome excuse. However, Mubarak might also act as a statesman in the war on terror, and not just as a brutal politician, by dealing with the political opposition. The protest by businessmen, cooks and waiters in Sharm el-Sheikh made clear that the government and the people share interests in the fight against Islamist terrorism. Mubarak has an opportunity to include the opposition. This policy would be costly but a worthy investment. The regime would have to give up some of its power, and the Islamist opposition of the Muslim Brothers would simultaneously have to make clear how they would deal with militants. Egypt and the war on terror would benefit from this policy."
Ewald Stein observed in business daily Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf (7/26): "The attacks in Sharm el-Sheikh are another chapter in the unsuccessful story of Islamist terrorism. Given the long lists of casualties, this thesis might sound macabre or even brutal, but despite all the justified emotions, we may dare to conclude in a realistic political assessment that such acts of violence will not bring a country like Egypt down to its knees. The tourism industry will certainly suffer, but the criminals will not be able to shake the foundation of the state.... Mubarak allegedly enjoys every day he does not have to make a decision. Looking at the economic situation of the country, this accusation is right. As a result of the lack of reforms, the rift between poor and rich is becoming wider, and the birth rate is still far too high. This alone would be bad enough, and that is exactly the reason why Cairo must not hesitate in the war on terror. Mubarak must deliver, and he has many options to do that."
"Fear As Goal"
Reinhard Brennicke editorialized in right-of-center Braunschweiger Zeitung (7/26): "The al-Qaida assassins want to spread fear, but they do not have a political goal. They want to hit the West, the United States in particular. The destructive energy is the only steady factor in the thinking of Jihadists. It would be a mistake to believe that the situation would improve if the U.S. quickly withdraws from Iraq. The demonstrations in Egypt are a turning point. They show that Muslims do not share the goal of the murderers from Sharm el-Sheikh or other places of horror. The silence has been broken."
"London And Sharm el-Sheikh"
Rainer Hermann stated in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (7/26): "It is unlikely that the cells that planned and committed the attacks in London and Sharm el-Sheikh are linked and knew about each other, but is worrisome that the attacks happened while terrorism is still raging in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jihadists appear to be self-confident and prepared enough to spread shock and awe across the world from Iraq's Anbar region, similar to the assassins during the Middle Age, who sent suicide commandos from their Iranian castle of Alamut to the world. Indeed, there could be a connection between London and Sharm el-Sheikh. The attacks could mark the beginning of a new international offensive of Jihadists, who are no longer commanded by bin Ladin. Beyond the civil people of Iraq, they now also target countries in the Middle East and in Europe."
"Terror And Islam"
Günther Nonnenmacher editorialized in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (7/25): "This terror attack committed on the Egyptian national holiday hit the country's most essential source of revenue, the tourism industry, but it mainly targeted the government and its role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Under Sadat, Egypt was the first country in the Arab world that made peace with Israel--only Jordan followed since. Mubarak, who is Sadat's heir, has been making efforts to promote the peace process in the Middle East or to keep it at least alive. At home, he established an authoritarian regime, which does not shrink from using brutal tools to fight Islamists, who killed his predecessor. Mubarak's regime is in its final stages and the succession is unclear. The attack in Sharm el-Sheikh is a blow to the core Arab land that has the closest link with the West.... There is no way around the acknowledgment that the West has made mistakes in the war on terror since 9/11. The war against Iraq with the ousting of Saddam can be justified in some respects--but not as a counterterrorism measure. The Arab world, including Saddam's enemies, has seen it as a humiliation. After the victory of the coalition, Iraq has plunged into chaos in which al-Qaida and other terrorists have found their niches and refuge. If the war on terror should succeed, the West must no longer produce such paradoxical results."
ITALY: "Unreliable Allies"
Elite, classical liberal daily Il Foglio editorialized (7/26): "At this time of terrorist emergency, Bush is in close contact with Mubarak who in turn is in contact with Musharraf.... It is ever more evident that in this triangle of contacts [which becomes quadrilateral if we consider Saudia Arabia] resides the true ‘crisis area’ of anti-terrorist strategy. For the past four years now, the leaders of al-Qaida have been hiding in the ‘tribal territories’ of Pakistan’s Waziristan region, not in Afghanistan, but Musharraf is unable to tighten the grip, and yesterday instead stated that al-Qaida ‘is a state of mind’.... The astonishing thing is that while the U.S. administration develops ‘moral suasion’ on Egypt to push it toward a path of democratization, nothing is being done to put pressure on Pakistan.... The attention of the Bush administration is concentrated on Afghanistan and on the Indo-Pakistani pacification, on the dispute regarding Kashmir, undoubtedly a breeding ground for terrorism, which however has little to do with the worldwide phenomenon. It’s a thorny picture, especially because many within the U.S. administration are urging a reconsideration of relations with the Saudis, which stems from their unreliability in the fight against terrorism, as is evident by the decision taken by Bush and Rice to urge the democratization of Egypt. But there is yet no sign of reconsideration toward a Pakistani regime that governs the country of the thousand pro-terrorist madrasahs...that produce more and more suicide bombers."
"From Gaza To Cairo"
Prominent foreign affairs commentator Franco Venturini maintained in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (7/25): "[We must] talk with moderate Muslims, give them tokens of concrete good will, obtain their involvement [especially at the intelligence level] in the isolation and repression of terrorists, work together to limit the capacity to recruit terrorists. This is the road to follow...and it is the hardest one. It will not be enough to stop the bombs of tomorrow, but it will certainly [be enough to stop those] of the day after tomorrow."
"The Target Is Mubarak"
Igor Man opined in centrist, influential daily La Stampa (7/25): “According to the experts, the Sharm massacre aims to strike Mubarak…while the attacks [announced] in Italy and in Denmark aim to punish the ‘accomplices of Arab regimes sold to McDonald’s.’ It will be hard, if and when the attack comes. But it would be foolish and counterproductive to immediately bandage our heads. Let us leave intelligence to its work, for they know well their difficult and not always appreciated job. Instead of suggesting ‘reforms’ of the service, and perhaps necessary ones, which will require a long time, we should show our solidarity and esteem to those who protect us. And we should remain cautious, of course. But without hysteria, outside of the ‘ideology of the tabloid’ that brings suspicion, racism, and easy [use of] guns. Islamic terrorism, plague of the new millennium, isn’t defeated by attacking suspicious people, but rather with patience and firmness.”
"But To Prevent Terrorists We Need Something Else"
Magdi Allam concluded in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (7/24): "The international dimension of Sharm el-Sheikh emerged the day after September 11, 2001, when it was singled out as a possible 'Italian' target because it hosts a large number of Italian tourists and receives important Italian investments.... As far as we are concerned, the time has come to open our eyes and to bring three elementary yet unsettling realities into action. The first is that, like it or not, a world war is under way which was unleashed by Islamic terrorism. The second is that this war directly interests Europe, not just as a target but, above all, as a stronghold of Islamic terrorism. The third is that this war can only be won by eradicating the 'suicide bomber factories' also present in Italy."
RUSSIA: "Security Not At Freedom’s Expense"
Reformist Izvestiya editorialized (7/25): "The series of blasts in London, and more recently in Sharm el-Sheikh, is more evidence that actions by Islamic extremists are not merely violent action in support of specific goals, but are rather a war to destroy the world, the civilized world. This world, regardless of different creeds and a great many national distinctions, includes a unique set of values, democracy and human rights. Basically, all recent major terrorist attacks are aimed at destroying the traditional lifestyle. In a sense, the worse-it-is-the-better rule is an almost no-lose war. War is war. Tightened security and personal vigilance are a must in a war on terror. They help catch and punish those responsible for crimes already committed and minimize the damage from new ones. In the longer term, not letting ourselves be intimidated and going on living the way we are is no less effective in devaluing terrorists' efforts than police raids and mop-up operations."
"Now Isn’t The Right Time For Change"
Nataliya Gevorkyan commented in reformist, business-oriented Kommersant (7/25): "The Moscow blasts shortly before Vladimir Putin's election played into his hands. The 9/11 tragedy made Bush...into a real president.... Judging by the early public reaction, the London bombings will strengthen Tony Blair’s hand more than weaken it. The Sharm el-Sheikh attack a month before the elections may well help Hosni Mubarak stay in power. [U.S. Secretary of State] Rice, speaking at American University in Cairo the other day, called for the overthrow of authoritarian regimes, implying the semi-military regime in Egypt among others. But today doesn’t seem like the right time for changes. First let’s do away with terrorism. Mubarak has been in power for 23 years now. He is a familiar figure and a savvy politician, aware of what tourism means to Egypt and interested in hunting down and punishing the terrorists. The people are likely to vote for him again, especially because they have no choice--there is practically no one else they can trust."
BELGIUM: "Nobody Is Immune"
Cecile Vrayenne opined in Liege-based conservative La Meuse (7/25): "It might be our turn tomorrow. In the subway, on a bus, or even on vacation, like these unfortunate British tourists who had fled London for Sharm el-Sheikh. The terrorist attacks that were committed this month show that terrorism is no longer a settling of accounts between the axes of evil and of good, but a blind duel between murderers and victims. Today’s terrorists were raised in democracies, not in war-torn countries. They are among us, like the London kamikaze terrorists who were walking in the streets of Leeds. Disappointed, frustrated, marginalized, and having not much to lose, they find what is going on in the Muslim world unfair and they transcend their anger in small radical groups.... Yet, Islam is only a leverage for al-Qaida, an excuse that does no longer fool anyone after the recent attacks that killed Arab civilians. The real objective of al-Qaida members is not faith but power. Al-Qaida wants to replace the Allies as the 'policeman of the world.' That is why its target is the West but also secular countries, like Turkey and Egypt--especially on the eve of elections--and 'modern' Muslim countries. Islamization is only a tool that obscurantists use in their war against 'crusaders and Jews.'"
Foreign editor Philippe Martin commented in Catholic Vers L’Avenir (7/25): "At first sight, the message seems clear. Any country that is part of the coalition in Iraq is a target for terrorists. That was the case for Spain and the United Kingdom. It is also the case for Arab or Muslim countries that have good relations with Washington, such as Turkey and Egypt. Does this mean that other countries are immune? Of course they aren’t. Because it is not only the American superpower that Islamic terrorists want to defeat, but all Western countries that are democratic and respect human rights, and which represent evil as well in the eyes of these fanatics who dream of imposing Sharia and Islamic rule everywhere on the planet. One should not be fooled. It is not Iraq that generated Muslim fundamentalism and inspired terrorists. The American intervention in Iraq has at the most offered an additional legitimacy to kamikaze bombers, a cause that is easy to exploit, and an excellent slogan to recruit more people. If we forget this obvious fact, we run the risk of finding ourselves in a delicate position in the future, and, in addition, that would amount to throwing the population of the Muslim world into the arms of totalitarian regimes that only rely on terror."
"Muslim Reaction To Terrorism?"
Conservative Het Laatste Nieuws editorialized (7/25): "It is astonishing to see that barely a sign of disgust is visible in the Muslim countries themselves. They show no repugnance for the murders in London or the cowardly attacks in Sharm el-Sheikh. If radical religious leaders in countries like Iran really care about world peace, why do they not issue a fatwa against the instigators of these acts? They did it against the Satanic Verses in which Salman Rushdie criticizes the Quran. Yet, books do not kill and they do not cause human suffering. Even a signal of encouragement from the moderate imams who are truly willing to realize the integration of Muslims in the West would spark a lot of sympathy. In the meantime the suspicion about Muslims is growing in the West and only draconian security measures seem to be appropriate to keep extremists outside its borders. The fact that the attacks are carried out more and more in liberal and open Europe, and no longer in hermetically closed America, enhances the success of extreme right parties. If this campaign in Europe does not come to an end soon, the gates may be closed here, too. That won’t do any good to anyone, and certainly not to the Muslims here who are looking for a better life."
Foreign affairs writer Lode Delputte maintained in independent De Morgen (7/25): "What can or should we do so that the madmen in Bali, Madrid, London, New York and Sharm el-Sheikh change their minds? Anti-terror measures and intelligence can contribute a little and every failed thwarted attack is a success.... The individuals who have been brainwashed are irrevocably lost, but many others can be stopped, less by wild police interventions than by smart measures. Terrorism can be stopped, if we are willing to make serious efforts to give the Muslim communities a proper place in our societies. That is the only way to take away the fertile soil for the excesses that we have seen."
CZECH REPUBLIC: "Terrorism Can Cost Us A Lot"
Economist Pavel Kohout opined center-right daily Lidove noviny (7/27): "Terrorism has not economically harmed the West yet.... Nothing has so far suggested that terrorists could derail economic growth. The truth is, however, that they have such ability. It would be foolish to underestimate the enemy and his tactics. …The growth of any economy is, among other things, determined by the future expectations of the public.... Who succeeds in instilling expectations of fear and uncertainty into the public will achieve a weakening of consumer demand and investments.... Contemporary terrorist branch of Islam has no honor and it has twisted the Islamic law to its own image. It kills civilians and therefore its sympathizers do not deserve any respect. They interpret any sign of respect as a weakness of their enemy. In the sense of economic game theory there can be only one conclusion: consistently apply a non-cooperative strategy. Do not negotiate, but destroy."
"Life Under Terror"
Adam Cerny commented in business daily Hospodarske noviny (7/27): "The recent terrorist attacks in Britain and Egypt give no evidence that their perpetrators cooperated with each other, but they certainly bear the signs of a changed terrorist strategy from the attacks of 9/11--a shared inspiration by radical Islamism, much lower cost of the attacks, but also that the individual extremist cells operate independent of each other. How can we counter this threat? The recent closer cooperation of French and British intelligence services, tighter security measures…are certainly steps in the right direction. And there will always be the dispute about where the curbing of our freedoms should stop. But for us Europeans, the most difficult thing will be how to counter the ideology of hatred and to live in an atmosphere of never ending risk of terror. The people in Israel or Northern Ireland could tell us a thing or two about this."
"Time for Jihad"
Pavel Masa stated in center-right Lidove noviny (7/26): "The trails of the murderers in Egypt lead to Pakistan. This hardly surprised anyone, but no one seems to know what can be done with this country where Islamists find a safe sanctuary. An attack of this nuclear power is unthinkable and so the Americans, after President Bush came to power, opted for massive military support of President Musharaf’s regime hoping that it will be able to deal with the extremists. For the Europeans, the Pakistani general is too much of an autocrat, and they decided to adopt a universally acknowledged remedy of the sources of terrorism by promoting better education and economic prosperity in Pakistan. It is, however, becoming clear that the European approach will bring results only in the long-term perspective; and now we have only days to save the lives of other potential victims…. We must not hesitate over our support of Musharaf who is now calling on his people to wage a holy war against terrorism. Only through
our support will the world gain tools and political justification to make the Pakistani leadership adopt a more radical approach against their Muslim extremists. Hopefully, there will still be time for the development of the Pakistani civic society afterwards."
"We Do Not Have An Alliance Against Terrorism"
Lubomir Zaoralek, Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, observed in mainstream MF Dnes (7/26): "The victims of the recent terrorist attacks in London and Egypt were of various ethnic and religious backgrounds--it was the people of the U.S., Europe, but also Iraq, Egypt as well as the vast majority of peace-loving Arabs who have become victims of merciless and unhinged violence. If our answer to this bloodshed is to have any force it must be based on this variety of ethnicity and religion...and discussing a common approach with Muslim representatives is the first step. Emotional, well-meant declarations publicly expressed by Muslim leaders, however, are not enough. If we are to live side by side, the whole Muslim world must wage an effective fight against terrorism. They must start with academic curricula and education in schools so that there is no doubt where the Arab politicians stand.... European politicians also face a similar challenge. Although united after 9/11, they now lack the will to coordinate their intelligence services. They protect their own individual interests. After the rejection of the EU Constitution, the development of European defense has come to a standstill. One would say that there is nothing clearer than the fact that the fundamental pillar of European integration must be security. The reality, however, does not reflect this obvious need.... It looks as if it is not only the Muslim world that we fear, but that we do not trust one another either."
"We Have Got No Protection Against Terrorists"
Martin Komarek pondered in mainstream MF Dnes (7/26): "What can the Czech government do to lower the risk of a terrorist attack? The primary task of the country is to protect the lives of its citizens. The question, what can the cabinet do, is not as simple as it might seem. Reinforcing police patrols, training police dogs, scrutinizing potentially dangerous people--that is piteously little. There does exist an almost absolutely guaranteed method that would protect the citizens--the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, declarations of regret over the U.S. aggression against the Iraqi people and over the existence of the Israeli state.... The state could also ban its citizens from travel to the countries of the anti-terrorist alliance and to sea resorts.... Evidently such an approach does not make sense. The cabinet cannot terminate treaties with allies or restrict the freedoms of citizens, even if it wanted to. And hopefully it will not. So, are we supposed to come to terms with the situation in which our authorities can hardly do anything useful? However sad this may be, this may indeed be the case."
"Should We Travel To Egypt?"
Pavel Masa noted in center-right Lidove noviny (7/25): "The first Czech citizen became a victim of terrorism. One media commentary immediately noted that the tourists spending their vacation in Egypt, now certainly regret their 'unfortunate decision.' In the context of the Islamist attacks such thinking is erroneous. Is the 'fortunate' [and in the subtext the 'sensible'] decision to stay at home? And in case the terrorists even attack in the CR, we will not walk out on the street? To find a common solution is not possible. The appeals of the politicians that civilization cannot back down before forces of evil and allow them to reach their goal of damaging the economies of poorer states dependent on tourist revenue sound logical. The decision of what level of risk one is willing to assume must be an individual one. We routinely travel to countries where the likelihood of becoming a victim of a traffic accident [especially in Egypt] or crime is higher than terrorism in the so called risky countries. There are no lucky or unlucky decisions. The important factor [in these decisions] is that they rest in responsible deliberation, not succumb to myths, and stem from the knowledge of reality. Without that, face to face with terror, we will preserve our personal integrity and honor only with difficulty."
LUXEMBOURG: “To Punish The West”
Jean-Marie Martini wrote in independent Le Quotidien (7/25): "London. Sharm El-Sheikh. Baghdad. These last few days, the planet was confronted with a real acceleration in terrorist attacks, real undeclared wars that strike mostly civilians and innocents and perpetrated by those who, or almost all of whom, claim to be al-Qaida. In fact, these are self-financed, small groups, without ties to one another, who act autonomously, using local means, even if these barbarians give the impression of being at the reins of a world terror campaign.… It is important to protect oneself against this terrorism, including through police action and international cooperation. It would be better still to fight against the poverty, injustice and bad governance that feed this form of war. One can always dream!"
MALTA: "And So It Spreads"
Independent, English-language daily The Malta Independent editorialized (7/25): "No one, nowhere, is safe from the threat of terrorism...we have seen European British-born Muslims willingly sacrifice their own lives in their pursuit of radical Islam. The majority of Muslims will tell you that these people are following a perverted interpretation of a religion that preaches peace and many would agree that they are right to say so. But the events in Sharm el-Sheikh this weekend are a terrible reminder that al-Qaida affiliated terrorist groups do not even distinguish between fellow Muslims, Europeans or U.S. citizens....Malta should also be wary. Terror is getting even closer to our country...at a time when the rest of the world is beefing up its security, we should too, especially in the light of the fact that we will be hosting the Commonwealth Heads of State (CHOGM) later this year."
NETHERLANDS: "Sharm el-Sheikh Attacks"
Amsterdam's conservative, mass circulation De Telegraaf noted (7/25): "There is no doubt about it that the terrorist attacks [in Sharm el- Sheikh] were carried out by Muslim extremists. Egyptian authorities have started to hunt down the terrorists and those who assisted them. It seems as if that first hunt is starting to pay off as the Egyptian authorities claim dozens of arrests were made. It is good that Egypt, as part of the Arabic world, shows that it remains unyielding when it comes to extremist Muslim terror. Egyptian President Mubarak already said he would not yield to terror and that he would do everything possible to catch the terrorists. And this is the only right approach."
Arie Elshout commented in influential, liberal De Volkskrant (7/25): "Religious fanaticism has rapidly spread with Muslim extremism as the most dangerous variation. The question is where does it stem from? And even more importantly is the question, what can be done against it?.... Of course the West is not without faults but it is also not necessary for us to overindulge in guilt in our search for a response to the Islamic victim-thinking. To counterbalance that, I would state that the prime responsibility to come up with a solution lies with the Muslim communities in the Western countries.... They have to get much more active in fighting radicalism in their own circles. It will not be easy. But it is also not easy to solve the problems of poverty, discrimination and the conflicts in Iraq, Israel, Chechnya, and Kashmir--as demanded from the West."
NORWAY: "Egypt The Pressure Cooker"
Journalist Per A. Christiansen declared in newspaper-of-record Aftenposten (7/26): "The roots of most of what is happening in the Arabic and Muslim world–for better or worse–is solidly planted along the shores of the Nile.... If you look carefully at Egypt’s development over the past decades, it is not hard to find both opposition and inconsistency, conflicts and dilemmas. The main difficulty is to find the totality in this incredibly pieced-together picture.... The battle has been about the position religion should have in society. It has involved economic systems, the status of women, class barriers, and it has been about being Arabic versus belonging to a sovereign state, about the relationship to the West, about practically any problem connected to the transition from a traditional society to a modern state.... It is the same battles that continue even today– now under the pressure of a large and young population with an unemployment rate of about 20 percent, with huge economic differences and [under] governmental systems that are not capable of adjusting to their population’s needs. Egypt can be compared to a political pressure cooker where different groups are looking for different answers to the same problems–answers that stretch over the full scale from terrorism to democracy. And as the prominent French expert on Islam Gilles Kepel has pointed out: 'The knowledge we can attain from what is happening along the shores of the Nile may help us understand the development of the entire Islamic world.'"
"A Summer Under The Sign Of Terrorism"
Independent VG commented (7/24): "This summer large parts of the world are gripped by terrorism. In London, this fear [permeates] the lives of its population and its tourists after two rounds of attacks against civilian targets. In Egypt, they are still counting their dead after yesterday’s car bombs. Iraq has over the past week seen more than 20 car bombs, with as many as 10 in one day. The enemy is invisible until he suddenly attacks and detonates his bombs. But behind everything we can see the shadow of the terrorist network al-Qaida.... This terrorist network is not a traditional terrorist organization that will put down its weapons on the day that an outsider enemy withdraws. Al-Qaida fights for an obscure, fanatic, religious vision of the re-emergence of the Arabic Caliphate.… Al-Qaida’s goals may easily be described as the plans of a madman. Therefore, they have often been regarded as obscure ideas, and their terrorist actions have often been given an anti-imperialistic explanation instead. It is easy to forget that millions of people in Europe were killed only a few decades ago due to the visions of some madmen. Al-Qaida represents a madness that is dead serious."
SPAIN: "The War of Al-Qaida Against the West and the East"
Independent El Mundo opined (7/24): "In different parts of the mass media, the [July 23] massacre at Sharm el-Sheikh was linked with the invasion of Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.... This justification of the Islamic terrorist massacres by a large part of citizens in Muslim countries is the greater difficulty faced in the battle against al-Qaida and against multinational crime under which all the fundamentalist groups that have declared the jihad...not only to the Western infidels, but to everyone.... It will surely be decades before one discovers an effective way to combat these terrorist groups with police--and this will only be possible...with worldwide cooperation because the world itself is threatened."
"Terrorism Without Borders"
Left-of-center El Pais commented (7/24): "It is not probable that the episodes of London and Sharm el-Sheikh are directly linked. Both are actions...executed by local pro-Islamic cells and planned in advance.... But these two attacks...have the same strategy of global Islamic terrorism, which seeks to crush the West, a society which it judges to be morally decadent. The U.S. and the EU realize that they should redouble their political, judicial, and intelligence cooperation. But those actions can't succeed unless they are accompanied by other actions designed to integrate the Muslim community into Western society and--consequently--isolate terrorism."
ISRAEL: "Between London And Sharm El-Sheikh"
Terrorism expert Boaz Ganor wrote in popular, pluralist Maariv (7/24): "In the morning British security troops kill a man suspected of being a terrorist in the London underground, and at night dozens of tourists in Sharm el-Sheikh are killed. Has the world gone mad? Is there a common denominator between the terror attacks that occurred in countries that are so very different from each other? The answer is found in the ideology and strategy of the forces of global jihad. This heading includes the fragments of al-Qaida.... It is clear to these elements that they are not and will never be able to defeat the entire world, and therefore they aspire, at the first stage, to create local revolutions in Arab and Muslim states. The fact that most of the global jihad attacks took place in the world in recent years precisely in countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Algeria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Indonesia and others is evidence of this.... Western isolationism will speed up the extreme revolution in the Muslim world, but it will not stop terrorism. At most, it will postpone the wave of terrorism directed against Western countries to a later date, but then it will be several times more dangerous. The world has become a global village of terrorism, and therefore the international deployment must be different from everything we have ever known. The sooner the world recognizes this, the more possible it will be to find a solution to this existential danger."
"No More Fear"
Chief economic editor Sever Plotker opined in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (7/24): "Political, 'spiritual' terrorism is the progenitor of practical terrorism. Eradicate the former--the latter will die subsequently. However, if you show fear and weakness before the ideology of terrorism, years will pass, perhaps even generations, before you achieve victory over its results. History is rife with examples. That is why British Prime Minister Tony Blair gave the order to root out Muslim terrorism from his country after the terror attacks in the London tube. That ended the period of restraint on British soil. The result: the British security forces carried out their first targeted killing operation on Friday. They suffered from a mistake in identity, not from a mistake in method. That still has not happened in Cairo. The hands of the senior Egyptian officials, like the hands of the other Arab leaders, shake with fear. Their countries suffer from rampant corruption, the rank of decay rises heavenward, and billions of dollars burst out of the oil-soaked soil and disappear into vaults in the Virgin Islands. Under those kinds of conditions it is difficult to wage an unrelenting war on the political-spiritual-religious leadership of terrorism, which dons a disguise and pretends to be a struggle to purge Arab society of its ailments. And the dozens of people killed in Sinai pay the price."
EGYPT: "Targeting Innocents"
Small-circulation, pro-government Al Gomhouriya commented (7/24): "What happened in Sinai cannot be separated from the terrorist operations in London and Madrid.... They all target innocent people for political reasons with which they have no connection.... Egypt, the oasis of peace and security, is the target now.... [Egypt's] sons must rise as one man to repel the barbaric terrorist attack."
"Egypt Will Not Submit"
Aggressive pro-government Al-Akhbar editorialized (7/24): "Egypt will never submit.... Black terrorism will not undermine our resolve.... [The perpetrators are a] gang of misguided people [who are] not Muslim [and have] nothing to do with Islam.... [They] will never succeed in suffocating tourism."
"Whom To Blame"
Al-Misri al-Yawm stated (7/24): "Logically, we should not blame the security services however inadequate they might have been or even the perpetrators, in spite of the ugliness of their crime as they are just victims like us, because they had fallen into the trap of the salafist ideas and tradition.... [The] other culprits who have created the phenomenon of terrorism [are Muslim] scholars and leaders who live in our midst."
"U.S. Creates Bombers"
A columnist in pro-opposition Al-Shaab wrote (7/24): "The U.S. crimes and Crusaders' invasion of the region have led to a queue of those willing to blow themselves up at targets belonging to America or its allies."
SAUDI ARABIA: "Who is Behind Terrorism?"
Jeddah’s moderate Okaz editorialized (07/26): "Islamic extremists particularly al-Qaida have claimed responsibility for all the bombings that have taken place recently and even for the 9/11 attacks. Statements always come from anonymous sources. If these deviants claim to be Muslims, Islam rejects killing the innocents. There are doubts.... There must be a supportive power behind these devils. London was attacked while preparing for an international peace conference and Egypt while helping to end the Palestinian conflict. Searching for peace’s enemies is the best way to put a hand on the real perpetrator."
"International Solidarity To Combat Terrorism"
Jeddah’s conservative Al-Bilad commented (07/26): "The whole world condemned the terrorist attacks on London and Sharm Al-Sheikh. The whole world has to block all exits that can be used by the terrorists to move their explosives and weapons. Modern tools to detect explosives should be supplied to the countries that have been victims of terror. The world has to move quickly to slow down this fast growing epidemic."
Jeddah’s conservative Al-Bilad editorialized (7/24): "A new barbaric terrorist attack in Sharm El-Sheikh killed and injured hundreds of innocent people of different nationalities. The whole world has condemned the London, Beirut and Egypt attacks. No religion condones these acts, yet they claim to act in the name of Islam, where Islam strictly forbids such evils. Until the international community works together to establish a mechanism to destroy these evildoers and their thinking, everybody is a potential victim."
Jeddah’s moderate Okaz held (7/24): "It is not a request anymore. It is a top priority. Innocent people are being killed without any humane or religious cause by terrorists, who have been brainwashed and their leaders enjoy bloodshed. Terrorism has no language or religion. It has become an epidemic that has to be eradicated. International collaboration to establish an anti-terrorism center is a priority to crush terrorists and dry up their resources."
Jeddah’s conservative Al-Madina editorialized (7/24): "It is very obvious that all those terrorist operations [London, Beirut and Sharm-el-Sheikh] carry al-Qaida’s mark.... Yet, al-Qaida has not carried out a single terrorist operation against Israel, which is a rare exception... Here, we ask can we liberate the occupied Palestinian territories by striking Arab capitals and cities, making the West an enemy of Arabs and Muslims or by destroying the image of Islam?.... Another question: Why don’t Washington and London put pressure on Israel to implement international resolutions and why don’t they announce a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq and deprive al-Qaida of its false justifications?"
"Battle Against Terrorism"
Riyadh’s moderate Al-Jazira editorialized (7/24): "The strong and direct international reaction to the Sharm el-Sheikh crime shows impatience toward the atrocities of accelerated terrorism.... The random killing emerges from chaos among terrorist groups.... We see bodies of whole families who should be away from battlefields. These are not battles waged by armies, they are shameful works.... The international reaction represents a strong desire to escalate war against terrorism. The battle against terrorism should not stop.... There is a need for more consolidation to the extent that terrorist feel encircled and rejected by all. Terrorism pushes everybody to hate it and renews the determination for its eradication as these atrocities create more anger.... Terrorism has become an international obsession that requires coordination and committing more capabilities."
ALGERIA: "Al-Qaida And The Exception"
Small-circulation, Arabic-language El Fadjr commented (7/25): "Al-Qaida is behind the bombings in Sharm el-Sheikh; al-Qaida is behind the London bombings; and al-Qaida is also behind ‘all’ the disasters in Iraq, including the kidnapping of the Algerian diplomats. Terrorism has a name now. The victim knows his killer now and refers to him by name even before the latter claims responsibility for his crime.... Will the oath of Mubarak, the threatening of Blair, and the laws of Bush and the war that he is leading against this scourge be enough to say that the world is able to confront this octopus? Will the future of humanity be in a peaceful and a secure place? Does terrorism represent the unfair and obscene face of globalization? Does this scourge have ‘justifications,’ fed by tragedies, pains, and deprivation of peoples and supported by past and servile regimes in societies afflicted by terrorism? This terrorism does not have a specific religion, country, or geographical border. This terrorism does not differentiate among Muslims, Christians, and Jews. It describes everybody as miscreants, accuses everyone of apostasy, and tolerates blood.... Al-Qaida sowed fear all over the world, and no one is sheltered from its fire. Al-Qaida has transformed resort centers into hell, streets into air holes, and metros into stations of death."
IRAQ: "Egyptian Resistance And The Sharm Al-Sheikh's Attacks"
Abdul Hadi Mahdi stated in Al-Ittihad (7/26): "The recent attack in Sharm el-Sheikh has been condemned by all, from Iraqis at the highest levels of the government, all the way down to the Iraqi street. They know very well the consequences. However, what should be said about the Egyptian media? We know that they are very qualified and well known, but as it relates to the Sharm el-Sheikh attack they are being two-faced and unbalanced. When they write about what is going on in Iraq, the car bombs, explosive belts, IEDs, assassinations, kidnappings and attacks against our infrastructure, it is generally referred to as Iraqi resistance against occupation forces, even though most Iraqis condemn these same acts. Still the talking heads and pundits from the various satellite TV stations stick to their ridiculous analyses, alienated from reality, and blame the Sharm el-Sheikh attacks on the American occupation. The question here is: What is resistance and what is terrorism? Can you tell us the criteria between the two so that it is clear? I wonder what the opinion is of the Egyptian media by the average Egyptian on the street? What would Egyptians think if the Iraqi media reported that the Sharm el-Sheikh attack was "Egyptian resistance" in response to normalization with Israel, having the Israeli flag flying in the middle of Cairo, selling Egyptian gas to Israel, or having the Israeli tourists on the Kenana land. Certainly this would be an unacceptable interpretation to our Egyptian brothers. We are comparing the two situations to call attention to the fact that the outcome of these attacks is the death of innocent people. The goal of the attackers is to intimidate the Iraqi people and target stability and peace in Iraq, Egypt and throughout the region. Our first response should be Arab unity in standing against the attackers. We should then put an end to these actions by addressing their cause and uprooting them fiercely and strongly."
JORDAN: "Sharm El-Sheikh Bombings: Sinful Terrorism And Criminal Murderers"
Semi-official, influential Arabic daily Al-Rai argued (7/24): "Silence is no longer a virtue. It has become nearly the same as complicity with barbaric actions committed in cold blood and dressed up by their perpetrators as religious actions. What kind of jihad is this that takes innocent lives, destroys public property, and puts peoples' lives at risk? The most dangerous thing about these massacres perpetrated by terrorists all over this world is that they speak in the name of Islam, when Islam in fact is devoid of such people. All Muslims must take the initiative, with fear or hesitation, to declare that these prodigal people have nothing to do with them, and prove with action and not just that they share the world feelings and tendency to act decisively and effectively against terrorism."
"The War On Terrorism: A Major Failure Story"
Daily columnist Urayb Rintawi wrote an op-ed in center-left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour (7/24): "We must admit that the war on terrorism has failed to achieved its objectives, and that, despite its high cost, its noise, and its many fronts, it is still as far away from the finish line as it will ever be. We must also admit that more bloody chapters of this war are yet to come.... We talk so much about the ‘reasons’ for the terrorism and about its many violent and bloody phenomena, but we never do anything to overcome them and go beyond them. The status of the Arab and Muslim regimes remains the same; in fact, it is getting worse. Unemployment, hunger, and price hikes take on millions of people every day; corrupt and unjust regimes shoot and expand their prisons. As for the West, the policies and strategies that stir hatred and the clash of civilizations continue to do their thing."
"Damn The Terrorism"
Center-left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour editorialized (7/24): "The bombings in Sharm el-Sheikh and the Egyptian, Arab, and foreign victims, Christians and Muslims, all stand witness and proof that the terrorists are criminals and murderers, that they have no justification, that one cannot defend their stand because they are not human and nor can one defend their viewpoint because they have none. Their primary objective is to kill. When we spoke in the past about the reasons that lead to the growth of terrorism, we had actually wanted to understand the facts, and not to find justification for their actions.... It is time to admit the fact that the terrorists are made of the same clay, that they are a united front despite the fact they come from separate groupings. On the other hand, the world has not yet formed a united front, and it is not easy to do that when there are those who perpetrate terrorism in all its forms, and when there are those who claim to fight terrorism while they are the cause of it because of the injustice, aggression, and usurpation they exercise."
"The World Is No Longer Safe"
Chief editor Taher Udwan opined in independent, mass-appeal Arabic daily Al-Arab Al-Yawm (7/24): "The world cannot bear the continuation of this war [on terror]. Moreover, the world cannot keep quiet under this intellectual terrorism that Bush has imposed on everyone when he declared, “if you are not with us, you are against us.” If a person wants to talk about the roots and causes of terrorism, he is accused of ‘justifying terrorism,’ but then the person realizes that sufficing with condemnation and denunciation of terrorism actually means that he is justifying the Bush-Blair war and with it, the daily crimes in Iraq.... There must be another way to fight terrorism. There must be a third camp, different from the Bush-Blair camp and the bin Ladin-Zarqawi camp, that would establish a comprehensive international effort to put an end to terrorism and deal with its root causes; a camp that would include countries actually hurt by terrorism.... The Arabs and Muslims are the first and most to suffer from terrorism and there is plenty of evidence to that in Baghdad, Riyadh, Rabat, and Sharm el-Sheikh. Without them, without respecting their viewpoints, their suggestions and their demands for fighting terrorism, humanity will continue to be hostage to the Bush-Blair policy that has left the world less safe in this open war between crazy people and ghosts."
MOROCCO: "The Islam Of Life"
Amina Talhimet observed in government-coalition, French-language Liberation (7/26): "Cairo is ‘at fault’ because it is a signatory to a peace agreement with Israel, a strategic ally of the United States and open to the world.... The horrendous attack on Sharm el-Sheikh is first and foremost an attack on a certain idea of Islam: that of being open to the world, of tolerance and of peace. On this front, these killers have no chance of winning because the Muslim states will resist. Often alone since they refuse to consider [extremist Islam] their destiny. The Islam of sharing, of respect of life... this Islam exists. The true and lasting Islam is this one, because its values are humanist and noble. Now, it’s up to Europe which is so close, yet unfortunately so far away, to support the Islam of life, of liberty and of democracy against the explosive perversion of Islam."
Editor Kamal Lahlou commented in independent weekly La Gazette (7/25): "Once more blind terrorism has struck out in a cowardly fashion for the second time since the dramatic events of July 7.... Nevertheless, we must double our vigilance in order to avoid falling into the trap of confusion that manipulations of all kinds can provoke in people’s minds. Among these, there are those trying to place, at all costs, criminal responsibility for the attacks onto crazy radical Islamists, as witnessed in Sharon’s latest statements. [He] deliberately failed to mention that [most of those killed] in Friday’s attacks in Egypt were Muslims without a single Israeli on the death list. The well-worn pretext of blaming al-Qaida is difficult to swallow in this context, since the mysterious organization with sleeper cells is prohibited from sacrificing the lives of Muslims, for whose dignity they are supposedly fighting American imperialism in Iraq and the Zionist occupation of the Palestinian territories. Certain behavior by the great powers is, to say the least, opaque since it feeds blatant contradictions. [The great powers] advocate a wide-ranging plan for democracy in the Middle East and North Africa, all the while causing confusion with wholehearted support for autocratic regimes, conservative forces and fundamentalists, such as [Moroccan unrecognized Islamist group] Al Adl Wal Ihsane, which seeks the overthrow of a basically democratic monarchy."
SYRIA: "On Repercussions Of The Sharm Al-Sheikh Bombings"
Political editor Mohamed Al-Battal commented in government-owned Al-Ba'th (7/25): "Syria advocates holding an international conference on terrorism and setting effective mechanisms to fight it and uproot it.... There is a need to differentiate between condemned terrorism and legitimate resistance which is recognized by international laws and conventions. The bombings in Sharm el-Sheikh, London, Madrid, and elsewhere prove that the world is becoming less safe and secure.... The current anti-terror policies cannot produce the hoped-for results because they unleash might and military hegemony to impose the policies of occupation and fait accompli. The world needs to make concerted efforts and work as one team to define terrorism and seriously discuss how to eradicate it, dry up its sources, and address the reasons for its existence and exacerbation."
EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: "Terror Claims More Victims"
The national conservative Australian contended (7/25): "The fact that al-Qaida has struck again in Egypt...tells us much about the hydra-headed terror franchise.... What the attack shows, first, is the lunacy of trying to combat terror by accommodating ourselves to what we think its proponents are seeking.... Second, is the need for Western nations to continue to support moderate Islamic societies such as Egypt.... Through these alliances with Muslim nations, the West shows it is an enemy of Islamism, not of Islam itself. And nowhere do we have a better opportunity to demonstrate this than by supporting the fledgling democracy of Iraq."
JAPAN: "What Causes Hatred And Terrorism?"
The liberal Asahi editorialized (7/24): "Once again, we see images that underscore the insanity of terrorism.... It is unclear whether the Sharm el-Sheikh attacks have any connection with the recent terrorist bombings on the London transportation systems. In any case, we are outraged by the shameful nature of such violence, which indiscriminately targeted vacationing tourists. What is very clear is that terrorists' targets are not limited to the U.S. and Europe. The violence is also aimed at Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries viewed as being cozy with Washington. There are many complex factors behind these and other barbarous acts, including the Palestinian issue, the U.S.--and British-led war in Iraq, the sluggish progress of democracy in the Middle East, economic disparities and feelings of inferiority toward the West. The situation will worsen if these and other tensions spawn links between international and domestic extremists, leading to a chain reaction of organized terror.... There is no simple answer to terror, but there is no longer any doubt that, at the very least, the time has come to seriously review the faulty U.S.-driven anti-terrorism strategy of being quick to resort to military force to resolve crises."
INDONESIA: "Terrorism Tragedy in Egypt"
Leading independent daily Kompas commented (7/25): "Whether connected or not, the bombings in Britain and Egypt occurred very close to each other, only two weeks apart. The two incidents demonstrated the brutality of a terrorist attack.... Obviously, the impact of terrorist attacks in Sharm el-Sheikh or London goes far beyond frontiers.... The attacks in London and Sharm el-Sheikh not only terrified the British and Egyptian societies, but also the global society.... The threat of terrorism is becoming increasingly widespread due to the developments in communication technology and transportation. Terrorists easily coordinate attacks and move from one place to another transcending frontiers. Terrorism is practically unavoidable; it has become a crime without frontiers. The level of its wickedness is also extraordinary; thus it is referred to as the apex of violence."
PHILIPPINES: "The Horror Of A Senseless, Inhuman Act"
The independent Manila Times editorialized (7/25): "Last week’s bombings in Egypt have once again highlighted a chilling fact: terrorism still casts a deadly shadow across the world. The terrorists who struck in Sharm el-Sheikh, known as the city of peace, had wanted to bring home the message that they can strike with impunity, that they can choose their target at will, that authorities are helpless in stopping them. The terrorists can gloat for now. The attacks in Sharm el-Sheikh and London were indeed shocking in their audacity and desired result.... But the terrorists' rejoicing will be short-lived. That bombings have only strengthened the resolve of the international community to defeat the forces of extremism that seek to impose a barbaric regime of indiscriminate, senseless violence.... What must be done? The political will of states to fight terrorism must be sustained and enhanced. It must be impressed on those states, the Philippines included, that the fight is not over and that sustained effort is clearly in their long-term interests. The capacity of each country to fight terrorism must be improved.... We join the world in condemning the bombings in London and Sharm el-Sheikh as an inhuman, senseless act and call on increased global cooperation to bring the perpetrators to justice."
THAILAND: "Pakistan Must Expand Its Role"
The independent, English-language Nation observed (7/25): "By all accounts, Pakistan must do a lot more to crack down on Islamic militants in the wake of the London terrorist attacks. Of course, if President Pervez Musharraf has said repeatedly that his country has been doing its best with what it has and urged other countries to do their fair share. But the bombings in London this month, and possibly the attacks in Egypt over the weekend, point a finger at the hundreds of radical madrassas inside Pakistan that have historically been a breeding ground for radical indoctrination of young believers.... Musharraf's suggestion of registering madrassas is a step in the right direction. Such monitoring would be pivotal, as extensive reform in madrassa education is needed to fight extremism and terrorism."
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA
INDIA: "A Red Red Sea"
Nationalist The Hindustan Times commented (7/26): "A dazed Egypt is struggling to come to terms with the terror that visited Sharm el-Sheikh last week. Three explosions devastated a hotel, a car park and a market, killing scores of people. Following close on the heels of the London bombings, these attacks would seem to point the finger at Islamic militants, and, more specifically, al-Qaida. The coordinated way and the scale in which the attacks were carried out on multiple targets, the indiscriminate nature of the killings and the near simultaneity of the bombings, hint at al-Qaida involvement. Even if no direct link can be traced between what happened in London and at Sharm el-Sheikh, the bombers obviously chose to strike at targets that supported Western or U.S. policies. Britain's participation in the war in Iraq and its military campaign against Iraqi insurgency made London a prime target. Similarly, the Egyptian resort may have qualified for such murderous attention because it has often hosted Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers, herded to the negotiating table by Washington. That hitting tourist resorts like Sharm el-Sheikh could potentially cripple Egypt's vital tourism industry only augments the value of its target. It is significant that Muslim countries that identify themselves with the war on terror are now increasingly targeted, as the recent bombings in Turkey appear to indicate.... Al-Qaida-inspired groups like the Jaishe-Muhammad and the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba feed on violent interpretation of Islam for their terrorism. The fact that counterterrorism officials admit that the LeT has already established a recruitment and fund-raising foothold in Europe in the last few years bears this out."
Bangalore-based left-of-center English language Deccan Herald editorialized (7/25): "After seven years of relative calm, Egypt has witnessed a sharp spurt in violence in recent months. The wave of violence began in October last year, when car bombs blasted the Hilton Hotel at Taba. The Abdullah Azzam Brigades, an al-Qaida affiliate, which is said to be behind the Taba blasts has now claimed responsibility for the attacks at Sharm el-Sheikh. With Saturday morning’s bombings, the al-Qaida has penetrated what is widely regarded as Egypt’s safest city. But the blasts at Sharm el-Sheikh were more than just an attack on Egypt and its economy. Sharm el-Sheikh is known as the ‘city of peace’ as it frequently hosts international summits where issues of conflict, peace and reconstruction are discussed. It was in Sharm el-Sheik in February that Israelis and Palestinians had agreed to a ceasefire. Some months earlier, the town had hosted a summit on rebuilding Iraq. Several counter-terrorism summits have been hosted at this resort town. The weekend blasts at Sharm el-Sheikh were an assault on Egypt’s pro-U.S. role in West Asia. The al-Qaida has said that the attack at Sharm el-Sheikh is in response to “the global evil powers that are spilling the blood of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Chechnya.” But those who have been killed at Sharm el-Sheikh were innocent civilians, with probably no influence on the way their governments are conducting the ‘war on terrorism.’ Moderate Muslims have sharply criticized the al-Qaida’s targeting of innocent people in the name of Islam and jihad. While carrying out counter-terrorism campaigns, governments need to distinguish between the al-Qaida and the vast majority of Muslim people who do not support the al-Qaida’s terrorism. The Egyptian government should keep this in mind as it responds to the massacre at Sharm el-Sheikh."
Right-of-center The Pioneer editorialized (7/25): "The death and destruction wrought by Saturday's devastating bombings at Sharm el-Sheikh, the deadliest terror attack ever on Egypt, surpass the horror unleashed by Islamists who had slaughtered 58 foreign tourists at Luxor in 1997. The bombings also mark an end to the relative peace that has prevailed in Egypt ever since President Hosni Mubarak cracked down on Islamic fundamentalist and terrorist organizations with an iron fist after Anwar Sadat's assassination by an Islamist on October 6, 1981.... It is no coincidence that last weekend's bombings have followed in the footsteps of the serial explosions in London. In the past, President Mubarak was often criticized by liberal Western regimes for being too hard-handed in dealing with Islamists. His tough, no-nonsense approach was blamed for the subterranean growth of Islamist radicals. Under pressure from the West, especially the U.S. administration, President Mubarak has been steadily introducing a series of political reforms since last year; many of these changes mark historic shifts towards greater democracy when seen in the context of the despotic regimes in Egypt's neighborhood. Ironically, Islamists have greeted these reforms with acts of terror. Last year, a holiday resort at Ta'aba in Sinai was bombed, leaving 34 people dead. There have been a series of minor jihadi attacks, including on tourists in Cairo. Saturday's assault announces the return of full scale Islamist terrorism in the country where jihadi fervor was given a political dimension by the Muslim Brotherhood in the early years of Nasser's revolution. The terror hit at Sharm el-Sheikh should alert both the Egyptian government as well as Western regimes, especially the U.S. administration. While there can be no argument against President Mubarak adopting more liberal and transparent norms of governance, he must not act entirely at the behest of the West. Having waged a relentless war against Islamist extremism and Islamic fundamentalism, he cannot step aside at this crucial juncture and allow Americans and Europeans to decide what is good for Egypt.... There is enough evidence to suggest that Washington has been more than lenient to the Muslim Brotherhood as part of its deeply flawed--and dangerous--policy of appeasing sections of the Islamists to buy peace with them and thus lessen the burden of fighting global jihad. This is not only short-sighted but hugely alarming for countries that are affected by jihadi terrorism but are not necessarily located in the Western hemisphere. Indeed, the West's meddling in Egyptian affairs is indicative of how self-centered is its so-called war against terrorism. Such duplicity needs to be pitilessly exposed. Meanwhile, President Mubarak would be well-advised not to reverse gears; he should persist with his reforms but at a pace that is best suited for Egypt. And, he must defeat the army of Islam's unholy warriors now knocking on Egypt's doors."
"The Global View of Terrorism"
An editorialist commented in independent Calcutta Bengali Anandabazar Patrika (7/25): "The horrible blast at Sharm el-Sheikh has demonstrated once again that terrorism has spread its tentacles deep into the world map. Mere routine investigation will not work to uproot this malady. The solution needs to be evolved by delving deep into the problem.... The foremost truth that al-Qaida cannot be destroyed by striking at any particular place should be realized first. For, at this moment al-Qaida is an extremely decentralized force, which has multiplied in different parts of the world.… It has a two-fold result. First, the entire globe has turned into a battleground. Second, the hope of solving the problem by sporadically hunting down some persons in this global map of terrorism has virtually become frustrating.... The problem is that the forerunners of the global war on terror are still immersed in their commitment of stamping out terrorism. In their heady state of obligation they have chosen counter-terror as a ploy to eliminating terrorism...but nothing worthwhile has happened and images of terrorist and terrorism have in effect become confusing.... It is disturbing that the spate of killing of innocent persons in this so-called global war on terror is only increasing, but there is no initiative of identifying the real issues behind terrorism.... The cause-and-effect relationship of the birth of terrorism should be meticulously explored."
Assistant Editor Semanti Ghosh stated in independent Calcutta Bengali Anandabazar Patrika (7/24): "So far they have targeted the Muslims of the Middle East and South Asia. They were focusing on those regions to find out the hub of terrorism. But this very ‘target’ itself is wrong. ‘Al-Qaida’ is now a widespread and all-pervasive idea in which any enthusiastic person can take a plunge without looking for guidance from any group or leadership. These bathers no longer remain in the East at all, now they live within the West.... How would mere vigilance catch such terrorists?.... They are not ‘outsiders,’ traveling from Iraq, Algeria or Morocco; rather they are ‘insiders,’ citizens of Europe.... The ‘Islam’ that frightens Europe and America belongs to a special category of the religion, whose guardian is the angry, disgruntled, misled and terrorist-minded youth.... The Internet has now emerged as the most intimate companion of this subtle terrorist ideology. In fact, the Internet has replaced Afghanistan. It is no Islamic cleric but the web, which teaches them that while the entire world sheds tears for the victims of London's blasts, none inquires about those, who die in Falluja.... Terrorism no longer is al-Qaida, Kashmir or Palestine, it has its nesting place in European society itself. Extreme anger for different reasons from within and without are now exploding within that society.... There is now only one option--reshuffling the societal and political ideology and plucking out the thorns of innate pains one by one."
"Terrorist Link Between Egypt and Pakistan"
Lahore-based liberal English Daily Times editorialized (7/25): "In many ways Egypt and Pakistan form the two poles of the same movement. The former produces the guides, the latter provides the training grounds and shelter. The blind orator Omar Abdul Rehman of Gama’a Islamiyya caused the greatest stir when he planned the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center through Ramzi Yusuf who was of Pakistani origin. Indeed, if Pakistan had been Arabic-speaking the power of the blind men of Saudi Arabia [Bin Baz] and Egypt [Kishk, Omar Abdur Rehman] would have doomed its population forever. However, money worked almost equal wonders, when Khalid Sheikh Muhammad sat in Karachi and guided all sorts of killer operations in Pakistan through Pakistani operatives--while Omar Abdur Rehman’s son was ensconced comfortably in Quetta organizing the murder of Hazara Shias there on behalf of Usama bin Ladin, who in turn was supporting his son’s father-in-law, Mullah Umar.... Egyptian Islamists were persecuted by President Jamal Nasser but befriended by President Anwar Sadat in the 1970s after Nasser’s death. In 1984, Hosni Mubarak released them from jail and sent them for hajj from where they boarded connecting flights, mostly to Peshawar. Many lingered in Saudi Arabia before going to Pakistan. It was Faraj, the theoretician of Sadat’s assassination after Sadat normalized relations with Israel in 1981, who laid down that although the enemy was abroad his supporters had to be attacked at home first.... The Sharm el-Sheikh bombings should alert us to the changing view of the Islamists in Egypt and al-Qaida’s new strategy. Al Zawahiri had not only attacked Gama’a for going quiescent after the 1997 massacre at Luxor; earlier in his book, "The Bitter Harvest," he had also attacked the Ikhwan for giving up violence. He held the view that Egypt had to be attacked because that was where the West had to be fought first. Sitting in Peshawar he repeatedly tried to assassinate Egyptian ministers and civil servants suspected of persecuting the Islamists. His recruits narrowly missed two government figures in Cairo but killed one informer. He tried to destroy the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad in 1995, succeeding only partially. He was however more successful in fulfilling Usama bin Ladin’s agenda against the Americans after setting up al-Qaida in 1998. He blew up the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi [partially] and tried but failed to blow up the one in Dar es Salaam. These attacks were followed by more successful hits in Yemen and Saudi Arabia."
"And Now Explosions In Egypt"
An observer noted in pro-Muslim League Urdu daily Pakistan (07/25): "If a group, which claims to be Muslim, perpetrates these terrorist acts then it should have solicited religious scholars opinion on acts of terrorism and blasts.... It has been said repeatedly that there is no room in Islam for suicide attacks nor there is any for targeting innocent civilians.... On the other hand America, Britain and their allies should stop aggression against the Islamic world and withdraw their troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.... If America and Britain thought that they could crush terrorism by use of force then past three years record shows that it was delusory to think like that; their strategy has only increased the volume of terror attacks."
"Suicide Attacks In Egypt"
An analyst noted in Lahore-based populist Urdu daily Khabrain (7/25): "The entire international community, including Pakistan, condemns the Sharm el-Sheikh attacks, just as it condemned the London blasts. Loss of valuable human life like this is extremely unfortunate and no amount of condemnation is enough for these attacks. It is now clear that the perpetrators of these attacks are engaged in terrorism in the name of Islam, and their objective is nothing but to plunge the world into chaos and war.... These explosions have proven that instead of holding any one country responsible for such acts, concerted efforts by all are needed to deal with this terrorism. One effective way of dealing with it is to resolve issues where Muslims are a party."
"Car Bomb Blasts In Egypt: What’s The Future Of International Peace?"
Sensationalist Karachi-based Urdu daily Ummat editorialized (7/25): "The Egypt bomb blasts have put a big question mark before the future of international peace. Egyptian analysts have blamed Israel for this recent incident of terrorism. If it is true then there is no denying the fact that these incidents are part of the nefarious Israeli designs of terrorism under which innocent people are killed and Muslims are held responsible for it by the Israeli-influenced Western media. But if the hypothesis of al-Qaida’s involvement is accepted then one would think as to how this danger could not be tackled despite the best available resources in the world. The reason might be that the world has been put on the wrong path due to this war on terror by simply ignoring the root causes of terrorism."
BANGLADESH: "Bomb Attacks In Egypt"
Pro-Saddam Bangla language Inqilab commented (7/25): "We have no words to express our indignation to those who carried out the attacks. We strongly protest and condemn them. We think that nothing great can be achieved through the killing of innocent people. Killing will only increase violence. Terrorism is now a worldwide problem. Unfortunately, fingers are pointed to Muslims for whatever happens in the world. It is not yet known who were behind the two attacks in London. Nevertheless, Muslims have been held responsible and subjected to harassment. It seems that none other than Muslims can launch these kind of attacks or subversive activities. This idea is very dangerous and a threat to world peace.... The so-called war against terror is a war against Muslims. New crusaders hold Muslims responsible blindly for any terrorist incident in the world and increase their hostility toward Muslims. The world Muslim leadership must realize this conspiracy and deal with the situation with prudence. Terrorism must be rejected, condemned and resisted always. The causes of terrorism must be identified and it must be thoroughly investigated to find out who are engaged in terrorism. A terrorist is a terrorist, his national identity cannot be taken in consideration. It should be kept in mind that Islam has no relations with terrorism. Islam does not support any kind of terrorism. If a Muslim is engaged in terrorist activities, Islam does not condone him or his crimes."
"This Barbarism Must Be Ended"
Pro-opposition Bangla language Sangbad commented (7/25): "The strong strategy adopted by those who are leading the war against terror is paving the way for terrorist activities. Bush-Blair has divided the world instead of uniting the world against terrorism. This division has, in fact, facilitated terrorism. The dangerous thing is that these incidents of terrorism have encouraged local terrorist organizations to be connected with international terrorist networks. This dangerous process is going on in many countries, including Bangladesh. We think that the government's commitment against terrorism, be it local or international, is not sincere. Sometimes, it takes some measures just for show. It is not difficult for anybody to realize that these are not sincere efforts. There is no scope for any nation to remain idle in the war against international terrorism."
English language New Age editorialized (7/25): "Those who have gone around promoting suicide killings through the murder of innocent people in such places as Madrid, Bali, London and now Sharm el-Sheikh have clearly embraced the belief that their methods are the only ones that can force the world's powerful nations to their knees. For their part, the argument which men in Washington and London have always made, that terrorists have been working to destabilize life everywhere, is surely true. But what cannot at the same time be ignored is that much of the violence we observe around us today has been spawned by all the things that have gone wrong in Iraq. There is, in light of the darkness that one notices falling across increasingly bigger swathes of the globe, a need today for policy makers in the West--and we particularly mean the United States and Britain--to rethink policy. Sooner or later, it should be for President Bush and Prime Minister Blair to consider the options before them, one of which is to have their troops go back home from Iraq. While there is no guarantee that such a move will take Iraq back to normal [it is a devastated country today with nearly everyone out to grab what he can out of the mess], it will be a significant way of defusing the militancy that has been cropping up everywhere. We condemn, as we have always condemned, those who make targets of innocent civilians. Terrorism, we believe fully and unequivocally, is an evil that needs to be defeated at the earliest. At the same time, we think that the time has come for leaders in the West to tone down their hubris somewhat and acknowledge that a good deal of the terror we have been through in the last couple of years has been a direct result of the flawed policies they have pursued in places like Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. Our prayers go out to the families of those killed in Egypt. Our hope is that the perpetrators or planners of this dark deed will be brought to justice soon."
"Carnage At Sharm El-Sheikh"
Independent English language News Today commented (7/25): "Saturday's carnage at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh adds a whole new dimension to the "war on terror" mega serial authored jointly by Messrs Bush and Blair. Eighty-eight dead and close to 200 injured puts it at par with the last week's London blasts but the similarity probably ends there. While the London blasts must be seen as continuation of defiance by people under pressure, the attacks in the Egyptian resort clearly mean taking the fight to the doorsteps of those who actively or passively have aided, abetted and colluded with the U.S.-led coalition in its so-called war on terror. The kidnapping and subsequent killing of a very senior Egyptian diplomat in Iraq only the other day also falls in the same pattern. The message is loud and clear: at the end of more than two years of relentless pursuit the so-called terrorists today look not only more organized but even capable of striking anywhere at will. Nothing could be more embarrassing for the Bush and Blair administrations. Policymakers in Washington and London should now realize that they just cannot fight a faceless enemy. The "Islamic extremists" coinage is a very poor attempt at putting a face on the enemy but with the world's Muslim population close to one billion this sounds like a joke. And why talk about the Muslims only? What about the deprived millions in Asia, Africa and Latin America? They too have grievances.... The problem was not Saddam Hussein or his rogue regime; the problem lies in the global order that tilted heavily against the majority. Days when colonial powers occupied countries and ruled them peacefully are long over. Even the world's lone superpower with an arsenal good enough to destroy the earth cannot hope to rule colonies through remote control. Iraq was the first lesson in this. If Washington goes for escalation, the only casualty would be peace. It is a war no doubt, but one that cannot be won by military might alone. Will Sharm el-Sheikh prompt Arab countries who have all these years looked like stooges of the West to rewrite their positions and assume a more pro-active role in their region? Only they can act as balm and persuade the boiling minds in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Palestine and elsewhere to give them an opportunity to work out a deal acceptable to all. Our sincere sympathies for the victims of the latest act of violence."
ERITREA: "Let’s Keep Up Alert On Terror"
Independent left-of-centre Nation editorialized (7/24): "Kenyans, of course, have reason to feel angry that the U.S. has continued to subject this country to discriminatory and unfair travel cautions just because it has been a victim of two terrorist attacks; both ironically, dictated by the perception that Kenya is a strong U.S. ally. However, anger over the U.S. position that Kenya is vulnerable to terrorist attacks, a position largely shared by the UK, must not cloud our reactions to attacks on close friends of the U.S. We must never forget that terrorists can strike any time and anywhere without warning.... We sympathise with the people of Britain and Egypt who have been the latest victims of this brutal terror. And since the danger persists, we must never let our guard down."
CANADA: "Struggling To Cope With A New Reality"
The liberal Toronto Star held (7/26): "In a season of relentless violence and terror, the deadly scenes over the weekend broadcast from Egypt and Iraq drove home once again the message to the world that terrorism is changing. No longer is it just government and military installations that are the main targets for extremists from New York to Baghdad, from Madrid to Bali and London. Now, more than ever, civilians—regardless of race, religion or ethnic background—are under attack, primarily from suicide bombers, a phenomenon almost unheard of a few years ago. To cope with this new reality, the role and responsibilities of police, governments and citizens also must change, or risk facing more horrendous incidents similar to what occurred in London when police killed a young Brazilian electrician mistaken for a terrorist.... Faced with this new reality, governments around the world, including in Canada, must decide how best to cope with extremist ideologies and strategies that know no boundaries, humanity or reason. In particular, how much freedom are we willing to sacrifice to ensure our security? What powers should police, security officials and other law-enforcement bodies be given to combat terrorism? And what are the responsibilities of the authorities and ordinary citizens in a world where terrorism has turned the normal rules of engagement on their head?.... But it is vital for security authorities to publicize and explain any change in policy, prompted by the threat of terrorism, that could result in ordinary citizens being placed in life-and-death situations. They also have an obligation to make clear where their threshold for taking action lies.... The lesson of the weekend bombings and the killing of Menezes is that unless people in all countries vigorously debate how to combat the extremists and announce measures put in place to combat this growing threat, there surely will be more innocent deaths."
ARGENTINA: "According To Bush, The War On Terrorism Is An Ideological One"
Washington-based correspondent Ana Baron, claimed in leading, left-of-center, Clarin (7/24): "U.S. President George W. Bush is convinced that the war on terrorism is an ideological war just like the one the U.S. waged against Nazism and Communism. However, any dictionary says that terrorism is a technique of war. And if it was an ideology, what kind of ideology would it be? After the attacks launched on London and Egypt, [President] Bush's National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and Homeland Security advisor Frances Fragos Townsend wrote an op-ed piece for The New York Times in which they presented the White House's political position on terrorism. According to Hadley and Fragos Townsend, the terrorists' ideology is a totalitarian ideology 'seeking, by means of violence, to overthrow governments, export terrorism and compel free nations to fail'... Nevertheless, this is not enough to define an ideology. Both Nazism and Communism were political, social and economic views of the world that went well beyond their 'antidemocratic and totalitarian aspects.' According to Hadley and Fragos Townsend, bin Ladin and al-Qaida's purpose is to establish Islamic theocratic regimes of a totalitarian nature.... In this framework, the fact that the U.S. Congress passed the Patriot Act last week, legislation that restricts civil liberties for security's sake, does not seem to be a positive step. Neither is the fact that the UK is analyzing adopting similar legislation. Tony Blair said 'They want to put an end to our lifestyle.' The challenge is that one of the first casualties in the fight on this new kind of terrorism is precisely the lifestyle that everyone seeks to protect."
"State Of Emergency"
International analyst Claudio Uriarte wrote in left-of-center Pagina 12 (7/24): "In the framework of the logic of war, paradox reigns supreme. For instance, it is possible to verify that while, on the one hand, al-Qaida's criminal attacks have declined in the quality of their impact ever since the September 11 attacks, on the other hand, they seem to mushroom everywhere.... And while one can verify the [also paradoxical] success of anti-terrorist strategies...the fact that terrorists have stopped hitting large financial, diplomatic and military hubs to hit unarmed and unprotected civilian peoples,... one can expect that the prediction attributed to Mohammad Atta's father--that the West has '50 years of terrorism' ahead--is not far from truth.... In other words, Islamic terrorism will stay with us, and it will not be deterred by solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict...or withdrawing UK-U.S. troops from Iraq...or solving the problem posed by poverty all over the world.... A first corollary appears as a consequence of this disappointing evidence--that respect for individual liberties and civilian rights will tend to decrease, not increase, at least in the developed world and in every country may be the target of criminal attacks in the coming years.... Does this indicate that the world is necessarily evolving toward closed societies, presided over by Big Brother's omnipresent eye... with increasing police States, Christian fundamentalists versus Islamic fundamentalists? This is an exaggeration because the experience of freedom and democracy is already in the DNA of those societies at issue, and the good thing is that what has been acquired will hardly be yielded. But it is obvious that terrorism has added a question mark to all these things, and that its targets seem doomed to have to become accustomed to a sort of undefined state of emergency."
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