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SLUG: 6-12848 Wednesday's Editorials
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=3/5/03

TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST

TITLE=WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS

NUMBER=6-12848

BYLINE=Andrew Guthrie

DATELINE=Washington

EDITOR=Assignments

TELEPHONE=619-3335

CONTENT=

INTRO: North Korea's latest military moves have temporarily at least, shifted attention in America's editorial columns from Iraq. There are also many commentaries today (Wednesday) on the capture of a leading al-Qaida terrorist, Turkey's vacillating support of a war, terrorism in the Philippines, and the 50th anniversary of Joseph Stalin. Now, here with a sampling is _____________ and today's U-S Editorial Digest.

TEXT: As a Middle Eastern war with Iraq looms, attention is being diverted toward North Korea as the Pyongyang government continues to increase tension. Recently, the close encounter between a North Korean M-I-G jet fighter and a U-S reconnaissance plane has exacerbated concern. Papers throughout the nation, like Nashville's Tennessean, are increasingly worried.

VOICE: The Bush administration has maintained that it will not hold unilateral talks with the nation because doing so would reward North Korea's irresponsible behavior. But North Korea's saber rattling is now taking the form of shadowing planes and producing weapons-grade plutonium. The assumption that such acts will remain benign is dangerously foolish.

TEXT: In the same state, The Memphis Commercial Appeal on the other hand, lauds the Bush Administration's stance to the latest provocation as "properly cool and measured."

VOICE: The United States has rightly insisted on multilateral talks that include South Korea, China, Russia and perhaps Japan. In the long run, an unstable North Korea is more their problem than ours.

TEXT: However California's Los Angeles Times warns President Bush:

VOICE: It's a crisis. The Bush administration needs to stop pretending otherwise and start talking directly with North Korea about that Stalinist regime's increasingly dangerous provocations.

/// OPT ///

TEXT: Pennsylvania's Greensburg Tribune-Review takes a tough stance, suggesting: "Perhaps it's time to do what brings most bullies around -- a swift, hard pop [Editors: "punch"] to the nose. But the nation's Pacific Island daily, Honolulu [Hawaii's] Advertiser warns Washington that the "Korea crisis won't get better by itself," adding:

VOICE: We wish we had a feeling of confidence about the Bush administration's response to North Korean provocations, but it's difficult to escape the assessment that preoccupation with Iraq has led it to wishful thinking about North Korea.

/// END OPT ///

TEXT: The capture of a key al-Qaida terrorist is still a popular topic, with Houston's [Texas] Chronicle using a historical analogy to explain its significance.

VOICE: Imagine what might have happened had the Allies captured Herman Goering, Hitler's Luftwaffe commander, during World War Two. It's roughly analogous to the capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, al-Qaida's alleged third in command [which] is also a reminder that we're dealing with an enemy that is mobile, agile, hostile, resourceful and stateless.

TEXT: In Eastern Connecticut, New London's Day calls the capture "a huge break for the United States" while Florida's Saint Petersburg Times points out the "Pakistani authorities played an indispensable role in the months-long pursuit and their help will be crucial in hunting down other terrorists."

Several papers, including The Denver Post, continue to castigate Turkey for voting not to accept U-S troops positioning themselves for a war with Iraq.

VOICE: In the best of all possible worlds, the Turkish parliament would have voted to allow U-S troops to use its territory to prepare for a possible war against Iraq but we don't live in a perfect world. The parliament also may have inadvertently saved Washington from yet another morally indefensible betrayal of the Kurds: Beltway insiders have whispered that the Turks would be allowed to seize control of the rich Kirkuk oil fields in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq as part of the deal.

/// OPT ///

TEXT: Georgia's Augusta Chronicle warns that "The United States should cease and desist bribing countries such as Turkey to join the war on terror. Rather, we should simply make it clear that we will reduce current foreign aid to such countries -- and that we won't bend over backward to do business with them in the foreseeable future.

/// END OPT ///

TEXT: As regards terrorism in the Southern Philippines, and that island nation's reversal in requesting U-S military help, Pittsburgh's [Pennsylvania] Post-Gazette warns:

VOICE: The Bush administration is seeking to escalate what has been an already significant involvement of U-S forces in the Philippines. It should not do so without careful reflection and the wholehearted agreement of the government in Manila.

TEXT: Charleston's [SC] Post and Courier, lamenting the latest terrorist deaths there in an airport bombing that killed at least 20 including a U-S missionary, says it " should serve as a warning to Americans everywhere to remain constantly on alert."

Taking a historical look back, Baltimore's Sun notes the passing of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin 50 year ago today. Every family was touched by Comrade Stalin. Every family harbored an enemy. It was insanity. No one talks about it. His name appears nowhere. No one can pretend to have forgotten him.

And on that note, we conclude this editorial sampling of Wednesday's U-S press.

NEB/ANG/RH



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