UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY
FOREIGN MEDIA REACTION--DAILY DIGEST
For further information: Anne Chermak, Chief
Media Reaction Staff (P/M), Tele. No. (202) 619-6511
Monday, April 12, 1993
TERRORISM AND WORLD INSECURITY
In recent editorials, Iran was universally recognized as the source
of the double threat of state-sponsored terrorism and Islamic
extremism. But beyond this fear and condemnation, journalists found
little common ground that would compel both North and South, and Arab
and non-Arab nations to work together to combat the global threat of
terrorism. For example, Egyptian and Algerian papers were in the
forefront in charging U.S. complicity in the current instability in
the Middle East. Those commentators asserted that the United States
had promoted Islamic fundamentalism during the Afghanistan War and
had further added to regional instability by alternately encouraging
Iraq and Iran.
India's papers weighed the pros and cons of helping the West to
identify Pakistan's role in promoting terrorism, noting on the one
hand that doing so could "bring ruination to Islamabad's Kashmir
cause" but, on the other, could also bring India's security apparatus
uncomfortably close to the CIA and the Mossad. Arab papers continued
to portray Iraq and Libya as being unfairly treated by the UN while
Israel remains unpunished for resolutions which it has violated.
Concerning Northern Ireland, President Clinton's message of
consolation to the victims of the Warrington bombing was seen in
British tabloids as signalling a tougher stance by the American
government against violence by the IRA.
This survey is based on 32 reports from 10 countries, April 1-12.
EDITOR: Gail H. Burke
ALGERIA: "Middle East Equation Has Changed"
A back-page commentary by Hamid Boudoumi in independent,
Arabic-language El-Khabar observed (4/11), "The Middle East equation
has changed, and old alliances are on their way to modification....
"Iran, which was a temporary ally for the United States and Egypt
during the Gulf War, is now the top enemy for both. Iraq will switch
from being an enemy to being the indispensable and historic ally of
Egypt, and the United States as well, to face Iran.... Eight years
of war with Iran did not save Iraq from paying the price of Egyptian
ambitions, nor of the American pragmatism that now leads the world."
"Injustice Will Not Defeat Dignity"
Fadila Deffous wrote this commentary for public-sector
Arabic-language Achaab (4/4): "Washington, London and Paris are
concerned not so much with finding out the truth and solving the
Lockerbie crisis, as with humiliating Libya.... For this reason they
are turning their back on all Arab attempts at dialogue....
Washington will take the next step in this humiliation by imposing an
oil embargo.... And this won't be the last step."
"After the Neglect...Wake Up, Washington!"
In an inside-page commentary, Mouloud Morshedi contended in
government-published El Massa (4/4): "American and European neglect
of Iranian ambitions, and the West's focus on Iraq and Saddam
Hussein, have greatly helped Iran's return to the regional scene....
It is obvious by Secretary Christopher's latest statement that
Washington realizes the danger in further neglecting Iran's regional
ambitions.... In order to save American interests...the American
administration may need to shift its Middle East policy, particularly
toward Iraq which used to be an important factor in maintaining
"U.S. Did Not Make the Best Choice"
Hamid Boudoumi judged in independent Arabic El Khabar (4/2-3): "It
is now difficult for Iran to deny accusations that it supports
terrorism.... Tehran is moving toward a new isolation from the West
and the Arabs.... Americans who distinguish between Islam and
Islamic groups are now afraid of the spread of extremist ideology and
think they are targeted by extremist groups.... Americans feel that
what they encouraged in the past was in fact not the best choice....
The goal of ending communism has been attained, only to bring another
enemy: Iran and extremist Islamic movements."
"Change of Tone"
This commentary by Kheira Kadi-Hanifi was carried by the
public-sector French-language Horizons (4/1): "The White House's new
occupant...has conditioned lifting the embargo on Iraq's respecting
UN resolutions. This slight shift in U.S. policy may be linked to
new relationships developing in the Gulf.... What is most worrisome
now in the Gulf is the Iranian policy of overarming and Tehran's
territorial demands. The abandoning of what was called at the UN the
'Saddam Hussein clause' is in itself a victory for the Iraqi
president, whom George Bush's policies could not destabilize.
Nonetheless, the American administration still contains some
nostalgia for Bush's policy toward Iraq.... Thus, even if Bill
Clinton has officially depersonalized the conflict with Iraq,
attempts to dethrone Saddam Hussein persist."
EGYPT: "West Will Not Let Go Of Libya"
Salama Ahmed Salama, senior columnist for top-circulation,
pro-government Al-Ahram wrote (4/12), "President Mubarak has
convinced the three Western states...to postpone...further sanctions
against Libya.... Still, the West will not stop trying to tighten
its clutch on Libya's neck. This grace period is intended to benefit
other Western states...which rely heavily on Libyan oil imports....
The fact that U.S. protection lets Israel violate UN resolutions, and
that France and Britain ignore economic sanctions against
Serbia...places Arab governments in an embarrassing position...over
the issue of Libyan sanctions."
"Can Anybody Explain U.S. Contradictory Posture Regarding Iran?"
This editorial appeared in influential, pro-government Al-Akhbar
(4/11), "Two news article reported that, first, the United
States...is considering...selling arms to Iran and, second, supports
the international move to impose trade sanctions against the Iranian
regime.... Can anybody explain the blatant contradiction between two
statements issued on the same day by the world's superpower,
concerning its policy toward one country?"
"Who Will Anti-Terrorism Front Target?"
Editor-in-chief Adel Hussein wrote in labor opposition party weekly
Al-Shaab (4/10), "The most serious element in President Mubarak's
statements (during his last foreign tour) is his urgent call to
create a unified international front to combat terrorism.... We
would like to know who this front will target?... While we will
endorse a front which opposes all kinds of international terrorism,
including that of the Serbs and the Israelis, we do not believe that
President Mubarak's (Western) audience will be receptive to such an
"Puzzling Approach To Abdel Rahman's Stay In U.S."
Al-Ahram's editorial (4/10) pointed out, "In the past, we did not
really understand how Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman was granted residency
in the United States and was allowed complete freedom to attend to
his own 'affairs.' Our non-comprehension was transformed into real
puzzlement as (American officials) explained this as a bureaucratic
mistake.... The fact that Egypt has not requested Abdel Rahman's
extradition does not justify keeping him loose, to propagate his
terrorist (ideas).... This whole affair is either very suspicious or
is the result of the belief that keeping him under control in the
United States is better than allowing him to be deported somewhere
"An Insult To Egyptian People, Leadership"
This piece by Ibrahim Saada, board chairman and editor-in-chief of
government-owned, establishment weekly Akhbar Al-Yom (4/10),
declared, "I am still...frustrated in attempting to interpret the
(official) American reaction to the desperate terrorist attacks which
have recently occurred in Egypt.... During my recent U.S. visit with
President Mubarak, I was bewildered by the apparent contradiction
between the American administration's statements (to the Egyptian
side) and its actions against us, which extend over a long time and
continue until now.... The mere existence of the terrorist Omar
Abdel Rahman on American soil and the fact that the United States is
allowing him freedom to move, communicate and hold meetings to insult
the Egyptian people and leadership (proves my previous statement).
This is the horrible face of the United States, and it is funny how
it is disguised under labels of democracy and human rights."
"Islamic Extremism Threat Has Links To Afghanistan War"
Salama Ahmed Salama, senior columnist wrote (4/8) in Al Ahram, "The
links between extremist groups in Egypt and groups of Arab
volunteers...who participated in the Afghanistan War are very real.
Until recently, the United States has continued to supervise these
[Peshawar-based groups], assisting them through financial and
organizational [means]. No American official has denied reports that
the CIA continues to control these elements in Peshawar, an area
which has become a nursery for exporting terrorism.... Uncovering
the reasons behind U.S. assistance to these elements is urgently
required. Effort should also be exerted to stop [further American
support for these groups]."
JORDAN: "Call For Arab Unity"
Center-left Sawt Al-Sha'b (4/12) carried this commentary by weekly
columnist Dr. Samir Qtami: "The conspiracy against brotherly Iraq is
infuriating. But what is more heartbreaking are remarks by some Arab
officials...who pretend concern for Iraq by asking it to adhere to
international resolutions.... Don't these Arab leaders know that
these international resolutions do not acknowledge Iraq's existence
as a unified state, rather as divided and separate states? Do they
want Iraq to approve resolutions that call for its division? Do
these Arab leaders need to to be reminded that international
resolutions are applied forcefully and violently only against the
"Clinton Administration Should Start A New Page with Iraq"
Sawt Al-Sha'B (4/12) also printed this commentary by daily columnist
Salamen Ukour: "Each time the international inspection teams declare
Iraq cooperative and serious about the implementation of UNSC
resolutions, the United States creates a new crisis and provokes Iraq
with actions and unfair media campaigns.... The Clinton
administration should turn over a new page with Iraq. It should
respond to Iraq's call for normal relations based on mutual trust.
The Clinton administration should think about regaining the U.S.
credibility that was lost by the Bush administration."
"Arabs Should Not Support The U.S. Against Iran"
Pro-establishment Al-Ra'y (4/12) advised its readers in this
editorial not to support the United States against Iran: "Despite
the many faults of the Iranian regime, especially its stand with the
'Great Satan' against its brother in Iraq, we cannot betray Islam and
support the United States against Iran. Those who do, in their hope
for political gains, will soon realize that they were mistaken, and
that any deal struck with the United States is a deal struck with
Israel.... The United States and some other Western countries may
have pretexts to strike against Iran, but there is no justification
at all for an Arab or a Muslim to support the United States against
MOROCCO: "Something New In Lockerbie Issue?"
Under the headline above, opposition, French-language Al Bayane (4/9)
stated in this editorial: "The Security Council is going to look
once more into the Lockerbie issue. It will be thanks to Mubarak if
the discussion of the embargo is postponed in the UN.... This is a
new opportunity for a reasonable solution.... Issmat Abdelmagid,
Secretary General of the Arab League also carried a message to the UN
on the Lockerbie issue.... In addition to this, Bill Clinton's
statement...has been positively appreciated by Tripoli.... Libya has
interpreted the message as 'logical.'... The parties are moving
towards a solution that hopefully will satisfy everybody."
"The West Has To Understand Libya's Flexibility"
Opposition, Arabic-language Bayane Al Youm (4/9) front-paged this
commentary, titled as above: "It is obvious that while the Libyan
party has shown great flexibility and a true desire to find a
solution to the crisis by peaceful means, the West is inclined to
stick to its position and resort to escalation. Is the Lockerbie
crisis a pretext to strike again against Arab/Islamic countries?"
TUNISIA: "Why The War On Muslims?"
Top-circulation, independent Ash-Shourouq's front-page editorial by
co-chief editor Abdelhamid Riahi said (4/8), "Is it pre-ordained for
Muslims to be the fuel of the next wars? The question is
increasingly asked among Arabs and Muslims. It is justified by the
size of the injustice imposed on Muslims everywhere, and by the
number of wars directed against their existence. It suggests that a
plan is being implemented against Islam and Muslims.... The Security
Council, which accustomed us to its 'determination and firmness'
whenever it comes to an Arab party, as against Iraq and Libya, is
called upon today to prove its impartiality, in order to redress its
shaken credibility, and to face the charge of following a double
INDIA: "Time To Be Worldly-Wise"
The independent Calcutta Telegraph opined (4/4), "India's traditional
response to Pakistani provocation has been primeval--an eye for an
eye.... (This) was understandable in the era of the Cold War....
(But today,) this is a failure to recognize changed global
"In the past, indicting a nation for terrorism meant nothing....
(Today,) Pakistan is in a panic about the economic and political
consequences of being listed by the United States as a terrorist
state.... Clearly, a window of opportunity has opened. India must
be willing to provide evidence to Western intelligence agencies....
The diplomatic isolation and besmirching of Pakistan would have
far-reaching consequences. It would, for example, bring ruination to
Islamabad's Kashmir cause. That alone would be a fair enough blood
price for Bombay."
"War By Other Means"
An editorial in the independent Indian Express (4/7) held, "India has
bilaterally brought Pakistan's misdeeds to the notice of countries
like the United States, Britain, Russia, France and Germany. The
time has now come for New Delhi to raise this issue forcefully in
every international forum. The evidence collected so far is
well-nigh enough and conclusive to be submitted even to the Security
"Perils Of Intelligence Links With The CIA And Mossad"
The independent Pioneer's foreign editor Sunil Adam wrote (4/1) under
the headline above, "The same coterie that...at the very outset of
the Afghan crisis...pushed India into the Soviet fold in 'toto' is
today spearheading the moves to invite the West into the very heart
of India's security apparatus.... It is very well for India to think
that it has a lot in common with the United States and Israel insofar
as...state-sponsored terrorism goes. But cooperation with them in
sensitive areas could bring into focus issues on which there is no
political consensus. For the United States, Pakistan's role in
Kashmir is one thing--and the Kashmiris' right to self-determination
"Embittering Ties With Pakistan"
The independent Statesman (4/7) ran this editorial page column
"Between the Lines" by eminent journalist Kuldip Nayar: "Even if New
Delhi is able to persuade Washington to declare Pakistan a terrorist
state, how does it help us in our prime objective of improving
relations with the people across the border?... We must sort our
problems across the table, without involving any other country.
Washington worked with Islamabad against our interests for 45 years.
Now that the Cold War has ended, it finds New Delhi more useful than
Islamabad.... Why should India or Pakistan allow itself to be a pawn
in their game?"
PAKISTAN: "Another Step Closer"
The radical, English-language Muslim carried this editorial under the
headline above (4/10), "Pakistan has just emerged from another round
of American propaganda portraying it as a terrorist state, its name
and image more tarnished than before. The prime minister's special
envoy Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan's visit to Washington does not seem to
have put Pakistan any nearer to being taken off the American
watchlist of countries being monitored for supporting terrorism....
"So what next? Wait for the next round of propaganda against
Pakistan, each destined to bring it closer to being declared a
terrorist state? Do the Americans expect Pakistan to cow down on the
nuclear issue? Nothing doing. Pakistan has said it will sign the
nuclear non-proliferation treaty if India does so. Why are the
Americans finding it so hard to convince the Indians to do so?"
"Terrorism In Kashmir"
The center-right Nation criticized U.S. government policy on state
terrorism in this editorial (4/11), "To the United States,
notwithstanding its own involvement in Nicaragua and Afghanistan
where the uprisings were against legal governments, Pakistan's
support for the uprising in Kashmir, even though the government there
is not legal, is terrorism. Therefore, when freedom fighters, whose
struggle would have UN sanction because of the Security Council
resolutions, are brutalized, all that the United States has to say is
that it is a case of human rights violations. Yet human rights
violations, which can only be proved by a visit by Amnesty
International, are not as grave a crime as interference by one state
into the affairs of another.
"Hence India is not a terrorist state, Pakistan is. Was the United
States a terrorist state when it armed the freedom fighters against
their legal governments? Their answer is: No. Is Pakistan a
terrorist state when it helped the freedom fighters in a territory on
which it has as much claim as its rival? Their answer is: Yes.
Strange logic, but a logic with which we have to live. In the
meantime Kashmiri blood must flow, because India has the blessings of
some logical countries."
BRITAIN: "Northern Ireland--Significant Gesture By Clinton"
Concerning President Clinton's message to the families of the victims
of the Warrington bombing, ITN's "News at Ten" political
correspondent Glynn Matthias commented (4/7): "There was some
uncertainty when President Clinton was elected about his attitude to
IRA violence--he had proposed to send a peace envoy to Northern
Ireland. But John Hume (leader of the SDLP) was saying tonight that
he has been close attention to developments in Northern Ireland over
the last few weeks and months, and the British government will see
today's letter as a significant gesture of support for the political
process which they are trying to get under way again."
"Clinton's Blown To IRA Killers"
Britain's tabloids, which have been most vociferous in condemning
perceived American support for IRA terrorism, showed a great deal of
interest in, and praise for, President Clinton's move. The
conservative tabloid Daily Mail (4/8), which had as its front-page
banner headline, "Clinton Blow To IRA Killers," said, "It was the
sign millions in Britain and Ireland have been waiting for: a
rejection of those deluded supporters who rattle collection tins
believing they are helping victims but instead buying bullets and
bombs." The paper editorialized: "Mr. Clinton is already showing
signs of having President Reagan's communication skills. His voice
deployed against terrorism could be extremely powerful."
ITALY: "Enter Iran"
Ugo Tramballi contributed this analysis in economic Il Sole-24 Ore
(4/9), "Middle East peace seems to be emerging from lethargy with the
arrival of spring.... Egyptian President Mubarak, during his visit
to Washington, made a courageous forecast: Peace by the end of this
year.... The old bipolar world is over and changes are beginning to
be felt in the Middle East as well. The standard verbiage to the
contrary notwithstanding, the real enemy is less and less Israel and
more and more Islamic extremism. The USSR has disappeared from the
Great Game in the area, but Iran has appeared.... Both Rabin and the
Palestinian negotiators have realized that this is the decisive time
"The Ayatollah's Latest Threat"
Ennio Caretto contributed this commentary to leftist La Repubblica
(4/8): "Now that the Cold War no longer is a threat, it seems that
the latest destabilizing threat to society is Islamic fundamentalism.
This movement is a political system that goes well beyond being a
religion and has a widespread control over nations...including parts
of Afghanistan and Sudan, all of which fall under Iran's guidance.
Their strategy is rather simple--force Europe and the United States
out of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Overcome by the new world
disorder...the West seems to have ignored the Islamic challenge but
the latest rash of terrorist incidents now seems to have refocused
the world's attention after the recent scares.
"The U.S. strategy, which President Clinton will outline to the
allies at the G-7 summit in Tokyo next July, is based on a head-on
attack against the extremists but not against Islam. U.S. dealings
with Islam cannot be solely concentrated on oil matters or the
Palestinian issue but must also include a dialogue with Iran. In
order for this to evolve, it is necessary that the Ayatollah stop
supporting terrorism, and renounce the means of mass destruction and
control of the Persian Gulf."
"Silence Over Israel"
Alberto Jacoviello commented in leftist La Repubblica (4/8): "For
how long has war been a part of Israeli life? It almost seems
impossible to try and figure out. In fact, it is even more difficult
to try and forecast when there will be peace, if this ever will
occur. It now seems however, that the Islamic fundamentalists are
the latest threat to peace.... Algeria, Egypt, Sudan and even Turkey
seem to be threatened by Islamic fundamentalists."
"Warning to Iran, Islamic Fundamentalism"
Ennio Caretto wrote from Washington in La Repubblica (4/7): "The
Clinton-Mubarak meeting was meant to focus on the resumption of
Middle East talks in Washington, but it also analyzed Islamic
fundamentalism, terrorism and Iran--this last seen by both leaders as
a bomb threatening international security. With their firm stand,
the two presidents are bringing about an important change in Middle
East and Persian Gulf policy, warning Iran that, if necessary, it
will be neutralized like Iraq. This is the first time since the
Khomeini revolution 14 years ago that a Western-Arab summit has led
to such a firm denunciation of the Iranians. President Clinton did
not mince words.... Everything seems to indicate that, in the wake
of Rabin's visit to the White House last month, a front is about to
be formed against the armed wing of Islamic fundamentalism."
CHILE: "Iran's Objectives"
Financial El Diario opined (4/8), "Therefore, it would not be
improbable that the West, committing the same errors of the past,
could be supplying Iran with high-level military technology and
transforming it into a new threat to the peace of the Middle East
and, perhaps, the world."
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