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SLUG: 6-12458 Third Day Perspective











INTRO: U-S newspaper editorials are focusing on a variety of questions -- three days after terror attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center in New York and damaged the Pentagon near Washington.

There are continuing comments about the incident itself. But there also are thoughts about Afghanistan -- the country that some say may have harbored the attack mastermind -- thanks for international support, the threat of attacks in this country against ethnic Arabs or Muslims, calls for better intelligence and airport security, concerns about the economy, and praise for the heroes of the tragedies.

Here is ______________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's U-S Opinion Roundup.

TEXT: The Detroit (Michigan) Free Press suggests that life in the United States of America will simply never be the same again.

VOICE: Forget about "back to normal." While skyscrapers are still tottering in New York ... while the bodies of thousands of innocent people remain buried under tons of rubble, while the U-S military gears up for some kind of counterstrike against the murderous jackals who would bring down America, while law enforcement officials say suicidal terrorists remain at large, and Americans eye other Americans with suspicion and fear, there can be no "normal."

TEXT: In Texas, the San Antonio Express-News says that "Staying calm is vital in (the) attack aftermath," and the Washington Post says the rules of life have changed.

VOICE: Americans are being told that their best answer to the terrorists is to resume their daily lives ...(with the) traditions of liberty, openness, and diversity. At the same time, they are being told that September Eleventh must represent the first day of a new era, an awakening to the dangers of the world to which they had thought themselves invulnerable. This contradiction will play out over time in many arenas...

TEXT: The Houston (Texas) Chronicle excoriates gasoline stations charging exorbitant prices for fuel, while praising the thousands lining up to give blood or otherwise help the relief efforts. As for the thousands of victims killed in the four crashes, the Chicago Tribune mourns:

VOICE: ...No amount of reporting, no eloquent writing, can quite gets its arms around such a broad and profound personal loss. This is not one life well lived. This is thousands cut short.

TEXT: The Chicago Tribune also points out in an adjoining editorial that families and friends around the world are mourning the deaths of more than 400 of their kin from 26 nations killed when the trade center collapsed. Commenting on President Bush's call for a national day of prayer, the Detroit News says "It is right for Americans to unite ... in prayer ... But we should also unite in our resolve to fight back, at whatever cost...

The New York Times focuses on the central Asian nation of Afghanistan, where the possible mastermind of these attacks, Osama bin Laden, is headquartered, and expresses this caution:

VOICE: ...Any American effort to deal with the bin Laden organization will inevitably touch on the concerns of other nations that share this troubled neighborhood, including Pakistan, India, Russia, China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Washington's initiatives will be more effective if they ... enlist the support, of these regional powers. Ill-conceived for executed policies can easily backfire. ... President Bush will have no margin for error as he navigates this region.

TEXT: Several newspapers are pleased with the expressions of unity coming from NATO and many other nations, some not always friendly to the United States. San Francisco's Chronicle notes:

VOICE: Even Libya, North Korea, and Iran have condemned the attacks. The broader the alliance -- even if it means holding our noses in some cases -- the easier it will be to pursue and destroy the perpetrators' network wherever it hides. ... Nations on the periphery of respectability should be forced to make a choice about whether they will or won't join the civilized world's fight against barbarity.

TEXT: Equally important, say a number of newspapers, is the importance of quelling any attacks in this country against Muslims or Arabs. The Philadelphia Inquirer complains, "There is no excuse for slurs or violence against Islamic and Arab Americans," while the Sun in Baltimore adds:

VOICE: Nothing could be more destructive to the nation's spirit than indiscriminate jingoistic acts of revenge against Islamic believers in our midst ... (Such actions) ...would only confirm their worst stereotypes about the United States and Americans.

TEXT: San Antonio's Express-News agrees, headlining, "(An) angry backlash (would make a) difficult situation worse.

At the same time, several papers are calling for better intelligence to head of future attacks and improved airport security. An unhappy Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram comments:

VOICE: It's safe to say that Tuesday's audacious, coordinated terrorist attacks ... demonstrated a failure of what's known in the spy trade as "HUMINT," or human intelligence. ... that means human beings on the ground, infiltrating terrorist organizations ... gleaning useful information from the gossip of the coffeehouse and bazaar. ... high-priced gadgetry ...(such as) surveillance satellites not an adequate substitute for a human agent plugged into a local community.

TEXT: As for better airport security, that might have prevented the terrorists, armed with small knives, from boarding four separate commercial jetliners, the Christian Science Monitor laments:

VOICE: All too often... airport security seems to swing from relative complacency to high alert, and then back again. This time, there can be no "back again." On any given day in the United States the number of flights ...can exceed five-thousand and the vulnerability of many ... was amply demonstrated Tuesday. With ... the gradual reopening of the skies this week, passengers must be willing to accept limits on convenience, and higher fares to pay for added safety.

TEXT: The San Francisco Chronicle comments on possible economic fallout from the attacks.:

VOICE: Monday morning's opening bell on Wall Street could tell a lot about whether the spirit of recovery will spread to the nation's financial markets. ... Just blocks from the remains of the World Trade Center, both the Big Board and NASDAQ exchanges could produce an instant snapshot of world confidence in the economic future. ... This pressure has led the Federal Reserve to pour billions into the banking system to satisfy jittery depositors tempted to withdraw hoards of cash. ... All of this turmoil and uncertainty could chill the weak economy further.

TEXT: The Orlando (Florida) Sentinel praised the passengers and crew on one hijacked plane who apparently fought with the hijackers and crashed the plane to thwart their plans. It says, "Passengers on United Flight 93 gave their all to save others. ...Of the four airliners hijacked ... only Flight 93 did not hit a populated target."

TEXT: As for the firefighters in New York, USA Today notes:

VOICE: Hundreds of firefighters and policed did Tuesday what they always do -- so routine it seldom is noticed. Going against the current, they climbed stairs at the World Trade Center, while others were rushing down to get out. The 110-story building collapsed. Soon the second tower came down. In their business, rescuers often become victims. But seldom on such an unfathomable scale. ... more than 300 firefighters and 40 police officers (are estimated to have) died ...

TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sample of U-S newspaper editorial reflections on the week's terrorist attacks.


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