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SLUG: 6-13037 Jakarta Bombing
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=8/7/03

TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP

NAME=JAKARTA BOMBING

NUMBER=6-13037

BY LINE=ANDREW GUTHRIE

DATELINE=Washington

EDITOR=Assignments

TELEPHONE=619-3335

CONTENT-

INTRO: A Tuesday bombing of a Marriott hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia has killed at least 11. More than 150 people were injured. On editorial pages the U-S press calls the blast, attributed to the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah group, a reminder that al-Qaida and its allies are very much alive, and potent, around the world. Here is some editorial reaction from V-O-A's __________ in today's U-S Opinion Roundup.

TEXT: Indonesian television is reporting that police in Jakarta have arrested two men in connection with the bombing at the Marriott Hotel. The hotel, near the U-S embassy, is a popular gathering place for Americans although most of the dead are Indonesians.

The bombing is thought to be the work of the same group blamed for the explosion on Bali last October that killed 202 people, many of them Australian tourists. Thursday a court sentenced one of those terrorists to death. As for Tuesday's bombing, Ohio's [Cleveland] Plain Dealer suggests it shows:

VOICE: We all have a stake in the global war on terror. Indonesia is the world's largest [Editors: they mean "most populous"] Muslim nation, but like its neighbors, it is struggling for democratic equilibrium against a host of regional insurgencies and a record of political unrest.

TEXT: A frustrated New York Times adds:

VOICE: Indonesia, hit by its second high-profile terrorist bombing in less than a year, is acquiring a reputation as a soft target for international terrorism. The country's oil, large Muslim population and strategic location are all contributing factors. But as important as anything are the cumulative effects of chronic misgovernment.

TEXT: Excerpts from a New York Times editorial.

In the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii's Honolulu Advertiser writes on the same theme.

VOICE: [The] bombing underscores [Washington's] paucity of options for dealing with the deteriorating situation in Indonesia. The paradox that hinders Washington's response reflects Indonesia's uneven transition from strongman rule to democracy: The sort of effective police power needed to defeat terrorist organizations inspires popular dread of a return to the disappearances, torture, summary executions and mind-boggling corruption of the Suharto era.

TEXT: Viewed from Nashville, The Tennessean takes the blast as a warning:

VOICE: If Americans needed any reminding that terrorism remains a global threat, the attack this week should jolt the memory. The attacks provide a link to a long line of associations with violent Islamic fundamentalism.

TEXT: For its part, The Washington Post is upset at what it says is a lapse in security. The Post complains that although Indonesian police found documents a month ago warning of the attack, they failed to tell either the nearby U-S embassy or the hotel. And in Michigan, as for the target, The Detroit Free Press says it was "no coincidence."

VOICE: Terrorists love symbolism. While no Americans were among the [dead][the] wounded included two U-S citizens. The attack underscores the difficulty America faces in its declared war on terrorism.

TEXT: Pittsburgh's [Pennsylvania] Post-Gazette harks back to the New York Times' theme, suggesting the attack:

VOICE: ...put an unwelcome spotlight again on the tenuous relationship in the world's largest [Editors: they mean "most populous"] Muslim nation, between militant Islamists and the moderate Muslim government.

TEXT: Back in Tennessee, The Memphis Commercial Appeal ventures:

VOICE: The target was not just the West [but rather] the overthrow of a representative, secular government in Indonesia [with] replacement [by] the terrorists' repressive creed.

TEXT: Louisiana's New Orleans Times-Picayune adds that the blast: "...could well be a reprisal against Indonesia for the crackdown on terrorism the nation launched in the wake of [last year's] Bali bombing."

While New York's Wall Street Journal suggests that fighting terrorism must be a joint effort of police and education reform. Islamic governments, says the business daily, "...can't delay taking action against those who are spreading messages of hate among their young people."

TEXT: On that note, we conclude this editorial sampling of comment on this week's deadly terrorist bombing at a U-S owned hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia.

NEB/ANG/RH



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