|Office of Research||Issue Focus||Foreign Media Reaction|
Commentary from ...
| September 14, 2004
THREE YEARS AFTER 9/11: MIXED REVIEWS FOR WAR ON TERROR
September 14, 2004
THREE YEARS AFTER 9/11: MIXED REVIEWS FOR WAR ON TERROR
** Three years after 9/11, most media see "neither more security nor less terrorism."
** Right-leaning outlets hail "aggressive" anti-terror war; critics say it is "spreading chaos."
** Islamic press fears successive waves of U.S. "revenge" against Muslims.
'The day the world changed'-- Global dailies recalled the 9/11 attacks as "the defining event of our time" that launched "an era of enduring upset and insecurity." Analysts termed this 9/11-era "hyper-terrorism" notably ferocious and "nihilistic." Many European writers averred that "the declaration of war of the Islamic Jihad on Western civilization" was a direct challenge to the very "values and rights that make up" the West. Combating terrorism will require a "unified strategy" and "the same resolve...and persistence" demonstrated during the Cold War. "Nations from around the world must show patience and cooperation in containing terrorism," said Japan's conservative Sankei.
Terrorism 'growing stronger with every day'-- In assessing the situation since 9/11, most papers concluded the U.S. and its allies "have had successes," such as the toppling of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. They also contended, however, that terrorism, as demonstrated by recent attacks in Russia, Indonesia and Iraq, remains "a great and growing global menace." A majority of commentators criticized the U.S. invasion of Iraq, stating that the war and its aftermath have "increased the terrorist risk." Qatar's semi-official Gulf Times called the war a "distraction that has drawn resources away from the threat posed by al-Qaida" while Mexico's El Financiero said it had "prompted the radicalization of Muslim nationalist, religious, and ethnic movements." European critics faulted President Bush for weakening transatlantic ties by pursuing "a new form of unilateral imperialism." Britain's conservative Times, in contrast, spoke for the minority view that as long as there are "rogue states" tempted to give terrorists aid, such as Iraq, "we have no choice but to fight."
'A gift to the Zionist cause'-- Editorialists in the Islamic world charged that a "berserk" America "decided that Muslims and Arabs must be punished" for 9/11. The attacks "united everybody in a war against terrorism," noted Saudi Arabia's moderate Al-Watan, but "unfortunately, this war was launched against Arabs and Muslims." Muslim writers lamented that "the image of Islam has also been damaged" by its identification with terror and as a result the Islamic world "finds itself like scorched earth." A few, like Jordan's influential Al-Dustour, insisted the war on terror is "part of the plan to take control of the world, to steal its oil and riches, and to put all the people under Israel's control." But some Islamic voices were more reflective, noting "the fact is that vicious murderers are being produced" in Muslim populations; Algeria's French-language El Watan named Saudi Arabia "the cause of all this evil" due to its support of Wahabbism, which preaches "intolerance, hate, and disrespect for others."
Prepared by Media Reaction Branch (202) 203-7888, firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR: Steven Wangsness
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 100 reports from 57 countries September 4 - 14, 2004. Editorial excerpts are listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "When War Is Justified"
The conservative Times argued (9/12): "Three years on the reciting of the names of the 2,749 New York victims reminded us of the sheer scale of the human loss.... Those attacks marked the start of the war on terror, a war that is likely to go on for many years. It also marked a profound shift in American foreign policy, making it willing to intervene more aggressively than at any time for a generation. The result has been the destruction of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which gave succor to Usama Bin Laden and al-Qaida, and the violent overthrow of Saddam Hussein. The anniversary has inevitably provoked another bout of soul-searching. On one side are the critics who argue that the United States, with Britain in tow, has been dancing to Usama bin Laden's tune. He knew the September 11 attacks would provoke a military response and deepen divisions between the Muslim world and the West. He also calculated that al-Qaida was incapable of being destroyed by force.... But there will still remain a body of fanatics whose hatred of the West cannot be satisfied by any political solution. They will seek any means to strike us, the deadlier the better. And while there are rogue states tempted to give them aid, we have no choice but to fight. The critics can carp. But think how loudly they would be wailing had Washington retreated into fortress America."
"Everything And Nothing Has Changed"
The center-left Independent had this view (9/11): "Today it seems not a mere three years, but an age ago.... Now, more than ever, the event appears a watershed between eras. Finally, we understood that the enemy of our comfortable Western societies was not a long discredited communism, but a desperate militant Islam, the perverted by-product of the failings within the Arab world, and its humiliations from without. So began America's 'war against terror.' Events tumbled one after the other.... Quickly, the U.S. gave the lie to Afghanistan's reputation as a humbler of foreign empires. Next up was Saddam Hussein, whom Washington had determined to remove for reasons still not satisfactorily explained. In less than 18 months, President Bush achieved the remarkable feat of squandering all the post-11 September goodwill for the U.S., and making his country more detested abroad than at any time in its modern history. But it didn't seem to matter, as the president rode roughshod over the United Nations and world opinion, ordering an invasion that conquered Baghdad in exactly three weeks.... As we know all too well, post-war Iraq has been a disaster.... Mr. Bush proclaims that his actions since 11 September 2001 have made America and the world safer. But the opposite is surely true. Islamic terrorists have not launched a subsequent attack on U.S. soil.... But the taunts of al-Zawahri remind the world that Osama bin Laden, America's public enemy No. 1, no longer mentioned by the president, is still at large. There is hardly a counterterrorist specialist who does not believe that the invasion of Iraq has increased the terrorist risk. Yes, existing terrorists are captured. But the occupation has fueled resentment of America throughout the region. New terrorists are recruited; new groups coalesce across the Islamic world. In that sense, we are back to 10 September 2001.... For all his swaggering campaign rhetoric, the president must realize that the U.S. needs to rebuild the diplomatic and emotional bridges it has burned, in Europe and beyond. Alas, sympathy so rashly squandered will not be easily regained."
"Unite Against The Common Enemy"
The independent Financial Times editorialized (9/11): "Today has rightly become a kind of remembrance day for the victims of that modern scourge of war--terrorism. But proper commemoration of it is distracted by the massive and tragic sideshow in Iraq and the increasingly poisonous U.S. presidential campaign over the war on terror. It is therefore important to think back three years ago to the al-Qaida attacks on New York and Washington, to the horror of the world's worst terrorist incident, to America's unanimous determination to fight back and to the near-unanimous support the world then gave it to do so. Much has happened since to divide the U.S. from its allies and friends and Americans among themselves. But if that original unity of purpose could be regained, the conduct of the war on terrorism could be greatly improved. The balance sheet is not wholly negative. No attacks have been carried out in the U.S. since September 2001, and some elsewhere appear to have been thwarted.... In the past three years, however, there has been a clear shift to attacks on Western targets in Muslim countries.... However, the possibility that al-Qaida has turned to softer targets elsewhere gives the U.S. and its closest allies no room for complacency.... Foreign countries have given the U.S. good intelligence cooperation but been often irritated by the U.S. failure to strike the right balance between imposing reasonable security measures and accepting reasonable risks. Controls on people entering the U.S. have often been too heavy-handed, while those on cargo arguably too lax. Only recently, too, has the U.S. Supreme Court moved to assuage domestic and foreign concerns about civil liberties. In the end, if the U.S. is to get its war on terror back on track, it needs to shed its deeply distracting role in Iraq, where it has fomented a violent Islamic fundamentalism that did not exist before. And in the even shorter term, its two presidential candidates need to stop swapping low blows over the war on terror. Mr. Bush, and particularly his running mate, Dick Cheney, bear most of the blame. But when Mr. Bush has made a half-way sensible remark, such as this week when he confessed this war might not be won in any conventional way, his Democratic rival attacked him for weakness. This issue is too important to be so cheapened."
"The Likud Doctrine"
Columnist Naomi Klein commented in the left-of-center Guardian (9/10): "Common wisdom has it that after 9/11, a new era of geopolitics was ushered in, defined by what is usually called the Bush doctrine: pre-emptive wars, attacks on terrorist infrastructure (read: entire countries), an insistence that all the enemy understands is force. In fact, it would be more accurate to call this rigid worldview the Likud doctrine. What happened on September 11, 2001 is that the Likud doctrine, previously targeted against Palestinians, was picked up by the most powerful nation on earth and applied on a global scale. Call it the Likudization of the world: the real legacy of 9/11.... And now the Likudization narrative has spread to Russia."
FRANCE: "The Chaos Will Last"
Bruno Frappat opined in Catholic La Croix (9/13): "On November 2 the Americans will have elected their president. From now till then it is to be feared that peace in the world will not have made much progress. For weeks now, on all fronts where the U.S. is engaged, directly or indirectly, chaos is growing. The deadly violence which some call 'terrorism' and others 'resistance' is the uninvited guest of the U.S. presidential election. In Afghanistan, the Taliban appear to have found a second wind.... Saddam's followers are mounting anti-American attacks in the heart of Baghdad.... Hostages are being taken and attacks continue throughout Iraq.... A deadly punishment was inflicted in Jakarta on the Australians for their support of the U.S. in Iraq. Even the attack in Beslan seems to be an attack not on Russia as the ally in the war on Iraq but on the objective ally in the war against terrorism.... Three years after 9/11 the confirmation is here that the fateful date was indeed a beginning: the beginning of an era of enduring upset and insecurity, without identifiable enemies. What do the terrorists have in mind for the U.S.? The result of the election is of no importance for them: terrorism is opportunistic in nature.... Its only 'vote' is for more deaths."
"Three Years Later"
Senior editorialist Jean-Marie Colombani editorialized in left-of-center Le Monde (9/11): "Three years after the fateful date of September 11, 2001, the world seems to be keeping the 'promises' of those who want to spread their control over the Muslim world through terror and regression.... The 'coalition' is in Baghdad for all the wrong reason...and under President Bush's command it is triggering chaos.... Three years after Bush declared war on terror, Putin is doing the same.... We must absolutely try to decipher the outlines of the world Bush and Putin are preparing. Their reactions will largely determine the fate of our democracies. Yet, with the complicity of most European leaders, the Russian and American presidents are making a mistake and misleading public opinion.... It is as if both men were reducing international affairs to the war on international terrorism.... Fighting terrorism is an absolute necessity.... But many conflicts sit outside the realm of 'international terrorism.' Still, it is easier to formulate slogans than to define policies.... Since 9/11 we know that radical Islamists find their motivation in a visceral hate for democracy. Once this has been ascertained, there is the need to define policies that might reduce those conflicts...albeit minimally--which Islamic terrorism likes to exploit.... What we have to fear from a world according to Bush and Putin is the implementation of a self-fulfilling prophecy.... Any global, simplistic and uniform vision of terrorism that identifies it to a religion or a culture is playing into the hands of terrorism.... Fighting terrorism is first and foremost trying to resolve the problems exploited by the terrorists."
GERMANY: "Necessity Knows Laws"
Harald Martenstein commented in centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (9/11): "Our way of life has changed on September 11, 2001.... The Patriot Act limited liberties in the U.S., a prison was built in Guantánamo that ridicules democratic principles and a war was waged on reasons nobody would have accepted before 9/11. In Germany we changed our mind on issues such as data protection, bugging and headscarves. We are suspicious of our Muslim neighbors and they distrust us. We have a new enemy: men with beards and headgear. Of course, we must defend ourselves. The terrorist threat is no hallucination, but it is reality. Fear can be fertile, but it must not blind us or make us hysterical. The world has become less free since 9/11--this is a success of terrorists, who hate freedom. The more we reduce our freedom out of fear the more we help them. We must force ourselves to stay calm. Relaxation is no weakness. On the contrary, those who go wild are weak.... Terrorists have deliberately chosen New York for their attacks, because it is a symbol of freedom, which fanatics see as sin. Every step towards prisons and wars that violate laws is a step closer to terrorists. That is the way the would like us to be."
Center-right Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung of Essen editorialized (9/11): "Europe has never fully grasped how much 9/11 changed America and how much it has redefined U.S. politics, what impact it had on the Iraq debate, despite the fact that Saddam had nothing to do with the al-Qaida attacks. The state of shock is enduring. We could claim that the media and politicians fueled the people's fears, and that the Bush administration in particular is trying to preserve this feeling by permanently speaking of terrorism. This is correct without any doubt, although the media, politicians and the Bush government are just serving emotions and needs, which people have anyway. It is this interaction of shock and facts that can explain the collective trauma."
"Three Lessons From 9/11"
Bassam Tibi opined in an editorial in business daily Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg (9/9): "The 9/11 attacks happened three years ago. It is time to learn the lessons following the declaration of war of the Islamic Jihad on Western civilization that was renewed on March 11 this year in Madrid. The first lesson is based on the fact that al-Qaida not only continues to exist but has also restored its clout.... The situation of the West is precarious and it is morally powerless in the war against the Jihad terrorism. On the one hand, Europe must defend itself and is not allowed to react with Christian values by offering the second cheek. On the other hand, it should not underestimate the effects of the propaganda war, since Muslims in Europe are mainly socially marginalized population groups in Europe.... The third lesson is [that in] this...irregular war in which the enemy is not visible...[there] are no clear fronts and nobody knows when and where the enemy strikes.... This forces us to rethink our security policy.... The elimination of Saddam's regime has not made the world safer but achieved the opposite. Jihadism that was weakened in Afghanistan has become stronger after the Iraq war, and its propaganda goes down well. That is why the lesson for politicians and strategists is: it is necessary to change security policy, not regimes."
ITALY: "Two Wars, Tens Of Thousands Of Dead And Bush Says: We're Still Not Safe"
Bruno Marolo noted in pro-democratic left party (DS) daily L'Unità (9/12): "The September 11 commemorations are the latest example of naïveté. The White House announced that Bush would suspend rallies for two days. On the anniversary of the tragedy, he was set to speak as president and not as candidate. Kerry immediately accepted the truce and left for Boston. Bush then played the ace he had up his sleeve. Instead of taping his usual Saturday radio message...he invited a group of 9/11 survivors to the Oval Office.... The speech, which was broadcast by all national radio and TV stations, was a shameless electoral rally."
"The Divided West And History's Lesson"
Lucio Caracciolo commented in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (9/11): "The paradox of 9/11 is that it divided rather than united us.... Once the presidential campaign is over, America should concentrate on analyzing the tremendous mistakes made in Iraq, and that Bush even partially admitted--mistakes which contributed to expanding the Atlantic rift, to strengthening anti-Americanism practically everywhere, and in making America less safe. We Italians and Europeans should reflect on our repulsion for the war, which shouldn't mean the rejection of self-defense in light of an attack. Terrorists are not moved by pacifism. If anything it irritates them and makes them more ferocious."
"Islam: Lack Of Dialogue, Global Terrorism"
Igor Man opined in centrist, influential daily La Stampa (9/10): "Where do we go from here? It would be despicable to abandon the Americans (who saved us from Nazism-fascism), and in any case it wouldn't serve any purpose. Given the way things stand, the United States should face reality: global terrorism...cannot be defeated with even the most sophisticated weapons. This is a different war that makes nuclear arms look ridiculous. The only way to win this war is through a shared plan of intelligence, a unified strategy that includes the continuous study of Muslims and Islamists who hate us because they haven't forgotten about colonialism. We need to implement a concerted policy with wisdom and caution and to open a dialogue with Muslims."
RUSSIA: "Tragedy As Stimulus To Rally Nation"
Boris Volkhonskiy commented in business-oriented Kommersant (9/13): "Practically no one in the United States cares about how security has been insured. All that matters is that there have been no terrorist acts in the country in the last three years. So, addressing the U.S. president's critics, I'd suggest that they restrain their ardor. The way he is acting under the circumstances is how a strong leader of a strong nation should."
"Moscow Not Free To Act On Its Own"
Andrey Ryabov contended in reformist Gazeta (9/13): "If Moscow should strike Chechen terrorist bases abroad, it would have to identify with Israel and stop criticizing it. Also, that would shift the terrorists' focus to Russia, inviting more attacks from the international terrorist alliance. Given the current level of security, more problems would arise with political stability inside the country.... Eliminating Chechen terrorist leaders abroad and those of the Islamic world who sponsor terrorism in Russia would hardly be very effective, either.... Neither Arab countries nor the United States will let Russia act on its own as far as the leaders of terrorist organizations are concerned. Moscow, we must admit this, cannot hope for sympathy, less so support, from partners in the antiterrorist coalition."
"Who Is A Terrorist?"
Andrey Zlobin said in reformist Vremya Novostey (9/10): "The American and British on the one hand and the Russians on the other differ on the term of 'terrorist.' Moscow uses that word for Chechens Zakayev, a resident of Britain, and Akhmadov, a resident of the United States. Now what if Russia decides to strike those two guys?"
AUSTRIA: "America And 9/11"
Foreign affairs writer Christoph Winder wrote in liberal daily Der Standard (9/13): "Three years after the attacks, Americans have still not found an answer to the big question posed by 9/11. Or to be more precise: they've come up with a load of answers, contradictory to such an extent that they create confusion, instead of clarity.... It's pretty clear who's calling the shots in the run-up to the U.S. presidential elections, with terror being at the top of the list. Fear is a massive political motivating force, and this being an election year, it is playing into the hands of a government that keeps its citizens busy with unfathomable ups and downs on the terror threat color scheme, and by starting a war that still has us guessing how exactly it is supposed to have made America safer. Still, as the nation's leading warrior in the fight against terror, George W. Bush has put himself in a prime position. Many Americans have bought into the message that he's the one to protect them from terrorism.... In the long run, however, Americans will have to come to grips with the fact that there is no absolute protection against terror, and that every attempt at establishing such absolutes contains the inherent danger of a deadly blow to the foundations of a free society."
BELGIUM: "9/11, Three Years Later"
Foreign editor Jean Vanempten opined in independent financial daily De Tijd (9/11): "Bush remains fully convinced that his reaction to 9/11 was the only right one. That reaction was blunt: two wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq. Terrorism was fought with modern wars, with devastating violence and an unknown number of civilians killed, including innocent victims. The American reaction and the wars divided the world deeply. But, terrorism did not decrease. Since 9/11, the number of victims of international terrorism has grown, not dwindled. It has recently become clear in a terrible manner: first with the mad massacre in Beslan, and later, with the attack in Jakarta. Since that Tuesday in 2001, the list has become long, very long... With the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States lost a lot of the credit and sympathy that it had won after 9/11.... The geo-political strategy cannot prevent terrorism from spreading further and further. With the killing of children in Beslan a new frightening threshold has been crossed. Despite bold words the war against terrorism--local and international--has made barely any progress."
"We Were All American"
Catherine Dehay noted in Catholic Vers L'Avenir (9/11): "On September 11, 2001, we were all American, revolted and sickened at the sight of the World Trade and Pentagon ruins. Three years and two wars later, the wound still hurts and the Islamic threat remains real. Usama bin Laden is still on the run and al-Qaida has retained its capacity to slaughter innocent civilians throughout the world.... Unfortunately, the incredible burst of solidarity around a wounded America smashed into pieces with the invasion of Iraq in the name of the fight against terrorism. The mess that Bush and his administration have created in Iraq has generated an increasing distrust of the American superpower.... Rarely has a U.S. president aroused so much resentment. It is the result of the inconsistencies of his foreign policy, which has too often been motivated by U.S. interests only, even sometimes in defiance of international law and of the rules of universal morality."
CROATIA: "Scalpel, Not Bludgeon"
Military correspondent Fran Visnar remarked in Zagreb-based, government-owned Vjesnik (9/9): "Under the Bush doctrine, America is defending itself in Afghanistan's and Pakistan's mountains, in insurgent neighborhoods of Baghdad, Fallujah and Najaf. Such American measures and reactions against al-Qaida have endangered other countries as well. Bin Laden's pushed back 'network' has become even more dangerous and has attracted new supporters and sympathizers. Those who are fighting such terrorism are making progress at a snail's pace. Because only with intelligent professionals can state violence be a precise instrument and a means of deterrence--a scalpel, and not a bludgeon."
CZECH REPUBLIC: "The End of Euphoria: September 11, 2001"
Ivan Gabal opined in the leading, centrist daily MF Dnes (9/10): "The decade of euphoria [after the end of the Cold War] definitely ended on September 11, 2001. Since then many people have died who relied on UN guarantees and the value of human rights in the Western world, but who turned out to be terribly wrong.... After three years, we neither have more security nor less terrorism. We have more powerful security forces and weaker international diplomacy and international organizations. But did we have any other option or alternative?... On the other hand, the terrorists' flank has undoubtedly shrunk.... We do not have comparable military power to the Americans, but...we must seek synergies in all security fields, from the EU warrant, through qualified and competent intelligence cooperation to specialized military capabilities. If the Americans, who still bear the biggest burden, will be able to soften and even prevent most serious threats, then it is up to us [Europeans] to be able to find the deeper political causes of terrorism mainly in the Islamic world, and not only verbally but by deeds."
Petra Prochazkova argued in the center-right daily Lidove Noviny (9/10): "The notion that the Russian army has acquired the right to play a role as the world's policeman and plans to bomb terrorist camps anywhere in the world is horrifying.... Unless these big words...were only meant to placate the Russian public.... For citizens of all other countries, the return of Russians to their old practice would mean only problems."
"World War Three"
Pavel Verner editorialized in the center-left daily Pravo (9/10): "If countries manage to unite in pursuing terrorists, they will be able to win the war [on terrorism] in the end.... But at the same time, I am afraid that at the same time the death bell is tolling for the type of democracy which our part of world enjoys right now.... It is obvious that a democratic country with free movement of people across borders, for life almost without control by the state, and with freedom for each individual, is a very easy target for terrorist attacks."
DENMARK: "War Of Civilizations"
Center-right Berlingske Tidende editorialized (9/11): "Today, it is three years since the 9/11 attacks. Three years since the world turned its attention to fighting terrorism. During the intervening period we have had to admit that it is possible to be more specific than just terrorism--we are fighting Islamic terrorism."
Former SDP Minister of Defense Hans Hækkerup commented in center-right Jyllands-Posten (9/11): "It would seem fitting if some of the countries who were critical of the war against terror and have advocated a role for the United Nations were willing to contribute UN troops. But, they don't seem to be particularly forthcoming. Some people would call this hypocrisy."
GREECE: "A Planet Kept Hostage To Blind Violence"
The lead editorial of Ethnos read (9/5): "It is self-understood that the way to deal with, or even contain terrorism, does not lie in adventure operations--like those against Afghanistan, or Iraq--which allegedly were aimed at eradicating terrorist networks, while the only thing they have achieved is to feed and reproduce terrorism.... The answer to the biggest problem facing the world today, terrorism, will be given only if we eradicate the causes that allow some fanatic to recruit members from among the millions of those who are weak and oppressed, and who express their desperation through blind and raw violence. Nothing more, nothing less than that."
HUNGARY: "Security Comes First"
Right-wing conservative daily Magyar Nemzet editorialized (9/4): "Who and how will guarantee that there is not going to be another terrorist attack against the United States? It will most probably be the most important question in November. Only a person fully aware of the core of [this question] can guarantee security."
IRELAND: "Anniversary Of A Tragedy"
The center-right, populist Irish Independent editorialized (9/11): "The fact is that international terrorism, much of it rooted in Islamic extremism, seems to be getting worse by the day.... But the last three years following September 11 are not all negative. The appalling Taliban regime in Afghanistan, where al-Qaida operatives were being trained, is gone. Usama bin Laden is in hiding and the hunt for him goes on. Saddam Hussein is in custody and an interim Iraqi government has replaced his brutal regime in Iraq. The problem for the Americans is that the supposed link between September 11 and Saddam never existed. The weapons of mass destruction have never been found. And America and its allies, even with UN approval, are now perceived in much of the Islamic world as a force of occupation rather than liberation in Iraq, a situation more inclined to increase international terrorism than reduce it.... It is just possible that what many people regard as America's unnecessary war in Iraq will yet bear fruit, if the elections to be held next year are successful and a democracy is established. This would set an example, which is the overall aim of the Bush administration which believes that the entire region, the cradle of so much terrorism, needs to be transformed.... There is little sign in the latest message from al-Qaida that the Islamic extremists would accept co-existence rather than the confrontation they now face from the U.S. So the horror may well go on for some time. In the new era of terror that began with September 11, there are no rules, no depths of depravity to which the extremists will not sink--and no fear of death."
KOSOVO: "Stand Firmly By America, Our Liberator And Savior"
Pro-LDK, mass-circulation daily Bota Sot had the following to say (9/11): "Three years after September 11, 2001, mankind is clearly seeing that the war against international terrorism can be won only with commitment and devotion towards the leader of this war, America.... The ousting of Saddam Hussein's regime...will have decisive impact on in the fate of the world.... On this third anniversary...Kosovo and the Albanian nation are set to stand by America in the war against the international terrorism more than ever."
NORWAY: "Terror At Home And Abroad"
Foreign Editor Erik Sagflaat commented in the social democratic Dagsavisen (9/11) : "The fight against the international, cross-border terror is going especially badly. President George W. Bush's leadership of this fight has been catastrophic.... Before the military operations began, there had been built up an almost unbelievably broad international alliance in the fight against terror, where, not least, even Muslim countries were alongside.... The advantages of a good start in the fight against terror were quickly wasted. Bush and his people had other priorities. Iraq had the entire time been the Bush administration's main goal. The fight against al-Qaida and the hunt for their leaders became downgraded as a priority and turned into a sideshow.... As in Palestine and Chechnya bomb attacks have also been carried out in Iraq, that kill civilians.... This guarantees more hatred and that further opposition movements are ensured recruits.... Muslim extremists are behind the majority of the terror we see today. That problem can't be solved before the original conflict--that in Israel/Palestine--is solved.... As long as that conflict remains an open sore, extremist Muslim movements will live and flourish.... No matter what the battle against terror will be both long-term and difficult.... It is most important that we don't let instinctive fear drive our actions. If we do we will also lose the long-term fight against terror."
POLAND: "In Grief Over The Victims"
Krystyna Szelestowska wrote in leftist Trybuna (9/13): "On the third anniversary of the attacks in the U.S., Poland has bowed in grief over the victims. Not only over the victims in America, but also over those in Madrid, Moscow, Jakarta, and Beslan. On this occasion, it has somehow escaped our attention just how September 11 affected the lives of Poles and how it changed Polish foreign policy. After all, Poland has been drawn into the war it did not want.... We took America's side--not even trying to maintain an appearance of balance, and remaining uncritical toward some of the actions of our greatest friend and ally.... In the war on terror--which is right and absolutely necessary--are we doomed to be stripped of our own point of view?"
"For Whom The Bell Tolls"
Jan Skorzynski wrote in centrist Rzeczpospolita (9/11): "'We are all Americans,' wrote French dailies after September 11, 2001. Since then the temperature of feelings on both sides of the Atlantic has dropped.... But the words used then are truer than ever.... The terrorism of our times is global--any country and any man can be its target. But in its most dangerous form--linked to al-Qaida--it is directed above all at Western civilization. Poland belongs there with its history, culture, and values--and also because of its membership in NATO and, recently, the EU. This obligates us. This is why our soldiers are serving in Iraq, and this is why we must be ready to further participate in the war on terror. If a new attack happens, let us not ask for whom the bell tolls--it tolls for all of us."
ROMANIA: "Ferocious Force Of Terrorism"
Diana Turconi opined in opposition daily Romania Libera (9/10): "If we add to all of [the recent terrorist attacks in Russia] the 9/11 New York and the Madrid terrorist attacks, it is sure that we are witnessing an unprecedented wave of terrorist attacks that will not stop and cannot be stopped soon.... The Iron Curtain and the Cold War kept hidden for decades this ferocious and very young force, because 50% of the Islamic population of the world is now under age 17, a force that is presently set to explode. The West, which thought that, along with the USSR's collapse, that dangerous conflicts would be avoided in the world's privileged areas, now must deal with the unknown face of hell on Earth, a post-modern era full of states in the full process of disintegrating and creating activists without a country, countries where kamikaze women kill children and where we can expect at every moment that WMD will get into the wrong hands."
Vojislav Bercko commented in left- of- center independent Vecer (9/11): "In the three years after the [9/11 terrorist attacks] the world has changed almost more than after the explosion of the first two nuclear bombs...in 1945. After World War II, the winners...divided among themselves the countries they had liberated according to previous agreements.... Three years ago, when three aircraft hit the United States, no such agreement existed. Those who govern in Washington, in the White House, divided the world afterwards. By attacking at least two countries--Afghanistan and Iraq--they have changed the geopolitical image of the world, and by influencing events in other countries from Iran to North Korea, they have created other--perhaps even stronger--tensions rather than calming down the situation. A simple analysis of events in the world in past three years shows that the world is not any safer.... Terrorism as an international threat, which replaced the Cold War, has been increasing.... Events...demonstrate that terrorism cannot be stemmed by repressive measures. The U.S. administration...is just adding oil to the fire with its violation of basic human rights and liberties.... Tuesday, 9/11/2001 was a black day for humanity. It is even more tragic that some have not learnt anything from this tragedy."
SPAIN: "Getting Worse"
Left-of-center El País editorialized : "9/11 aroused a European wave of solidarity and affection for the U.S., which Bush not only didn't take advantage of, but also scorned. Three years later, thanks precisely to Iraq, the transatlantic breach has grown in a worrisome way, endangering a relationship essential for worldwide stability. The world changed after 9/11 because the attack changed the U.S., but with its 'war against terrorism' Bush has pursued a new form of unilateralist imperialism, weakened the UN and international law, and undermined civil liberties in a country that has been years its standard-bearer. If 9/11 has had devastating effects, it has not been just for bin Laden's terrorist attack."
"From 9/11 To 3/11"
Conservative ABC commented (9/11): "What is most doubtful is the effectiveness of responding to Islamic terrorism as a large part of European public opinion and various Western governments, including the Spanish, suggest. Dialogue among civilizations and religions and learning more about Islam are proposals that come from a clear goodness...but to defend them as solutions to terrorism is to convey the idea that terrorists are 'disappointed angels' who need dialogue and European understanding.... Islamist terrorism will lose an important ideological battle when democracies appreciate themselves and don't search for greater legitimacy in their fight against terrorism. Some countries have understood this...and none of them believes that withdrawing the troops is the best way to promote democracy in the Middle East. Spain was different."
"Putin And Preventive War"
Independent El Mundo took this view (9/10): "The doctrine of preventive attack, adopted by Bush after the 9/11 attacks, has had very harmful consequences. It served to justify the intervention in Iraq, which not only was based on manipulated or completely false evidence, but also had the opposite effect to the one it theoretically was seeking.... The terrorist threat [is] much greater today than it was two years ago.... The fact that Putin, who rules with an iron hand the other world military superpower, has made Bush's doctrine his own causes one to shudder.... Instead of emulating Bush at his worst, Putin should rather learn from the monumental mistakes Bush has made in Iraq. The doctrine of preventive war not only gives rise to serious abuses, but is also counterproductive and dangerous. The only way to stop the threat is by combining surgical operations against terrorists and those who protect them...with an intelligent policy aimed at eradicating the social, economic and cultural causes that push a people or group to resort to terror."
TURKEY: "Only Terrorism Has Become Global"
Mustafa Karaalioglu commented in the Islamist-opinion maker Yeni Safak (9/10): "The grip of terrorism is growing stronger with every passing day. Exploding bombs in almost every region of the world shows that it is impossible to establish international stability within the framework of democracy and the rule of law. The preventive strike policies that have appeared in order to combat terrorism have also made it more difficult to establish security. Before the bloody marks of the incident in Ossetia have faded, the new terrorist attacks in Indonesia are a further sign of the global spread of this threat. Today, the possibility of a terrorist attack in another country or on another continent is larger than it was yesterday. Being a woman, a child, or an innocent civilian no longer offers any protection from terrorist attacks any more. On the contrary, terrorism picks the most innocent targets to wound more deeply. Moreover, not only terrorist organizations but also states prefer these cruel methods. It is certain that each attack will be more dramatic than the one before as long as the world prefers to fight instead of solving these problems through dialogue."
"September 11, 2001"
Yilmaz Oztuna opined in the conservative-mass appeal Turkiye (9/10): "Tomorrow is the third anniversary of September 11 tragedy. This is the date that the global fight against terrorism began. Terrorists started the war. One should never forget this fact. The ones who forget it will divert in the wrong direction. The third millennium began with this terrible incident. Unfortunately, more than the half of the world's population believes that the treasures of the world are owned by a happy and selfish minority. This happy minority believed it was unfair for energy resources to be left in the land of poor people. The reason that terrorism has spread this widely is because some countries are not taking concrete measures to stop it. As a matter of fact, many countries use terrorism against their rival and enemies. Until these countries that support terrorism are exposed, the terrorists manage to take their actions further. The world is being divided into two: those determined to fight against terrorism, and those who support and use terrorists and increase their hostility against the countries involved in counter-terrorism efforts."
Cuneyt Ulsever warned in the mass-appeal Hurriyet (9/8): "The fact is that vicious murderers are being produced from Muslim populations. They have shown a willingness to abuse the Koran without shame. It is also a fact that 99.99 of the Muslims have nothing to do with any of this. Yet a tiny few encourage or advocate terrorism based on a sense of 'vengeance' for perceived injustices. All of this leads to another bitter fact, which is the identification of Islam with these murderers as far as international public opinion is concerned.... Fortunately, a majority of Muslims in this country act with common sense. But they now have an important task--to restore the image of Islam. Turkey's EU vision is a project that embraces two civilizations--Islam and the Western world. This project allows Turkey to be a bridge between civilizations.... Turkey must condemn terrorism in the strongest possible terms before the entire world."
ISRAEL: "No Diplomatic Solution For Terror"
Yossi Ben-Aharon argued in popular, pluralist Maariv (9/12): "The initiators of diplomatic initiatives refuse to face reality. When they run into criticism about their failed efforts they have only one response: do you have a better alternative? The thought that terror can be eliminated by diplomatic means by giving in or disengaging is derived from the ghetto mentality, and it only enhances the appetite of the terrorists. There is no diplomatic solution to terror. The only solution is war to the death until it is abolished. So far Israel stood alone in this battle. But now a coalition is being established by those who are fighting terror, a coalition which includes the U.S., Russia, and it will surely be joined by more countries that are in the terrorists' sights. In this war we must win because there is no alternative to victory."
"Of Terror And Hypocrisy"
Senior columnist and longtime dove Yoel Marcus wrote in Ha'aretz (9/7): "In the European Union, hypocrisy and double standards are the name of the game. When it comes to gathering intelligence, the countries of Europe may help America here and there, but they won't physically participate in the war on terror or those who harbor terrorists.... Israel is both a victim and a member of the Bush brigade, a tiny link in a family of nations determined to defend itself against the scourge of terror. In the eyes of this family, there is no such thing as justified and unjustified terror. Terror is terror. The entire Western world is a potential target. One day, when someone decides in the hallowed name of Allah to carry out the ultimate attack-to-end-all-attacks, even Europe will not be spared."
WEST BANK: "Ghosts Of The Black Death"
Yahya Rabah wrote in official Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (9/12): "The only remark on the third anniversary of the tragic 9/11 attacks against the WTC in New York and some other locations in Washington is that the innocent are the ones to pay the price. To prove that, all we have to do is take a look at the situation in Palestine. Sharon was given a green light by the American administration to kill Palestinians in the way he sees fit.... Removing an empty container from a settlement on their land requires needs decisions, talks and discussions so that settlers will not get angry. Destroying Rafah, Beit Hanoun, Jenin or the old city of Nablus, meanwhile, requires no more than the push of a button to have tanks, missiles and rockets launched everywhere and unleash the ghosts of the black death."
"A Moment Of Silence Is Not Enough"
Basim Abu Sumaya held in official Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (9/11): "We have not forgotten that the 9/11 attacks were a fundamental juncture in changing the moral and cultural behavior of the ruling clique in the U.S. and in destroying the political and geographical map in many places in the world. They served as a reason to justify changing the foreign policy of the U.S. on the Palestinian issue for the worst. Nevertheless, the victims of the attacks that day, particularly in New York, deserve more than one moment of silence because they were innocent civilians like us. Because we are a people who hate injustice and struggle against the killing of innocent people, we were the first to extend our condolences and light candles for the souls of these victims at a time when we were, and still are, dressing our wounds and mourning our martyrs who are falling every day. We are still prepared to stand in mourning for the innocent people who fall anywhere in the world. However, on the other hand, how many mourning moments we must stand in protest against the American policy toward us at a time when the U.S. is acting as if it does not see or hear what Israel is committing against us? One moment is not enough. We need moments, hours, days, and perhaps months of talking and not silence to express our protest mourning against the official American position."
SAUDI ARABIA: "On The Anniversary Of 9/11"
Jeddah's conservative Al-Madina editorialized (9/12): "Three years after the dreadful attacks of September 11 many things have become obvious. The U.S. is determined to make someone pay for what had happened at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. America has decided that Muslims and Arabs must be punished. We have seen successive revenge activities; first, it was Afghanistan, then the Palestinians followed by Iraq, and now the war drums are beating with threats against Syria, Lebanon, and Sudan. We must give the world a realistic example of Muslims and Arabs that differs from what has been stereotyped in western minds."
"Lessons Learned From The Attacks Of 9/11"
Abha's moderate Al-Watan asserted (9/12): "The whole world yesterday remembered the events of September 11 three years ago. That day changed everything in the four corners of the world. The attacks on September 11 united everybody in a war against terrorism. But unfortunately this war was launched against Arabs and Muslims, mainly because a few people from the al-Qaida organization claimed responsibility for the attacks on the U.S. After September 11 America assumed leadership of the world, and drew countries into two consecutive wars during one U.S. presidential term. During this period the U.S. has broken many rules. Even if the U.S. were right about the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq was unjustified and unnecessary. This is the opinion of the majority of Americans, both Republicans and Democrats. It seems that President Bush and his administration would not stop at Afghanistan and Iraq; their plan includes Sudan, Syria, and Iran."
ALGERIA: "Regimes That Ignore Their People's Future"
Mahmoud Belhimer remarked in principal Arabic-language independent El Khabar (9/12): "Three years after 9/11, as it has been called by Americans, the world has changed, but we remain unchanged. When I use the pronoun 'we,' I refer to political and social systems...in 'the Arab World' in which societies that can no longer bear underdevelopment and dictatorship...are still being oppressed by the stupidity of these same systems.... Those who thought and expected Arab leaders to move forward have lost hope. These leaders are resuming the same old policies in which they have ruled their societies.... These systems have produced underdevelopment, political violence, and terrorism, and still nothing has changed."
Influential, French-language El Watan commented (9/5): "Where do these monsters come from, those who take children hostages and rape them before slaughtering them? Why do Chechen Islamist terrorists sow terror as the (Algerian terrorist groups) GIA and AIS did, and as the GSPC are doing now?... How did they reach these extremes?... It is Saudi Arabia that is the cause of all this evil. It has set its heart on Chechnya, which it intends to transform into a base for the expansion of Wahabbism in Asia. It has already done this in other countries, Algeria in particular, where it is carries a heavy responsibility for the blood spilled by thousands of Algerians. Wahabbism is intolerance, hate, and disrespect for others.... Wahabbism has to be fought wherever it appears. For the time being, it continues to hold sway through the medium of mosques and schools spread throughout the world. The situation will worsen if urgent measures are not taken to eradicate it. Like Nazism, Wahabbism must be declared an enemy of humanity and pursued wherever it exists."
IRAQ: "Iraqis Are Victims Of 9/11"
Majed al-Samarai commented in London-based Azzaman (9/11): "It was painful to see Iraq descending into a minefield tearing the bodies of its children, women and the elderly only months after 9/11. And as the U.S. marks the third anniversary of 11 September 2001 attacks in which around 3,000 people died, Iraq has become the main battlefield for a world which has declared an open war against terrorism. Iraqis today are the first victims of 9/11. Their country has turned into an arena dotted with the body parts of innocent people killed in what can be described as an ongoing 9/11. Iraqis were happy to see an end to the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein. They had dreams of a peaceful, civilized and democratic state. They had no idea that the so-called 'shock and awe' war that toppled Saddam Hussein was part of the pre-emptive strategy the U.S. adopted to settle scores around the world. As a result of that war Iraq has become an open field for terrorist gangs and murderous intelligence agencies whose only aim is to settle their own accounts with Washington on Iraqi soil. Our children, women, men, police officers, army personnel and officials are being killed and maimed on a daily basis. The ongoing conflict is tearing the country apart with the number of Iraqi victims in tens of thousands. The virus of terrorism and violence was imported to our country after the war the U.S. waged against Saddam Hussein in what appeared to be retaliation for 9/11. To all those who carried this virus to our land, pushed its barbaric elements into our homes, schools and universities including the ones who opened the country for this kind of vicious war, we say please leave and take your battle away from us. Let 9/11 continue to be remembered as an international day to fight terrorism; but not on our land."
JORDAN: "The World After September 11"
Center-left, influential Arabic-language Al-Dustour commented (9/12): "What are the Arabs and Muslims guilty of, when all the evidence showed that Usama bin Laden and his organization were the creation of the American intelligence apparatus, when all justifications for launching the war on Iraq are completely false, and when the United States appears on the map of the Middle East as a force occupying all the oil sources and unites with Israel, not just in the fight against terrorism, but also in the manner of launching attacks on Iraqi and Palestinian cities and villages. We were about to answer the question, 'Why do they hate us' that was put to the Arab and Muslim world when they came back with, 'We do not care about your answer'. We were about to hold ourselves responsible for rebutting the claim of those who fight their battles in the name of Islam and disown them, when the expression 'crusader wars' came from Washington and the expression 'the pure Jewish state' came from Tel Aviv, telling us: it is not enough, not even necessary, when the objective is to control the region.... We wanted to learn the lesson and, with all good intentions, we wanted to be part of a world that rejects violence and condemns terrorism, a world where we mourn American victims and Americans mourn our victims. But those who planned to take control of the world, to steal its oil and riches, and to put all the people under Israel's control, knew that what happened was part of the plan, while the other part is to keep us apologizing to them for their aggression against us."
"September 11, Three Years Of Terrorism"
Samih Ma'aytah observed in independent Arabic-language Al-Ghad (9/11): "The weeks that followed the attacks of September 11 brought to the U.S. much sympathy, even from Arabs and moderate Islamist movements who condemned the attacks. But the U.S. was not concerned with this outpouring of sympathy. It had designs of its own, and the eyes of its armies were focused on targets, many of which had nothing to do with the attacks. But under pretext of fighting against terror the U.S. administration went berserk. Between September 11 and the present the U.S. not only squandered the goodwill that came to it, it also revealed an unusual face of terrorism."
KUWAIT: "Kuwaiti Excerpts"
Sami Abdullatif al-Nisif wrote in independent al-Anba (9/6): "If Dr. Yousef Qaradawi [who reportedly said in a Cairo interview that it is a religious "duty" to kill any Americans in Iraq, and that there is no distinction between soldiers and civilians] truly believed in the legitimacy of murder and war and the cutting of civilians' heads in Iraq, then why doesn't he send his sons and apprentices to do so, or does it only fall on the hands of others? Just for your information, Qaradawi is in excellent health that allows him to go to war and carry arms, and the best proof of this is what [an Arabic] newspaper reported about him marrying an underage girl (17 years old)...meaning that he enjoys the pleasures of the bedroom, while others are sent to the grave! May God help us."
"What Comes After Atonement"
Sawsan al-Shaer wrote in independent al-Watan (9/6): "We are currently faced with a big misconception regarding Jihad and murder. This is why there exists among us now time bombs, especially Arab Sunnis, all around the world, waiting for the signal to tick off and cause destruction and death. Muslims are currently in awe of their leading clerics, as they delude their followers with their words. No greater an example on this is Dr. Qaradawi when he called for the slaughter of American civilians in Iraq, since they aid the occupying army. We wonder why he didn't call on the same against British civilians? Is it because both of Qaradawi's daughters study in the UK? So what's the difference between the Nepalese and the American civilians currently in Iraq? The problem is that these clerics say that Islam is moderate, yet they call for such extremist thought. One must keep in mind that once he agrees to the principle of killing, his turn to die will be soon as well."
LEBANON: "Arabs (And Muslims) As Victims Of 9/11"
Talal Salman observed in Arab nationalist As-Safir (9/11): "Despite their American targets, the 9/11 explosions...implemented by people with limited education and minds closed by fanaticism, were actually against Arabs and Muslims.... In the world's view, before 9/11 Arabs and Muslims were entitled to seek just solutions for their causes...however, following 9/11 these conditions provided an excuse to launch a world war against 'those terrorists'.... The 9/11 explosions caused a great loss to Arabs and left the honor of Jihad to people like bin Ladin.... Where are the Arabs and Muslims three years after 9/11?... They are the real victims of 9/11. In the last three years, American imperialism came to Arab and Muslim countries proclaiming the virtues of democracy...but invaded their territories instead. Arabs and Muslims became the enemies of humanity.... On 9/11 the U.S. lost two towers, a part of the Pentagon and 3,000 victims, but Muslims lost their independence and territories. Forty thousand victims were killed in Iraq alone. Nations fell, beliefs fell, dreams fell, and most dangerously Arab self-confidence crumbled. Arabs and Muslims are the real victims of September 11, but the greatest victim of all is their future."
"Who Will Lead On The Road From Barbarism To Humanism?"
The English-language Daily Star editorialized (9/8): "Once again, ordinary citizens around the Middle East hear American and Israeli officials speak of peace and prosperity, but they see American and Israeli troops engaged in operations that kill Arabs, along with the prospects for a meaningful dialogue that could move us all toward those noble goals. Yet the rest of the world also looks at the people of the Middle East, and it sees some equally disturbing events and trends. It sees hooded men kidnapping and killing Arab and foreign workers. It sees Iraqis and Arabs in Iraq blowing up the country's oil installations and killing police and ordinary citizens. It sees Arab men in the Russian city of Beslan involved in taking hostage 1,000 Russians, including hundreds of children, resulting in over 330 people killed. Monstrous, warlike behavior is no longer a monopoly of any party in this region. Killing by the dozen, filmed beheadings and other heinous crimes reflect the failed policies and twisted values of all involved parties--of Arabs, Israelis, Americans and others who speak of peace, prosperity and democracy, while assassinating and butchering each other at will. Failed policies, criminal behavior and widespread human suffering have become the common heritage and contemporary hallmark of many Arabs, Israelis and foreigners who interact in this region today. We know now of the ugliness and atrocities that all of us can commit. Let us see, for a change, men and women who can lead this region away from barbarism and back to the humanism that it once exported to the world."
LIBYA: "Neighbors In The Universe"
An editorial in Arabic-language Al-Jamahiriya read (9/10-11): "We all agree that the 9/11 events in NY and Washington were acts of terrorism. We all agree that the events of that bloody Tuesday were the result of individuals who had no rights to claim against others who were guiltless. But what we should not disagree upon is that those events did not constitute all the acts of terrorism in the world. There are acts of terrorism everywhere. There are terrorists everywhere. There are victims of terrorism everywhere.... The U.S. had the right to respond to the attacks, and it was natural for the U.S. to do what it did.... Because the U.S. has the ships, the fighter planes, ICBMs and smart missiles, it does not need the planes, missiles or even knives of others. But if the response to the attacks is an American responsibility, the definition of terrorism, the war on terrorism and eradicating the phenomenon of terrorism is a collective responsibility. It is not possible to Americanize or Europeanize the definition terrorism. And before the world enters into a battle with terrorism, it is essential to define terrorism. All the definitions available today are based on self-interest, selfishness and justification. We do not have a universal definition upon which we can all agree.... We are inhabitants of one planet and neighbors in one universe. We love God, goodness and peace, and we hate terrorism."
MOROCCO: "September 11"
Abdelmounaim Dilami, director of the independent daily L'Economiste, commented (9/10): "September 11 was the day of absolute horror. It was the day that changed the world. The objective of the terrorists, and especially of bin Laden, was to provoke a breakdown in relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. The result was even worse and more final. In fact, the breakdown has been between the U.S. and the Arab people. The American reaction was the war in Afghanistan, the occupation of Iraq, and unconditional support for the extremist policies of Israel. Bin Laden, by his act, paved the way for the rise to power of conservative extremist Americans, who evidently have settled in to rule ideologically and politically for a long time. One form of extremism attracts another.... The neo-fascist conservatism reigning in the U.S. today will weigh heavily on history over time. It is not a momentary movement linked to the person of George W. Bush alone."
"Three Years After September 11"
Mustapha Khalfi observed in moderate Islamic daily Attajdid (9/10): "Three years have passed since the September 11 explosions and the questions of security and stability continue to prevail in several countries, which now place the fight against terrorism at the top of their priorities. The U.S. has not yet proved that its strategy has succeeded; indeed, all indications confirm the opposite.... The reality is that three years later, the Islamic world finds itself like scorched earth in this war, which has hampered its ability to focus on its priorities of development and modernization. The image of Islam has also been damaged by the mainstream identification of Islam with terrorism. At the same time, there are increasing signs confirming the failure of programs to improve America's image in the Islamic world. Three years later, the biggest challenge for Islamic forces is how to confront new challenges resulting from...the war on terrorism, which has gone beyond security concerns, infringed on American values and inaugurated a new era of civilization [marked by] submission to the U.S. order."
QATAR: "Loss Of Focus Added To The World's Woes"
The English-language semi-official Gulf Times editorialized (9/13): "In recent days analysts have been pondering the consequences of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S., with most of them agreeing that President George W. Bush has succeeded in creating an image of himself as a tough talking and resolute commander-in-chief. But if his determination is not in doubt, the wisdom of his policies is. It is widely accepted that his policy on Iraq has been a failure.... Bush was far more successful when he took on al-Qaida in the first six months after the 9-11 attacks. Without committing ground forces, he was able to secure the overthrow of the Taliban and drive al-Qaida out of their Afghan stronghold.... The overall effect appears to have been to weaken the threat of terrorism. The invasion of Iraq, on the other hand, has reinvigorated the terrorists' cause, provided them with new arguments about Western intentions towards the Arab world and given them new recruiting grounds. It has also drawn Western forces into an environment where they are vulnerable to attack. Despite this, Bush has kept insisting that Iraq is the new front in the war on terror in an effort to justify the attack. In reality, Iraq is a distraction that has drawn resources away from the threat posed by al-Qaida.... Meanwhile, the number of terrorist attacks worldwide has increased, with Indonesia, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Turkey being among the victims. There is no doubt that Bush is single-minded in pursuing his objectives. Unfortunately, the objective that he sets his sights on is not always the right one."
"September 11 Anniversary"
Riad Zein opined in government-owned Syria Times (9/12): "The tragic events were used by the U.S. to start a new era of tyranny.... The drive is being feverishly run by the U.S. rulers to serve the sinister schemes based on imposing total American-Zionist hegemony on the entire world and on dominating--if not plundering--it entirely. Under the delusive banners of combating terrorism and defending justice and democracy, Afghanistan and Iraq were invaded.... The era is really evil. Unless the U.S. drive is halted, the origin and roots of terrorism are rightly tackled, and all the forces of occupation, aggression, hegemony and extremism are bridled, the world may be further agitated and mankind will continue to suffer."
YEMEN: "Since 9/11."
The English-language pro-government Yemen Times thundered (9/13): "The observer is still beset by the awesome mystery that still surrounds one of the most bizarre events of modern times. Do we really know what happened on that fateful day?... To date, the bin Laden videotapes suggesting admission of al-Qaida's role in the daunting death and destruction of that day are the only semblance of any ties linking the renegade guerrilla group to the attacks.... 9/11 must simply not be dismissed as the work of bin Laden and his organization of disgruntled guerrilla fighters.... 9/11 is part of an intentional conspiracy to bring about a new world order that will function to serve the narrow interests of an international institutional socio-political network...Zionist interests.... For the observer, the impacts of 9/11 continue to overwhelm the course of world events.... This kind of frantic sheer display of power is void of rational superpower behavior and is tantamount to irresponsible conduct, with an obvious contempt for the prudence expected in the appropriations of the public resources of the American people towards meaningful endeavors. Furthermore, one is inclined to suggest that the posture of the U.S. and its attachment to civilized values has been severely damaged by the misguided adventure in Iraq, on the international arena.... 9/11 has helped to serve those who rely on repression, twisted emotions and dishonest hidden intents to have their way. For us in the Middle East and the Muslim world, 9/11 was a gift to the Zionist cause and the curtailment of all legitimate struggles against oppression of Muslims.... 9/11 also gave added strength to repressive government throughout the world."
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: "This Was The Day The World Changed"
The liberal Sydney Morning Herald concluded (9/11): "Today, September 11, is the somber third anniversary of an atrocity--the murderous 2001 attacks on New York's twin towers and the Pentagon building in Washington by Islamic terrorists. It is a day to remember those terrible events, to mourn with the relatives and friends of the dead, and to take stock of what has happened since. The fatal bombing outside Australia's Jakarta embassy adds poignant immediacy to the September 11 message.... [Since 9/11] the nations of the West are more afraid, less united and, most tragically, less free. To that extent, in spite of George Bush's war against terrorism--indeed, in part, because of it--al-Qaida has achieved its ends. True, the U.S. and its allies have had successes. Afghanistan's Taliban regime, one of the world's maddest, has been toppled. So has that of Iraq's Saddam Hussein.... Yet, as the Jakarta bombing and the slaughter of the Beslan innocents in southern Russia have so hideously demonstrated, terrorism remains a great and growing global menace. Afghanistan remains ungovernable. So does Iraq. But that's not all. The terrorists have panicked the U.S. and other Western nations into compromising the rule of law and civil liberties, the principles they claim to defend. Meanwhile, ruthless governments have been handed a neat rationalization for repressing internal enemies. It is indeed a dreadful anniversary."
CHINA: "A Call For The World To Unite Against Terrorism"
Li Lun commented on the official English-language newspaper China Daily (9/6): "A wavering will to fight terrorism can only embolden terrorists. As a result, it is necessary to fight terrorism around the globe with one mind and one heart. Terrorism, which disregards basic human moral ethics, is simply used by extremists to advance political or religious ambition. Human life is the target.... The school siege in Russia is just another grim reminder not only of that, but also of the need for all human beings to join the fight against it. A global united front is critical in winning the war against terrorism, an enemy that respects no national boundary.... It is clear that without the world's solidarity and unity, terrorism will not be beaten. Meanwhile, we are left counting lives lost in the name of causes that can never justify such barbarism."
CHINA (HONG KONG AND MACAU SARS): "If Bush Is The Hero For Counter Terrorism, The World Will Be More Violent"
The independent Chinese-language Hong Kong Economic Times remarked (9/4): "In the September 11 attacks, the twin towers collapsed and almost three thousand Americans died. The attacks have crashed the dream that the U.S. is a safe place. Psychologically, the American people have become very fragile. They think that personal security and national security are more important than the economy. They long for protection from a hero who can defend them from terrorist attacks. Bush and Kerry know what the American people want. Hence, they have turned the presidential election into a heroic competition. Bush aims at sweeping away terrorism overseas plus with his unilateralism and pre-emptive measures, he is able to guarantee U.S. national safety for the short term. However, he has set flames of war everywhere. The fire of hatred is raging which has provided nutrients for the growth of terrorism. In a long run, terrorism becomes more rampant. Even though the U.S. builds more gates, it cannot stop terrorist attacks and guarantee the safety of its homeland.... People around the world have to suffer and worry due to Bush handling terrorism in the wrong way. If Bush is reelected, the world will become more dangerous."
"New Approach Needed To Wipe Out Terrorism"
The independent English-language South China Morning Post editorialized (9/11): "The way in which George W. Bush has pursued his war on terror overseas, however, has greatly increased the risks. Soon after the September 11 attacks, the U.S. president promised to take sweeping, sustained and effective action. His policies have certainly been sweeping and sustained. They have not been effective. The invasion of Iraq has been a huge distraction from efforts to combat the al-Qaida network.... The actions of U.S. troops have bred resentment among Muslims.... The ranks of terrorist groups have been swelled and Iraq has become a center for their activities.... Some progress has been made in the battle against al-Qaida. The invasion of Afghanistan removed most of the terror network's training camps there. International co-operation was stepped up after the attacks, with many nations introducing new anti-terrorism laws.... But the terror attacks continue. Usama bin Laden's lethal network may be more fragmented, but that makes it more difficult to rein in. It continues to serve as an inspiration, at least, for those who would use terror as a weapon in conflicts around the world.... And the architect of the September 11 attacks, bin Laden, remains at large. A new approach is needed, one which strives for solutions instead of breeding further resentment."
"U.S. Is Still Facing A Grim Task In Countering Terrorism"
Pro-PRC Chinese-language Macau Daily News remarked (9/10): "In response to the September 11 attacks, the U.S. launched a war on terrorism. It sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq to overthrow the Taliban regime and the Saddam regime. Internally, it launched some unprecedented counter-terrorism measures. Three years have passed and terrorist activities around the world are still rampant. Internally, terrorists are still threatening the U.S. Prior to the September 11 attacks, there was a school siege in Beslan. Yesterday, the Jemaach Islamiah, which has close relations with the al-Qaida group, launched a bomb attack against the Australian embassy in Jakarta.... All these incidents are not accidental. Terrorist groups want to show their strength. Since the September 11 attacks, the alert warning for New York City and other U.S. cities has been orange. Thus, they will be more careful about new terrorist attacks.... It shows that the U.S. is still facing a grim task in countering terrorism."
JAPAN: "Three Years After 9/11"
Liberal Asahi stated (9/10): "September 11 this year marks the third anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.... But didn't the U.S. action to crush terrorism and win justice and security create a serious paradox? If security can be assured by force, then the U.S. should be the safest country in the world. It is true that no terrorist act has taken place in the U.S. since 9/11. But those in weaker positions and America's enemies resent the U.S. when it takes advantage of its strength and intervenes in conflicts around the world. In fact, the war in Iraq, which was started to rein in terror, propagated terror to the world instead. And the U.S. is far from safe.... It is essential to have international solidarity to contain and prevent terrorism.... And yet, Washington hates being constrained by others and has gone along a unilateral road even at the risk of violating international law.... The U.S. is a superpower that is often compared to ancient Rome. But it cannot maintain security and prosperity alone. It needs to co-exist with countries in Europe and other continents and with different religions and cultures.... The U.S. is indispensable to the world, so it needs to take some candid advice.... Two virtues of the American people are the courage to sacrifice oneself and the admiration of self-sacrifice. In the world of international politics, the U.S. has the strength to endure sacrifice for the benefit of attaining the goal. That is exactly why we want the Americans to know that the use of force requires wisdom. We want the U.S. to characterize itself as part of a diverse and multipolar world by overcoming the narrow values of unilateralism. Washington should pay attention to the negative sides of globalization as well and thus try to eradicate the breeding grounds of terrorism."
"World Must Unite To Contain Terrorism"
Moderate, leading Yomiuri advised (9/10): "Tomorrow marks the third anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S.... Persistent efforts by the international community are still needed to make the world a safer place. Rather than abating, terrorism seems to be spreading across the globe.... There is no political fix for struggles waged by terrorist groups trying to destroy the world order, including al-Qaida an international terrorist network of Muslim radicals responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.... The stabilization of Afghanistan and Iraq is the highest priority for the international community. The world will lose the war against international terrorism if it fails to reconstruct those countries and establish democratic governments in them.... Another cause for concern is that anti-U.S. sentiment has been increasing around the world since the Iraq war started. This likely is due in part to the perceived unilateralist tendency of U.S. President George W. Bush's administration. But the stability and prosperity of the international community are guaranteed by the U.S., the sole world superpower.... To make the world a safer place, Europe and the United States should try their best to mend the rift between them."
"Allies Must Support U.S."
Conservative Sankei editorialized (9/10): "Nations from around the world must show patience and cooperation in containing terrorism. Although the U.S. occasionally takes unilateral action, most international issues cannot be resolved without Washington's help. U.S. allies, including Tokyo, need to help Washington exercise leadership on global issues by extending their support."
INDONESIA: "Bomb At Australian Embassy And The Global War"
T.B. Ronny Rahman opined in leading independent daily Kompas (9/10): "The root of terrorism is global in nature. Therefore, it should be dealt with on a global level. So, no country should blame Indonesia. We have done our best and yet we still became victim. The dimension of Indonesia as a victim should be understood by other countries, Australia in particular, in order to avoid [baseless] allegations."
MALAYSIA: "Truly Worrying"
The government-influenced New Straits Times held (9/11): "What is truly worrying is that it looks like the situation could get worse. There seems no way out of this, not when all we hear is the all-too-familiar tough talk on tough policies; not when President Bush still confidently asserts...'America and all the world are now safer,' when the evidence points to the contrary."
NEW ZEALAND: "War On Terror"
The influential, Christchurch Press declared (9/11): "Three years have now passed since al-Qaida terrorists smashed hijacked aircraft into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, with devastating loss of life.... Today, therefore, marks the beginning of the fourth year of the War on Terror declared by U.S. President George W. Bush.... That this war has yet to be won has been shown by continued terrorist atrocities linked to Islamic fundamentalists.... It is not difficult to paint a pessimistic picture of this fight against terrorism.... Yet this bleak picture is misleading, because it ignores the positive developments of the last three years.... The Taliban no longer rules Afghanistan.... Also removed has been Iraq's dictator, Saddam. Although WMD have not been found, his record was one of murdering and torturing his own people and being a focus of regional instability. Few could doubt that the long-term prospects for Iraqis are more positive without his sinister presence.... Greater anti-terrorist co-operation is now evident between New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia.... One condition or practice which must change is the tendency of governments to use the war on terror as an excuse to crush nationalist aspirations.... This simply produces a dangerous blend of nationalism and religious extremism, furthering the appeal of the terrorist. Nor will the acceptability of terrorism be countered unless a lasting settlement in the Middle East is brokered or while the U.S. is perceived as an occupying force in Iraq. In other words, the emphasis must be on removing the breeding grounds of hatred, if the threat posed by terrorism is to abate."
THAILAND: "Three Years On, What Have We Learned?"
The lead editorial in the independent, English-language Nation read (9/11): "While it is impossible to come up with an international benchmark to gauge success or failure in this fight against global terrorism, the past three years have shown that terrorist groups have managed time and again to deliver death and disaster with virtual impunity.... It can be said that every country has different priorities for formulating its respective policy against terrorism. Nevertheless, the international community can still do much more towards harmonizing these differences to be more effective in meeting the challenge of terrorism. While much has been done over the past three years with new counter-terrorism expertise gained, these achievements have little chance of being sustained if the conditions that give rise to terrorism--poverty, tyranny and religious fanaticism--are not addressed in a more coherent manner by the international community."
VIETNAM: "Two Ways Of Viewing Terrorism"
ly Tien Dung wrote in Dai Doan Ket, a bi-daily run by the Vietnam Fatherland Front which controls mass organizations in Vietnam, (9/14): "Terrorists carried out the 9/11 attacks with a clear objective: striking at 'super powerism' and 'interferencism.' They have led the U.S. military and the president who like to interfere into the game and made them get bogged down, from Afghanistan to Iraq.... The confrontation between the current U.S. government and international terrorism is that between two forces who both say what they are doing is in the name of God and they both apply equally destructive and cruel tactics. On the contrary, terrorist attacks in Russia are a means to achieve extremist goals.... Terrorists in Russia are getting more and more similar to other international terrorist groups thanks to the support they get from forces opposing the former Soviet Union and the present-day Russia under the guise of 'advocating freedom,' and leading the forces are hawkish politicians in the U.S.... The U.S. government on one hand is very vocal in demanding countries to join an anti-terrorism with it, but at the same time, on the other hand, provides cover and support for terrorist rebels in Russia.... Recent wars waged by the U.S. in the name of fighting terrorism are just derivatives of 'interferencism' and 'international gendarmism.'"
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA
INDIA: "Terrorism Uncensored"
The nationalist Hindustan Times declared (9/13): "The third anniversary of the 9/11 attack is a time to take stock of just how the global war against terrorism is faring. By all accounts, not too well. The horrific massacre of innocents in Beslan, the bombing in Jakarta and scores of acts of terrorism around the world are testimony to that fact. As if to press that message home, al-Qaida's number two, Ayman al Zawahiri, has appeared in a new videotape to tell us how the U.S. was losing the war. In the eastern and southern parts of Afghanistan, the Egyptian-born terrorist leader claimed, the mujahideen is in control. As for Iraq, it did not require an al Zawahiri to tell us how bad things are. Instead of crushing al-Qaida first, U.S. President George W. Bush, in the single biggest blunder of the anti-terror war, invaded Iraq. As a result that country's political and social fabric has been ripped apart and it is likely to become a new breeding ground for terrorism.... A major problem is that many countries still hesitate to unambiguously condemn the killing of non-combatants.... But in its zeal to pursue al-Qaida the U.S. has more or less ignored Pakistan's continued backing of terrorism in Afghanistan and Kashmir because it wants Islamabad's cooperation in tackling al-Qaida. The best tribute to the many victims of terrorism would be a redoubled and intense global effort to wipe out this modern plague."
"These Macabre Rhythms"
Security analyst C. Uday Bhaskar wrote in the centrist Indian Express (9/10): "The import of 9/11 is complex, contradictory and dynamic.... In three years what we now witness...is the emergence of the besieged nation-state and a bewildered and angry citizenry.... States, more often than not, respond predictably. Military force is invoked, as was the case with the U.S. and now Russia.... The 'other' is demonized in the post 9/11 security discourse. Hence the Muslim becomes suspect in the West and the Chechen now in Russia. Yet as the American death-toll in Iraq crosses the 1,000 mark after 'victory' was triumphantly declared, and Afghanistan seems more and more likely to slip into disorder, the neat military resolution appears elusive.... The U.S. as the exemplar of the West that had won the Cold War is now besieged by its own anxieties from within and without. The normative values that are embodied in the U.S. constitution now stand trampled or shrunk."
PAKISTAN: "Battling The Wrong Way"
The center-right national English-language Nation held (9/11): "Nine-Eleven was tragic no doubt, but no less has been the U.S. response; in fact, it is far more tragic.... The upshot is an endless misery wrought through razing vast stretches of inhabited areas to the ground through merciless bombardment killing thousands, irrespective of age and gender, first in Afghanistan and later in Iraq. But the question is whether raining inhumanities upon others has made U.S. citizens feel any securer?"
BANGLADESH: "Remembering 9/11: War On Terrorism Must Not Be Misdirected"
The independent English-language Daily Star commented (9/12): "The war on terrorism was planned rightly but its execution has lacked a clear sense of purpose and direction. By targeting Iraq, the U.S. has actually shifted global attention to a new phenomenon--security of smaller nations in a unipolar world. We remember the victims of 9/11 with a deep sense of loss, but are also worried about the U.S. action against Iraq. We believe the global consensus on fighting terrorism should be revived, which certainly entails rethinking by the U.S. on its current posture."
IRAN: "Expansionist Objectives"
Conservative Jomhuri-ye Eslami maintained (9/11): "Within the framework of an objective which was called 'fighting terrorism', the Americans increased the number of their military bases in the...Persian Gulf littoral; they gave as many weapons as they could to the usurper Israeli regime and supported it politically and financially as much as possible. And in the world of Islam, they brought maximum pressure to bear on Islamic thought and belief. Today...even some impartial U.S. analysts are admitting that these same expansionist and adventurist objectives were behind the making of that incident."
SOUTH AFRICA: "9/11's Bequest"
Liberal This Day commented (9/10): "Tomorrow marks the third anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. And in the current atmosphere it would be a simple matter to voice another truism: that we are today living through the horrible unfolding of a wave of terrorism announced by the attacks in New York and Washington; that all the world is the terrorist's playground.... Three years on...one lesson must be that the world will get nowhere if it targets the symptoms rather than the root causes of such attacks. The latter are more often rooted in long-standing injustices and even slaughters inflicted upon entire peoples.... Washington's 'war on terror', is fanning that flames of such attacks.... The Bush administration has...rewarded friends and punished enemies. It has pushed aside the limp complaints of its fellow UN Security Council members about consultation and gone ahead with its most cherished military missions.... It has run roughshod over democratic rights for the 'enemy combatants' imprisoned at Guantanamo. It has declared to all the world that, in effect, multilateralism is dead for U.S. foreign policy. And, above all, it has created the sort of chaos in Iraq that is likely to fan the flames of resentment for generations to come. All this inevitably leads to the question--is the world a safer place today than it was three years ago? Sadly, the answer must be no."
"Moment The World Changed"
The liberal Cape Times observed (9/10): "It was evident from the disgusting and cowardly events of 9/11 that the United States would have to act against terror, but it is now increasingly plain that it missed an opportunity in choosing to act without multilateral sanction for its invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. Its central premise for that war has also been revealed as unfounded, giving weight to conspiracy theorists' views on President George W. Bush's 'real' motivation for invading the country. A general consequence has been the draining away of the worldwide sympathy which the United States enjoyed in the aftermath of 9/11 and an increased polarization in the conduct of world affairs. Seen in this context, the agents of terror succeeded in at least some of their goals. And, as became evident again...the terrorists are still at play."
GHANA: "3 Years After 9/11: Mixed Fortunes"
The pro-ruling party Accra Daily Mail observed (9/10): "It would be three years tomorrow, Saturday September 11 since terrorists flew commercial jetliners into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC.... That day has become a defining date in the modern calendar.... The U.S. had the entire planet behind her in sympathy and indignation. At no time in history did the U.S. have that kind of solidarity from all countries of the world. It was a dastardly act beyond the pale.... We believe the U.S. is a genuinely generous country with a heart that is ever willing to share. The U.S. is also passionately inward-looking.... That is where America often steps on toes and makes equally passionate enemies. Three years after September 11 2001, it's been a mixed bag.... America has not made any new friends; if anything at all, the world is far more divided now.... Whatever strides have been made in the 'war on terrorism' have so far not brought international terrorism to heel. Everyday things are happening to show that the world has not become any safer since 9/11.... But the U.S. cannot let her guard down so we will have to put up with the inconvenience. Any attack on the U.S. homeland is an attack on the rest of the world, because if there is one country which is the reflection of the peoples of the planet, it is the U.S.... On the occasion of the observance of the 3rd year of 9/11...to the American politicians all that we can say is this: whether America would be free of the anger of terrorists or not, would depend to a large degree on how relevant you think the rest of us are."
KENYA: "Africa's Modest Efforts To Check Terrorism"
KANU party-owned Kenya Times commented (9/8): "In Kenya the slow government response to terrorist threats since the 1998 bombing grew from a denial based on the perception of Kenya as a victim, rather than a source of international terrorism. This denial was also tied to the inability to acknowledge the wider context that led to the growth of terrorism: the erosion of governance structures, notably weak enforcement and gate keeping institutions. Furthermore, the government remains wary of alienating Kenya's minority Muslims who often complain of marginalization. There was, however a marked shift in policy after Muslim protesters embraced the Moi regime by marching for al-Qaida in the wake of September 11 attacks.... These measures point to a more proactive policy on terrorism, but their long-term viability hinge on fundamental reforms in the security services, immigration, and port authorities. Reversing corruption in these agencies has only begun, as the government acknowledges the need for institutional reforms."
"The Scars Of Bush's Justice"
Tony Mochama noted in the independent, pro-business Standard (9/5): "The past three years have showcased the Bush administration's offensives. A second term of Bush's never-ending war on terror would most likely give the leader of the 'free world' sufficient time to convert Congress into allowing him leverage to end the limited judicial review for terror suspects that has so far stayed America's hand in overt interference with foreign jurisdictions."
NIGERIA: "Diplomatic, Not Military Approach"
Ibadan-based independent Nigerian Tribune declared (9/13): "Given all the huge amount of resources--human and material--so far spent on the war on terror, the questions are: one, is the world safer now; two, is the war being won; and three, is the war winnable? The recent terrorist downing of two Russian airliners, the Beslan massacre and the Jakarta bomb attacks, among very many others in recent times, answer the first question in the negative.... The argument is unsettled as to whether without the war on terror, terrorism wouldn't have escalated beyond current levels. As for the most fundamental of the three questions, viz, whether the war on terror is winnable, it is our opinion that it is. But victory over terrorism cannot and will not be won on military battlefields. It will happen on the political and diplomatic fields of mutual understanding, respect for the different ways of life of peoples and cultures of the world and regard for the weak and genuine assistance to them."
"New World Order Is The Answer"
Ezedi Udom commented in the Lagos-based independent New Age (9/13): "Given the failure of the 'Bush Doctrine,' if the lives lost as a result of September 11 shouldn't be in vain, and above all to protect the lives of prospective victims of terrorist attacks, the world should seek alternatives, one of which is creating a new world order that enjoys legitimacy of all peoples, groups and nations. It is only then that we can show that the lessons of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 have been learned. If there is something to borrow from the 'Bush Doctrine,' it is the urgency and nothing more."
"9/11: Anger Against American Imperialism"
Edwin Madunagu wrote in respected Lagos-based independent The Guardian (9/10): "In its report...the [9/11] Commission announced that America was a victim, not of terrorism in general, but of global 'Islamist terrorism.' It warned that the threat of further attacks remains.... My feeling after reading this report was of depression: caused by the conviction that the rulers of America do not understand the world in which they wield so much power. In particular, they do not understand the cause and depth of the anger of the peoples of the world against American imperialism."
ZAMBIA: "Time For Concerted, Cooperative War On Terror"
The Times of Zambia editorialized (9/8): "War on terror should be fought on all fronts to rid the world of malcontents whose agenda is to inflict pain, death and ultimately wreck civilization.... The tragedy of Beslan in Russia...is a wake-up call for the citizens of the world that terrorists could strike anywhere.... Terrorists should not be handled with kid gloves. With glaring facts before us that they are capable of striking anywhere and anyone, peace-loving people should equally be on red alert. The fight against terrorism should therefore not be selective. Where found, terrorists should not be spared if the world has to have a peace of mind.... Terrorists are men and women who have chosen to partner evil and death. The only way of dealing with them is destroying them before they strike. For as long as terrorists are not speedily eliminated the world shall continue being insecure. People should unite to eliminate the terrorist threat for humankind to lead normal lives."
CANADA: "The World Must Unite To Fight Terrorism"
he left-of-center Vancouver Sun wrote (9/11): "Terrorism has existed for millennia, and while we hope it won't take thousands of years to eliminate terrorism, we're in for the long haul in this war against Islamic fundamentalists. September 11, 2001, did, however, acquaint us with the nature of the enemy, and impress upon us the urgency of prosecuting the war. Subsequent events in Bali and Spain and, most recently, in Russia, have given us greater insight into our common foe.... A lthough intelligence sharing, and police and military operations against terrorist organizations are crucial, such methods will, of course, only help to solve the immediate problem--to root out terrorists currently planning attacks. But while stamping out terrorists is of crucial importance, we will stamp out terrorism only if we prevent the training and education of a new generation of terrorists. The Koranic schools known as madrassas--some of which encourage their students to hate Jews and Christians and to fight holy wars--provide the only education many poor Arab, Asian and African students receive, which virtually guarantees that some will lead a future wave of terrorism. Unless we deal with these schools and with the intolerant messages being taught to Muslim students, the war against terrorism might never end. The international community must join together and ensure that students in poorer parts of the world have an alternative to attending madrassas. Further, the world must not turn a blind eye toward failed states like Somalia and Sudan among others that provide a perfect breeding ground for terrorism..... We are fighting a world war--a global conflict between the civilized world and those who hate everything modern civilization stands for. Despite our differences, every country needs to remember that since the fate of the world hangs in the balance."
"The Founding Doctrine"
Mario Roy wrote in the centrist La Presse (9/11): "The 9/11 attack on U.S. soil demolished moral barriers, overthrew codes of ethics and presented to the world an Islamic-fascist 'victory' over the greatest power on the planet. This escalation in horror has so far culminated in Russia eight days ago.... Terrorism has also exploded in a host of very different actions.... The motivations and ad hoc demands that we have seen, to which we must add the Palestinian cause, are about conflicts for which there are theoretical solutions. Thus the Madrid attacks commanded the Spaniards to change their government, which they did. Australians could buckle under the pressure from Jakarta by electing a new premier who would get them out of Baghdad. The answer to Chechen terrorism could be to give that nation independence. And we know the theoretical solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But nobody is naïve enough to believe that should these national conflicts miraculously be solved, the terror would stop. To the contrary, recent developments indicate, radical Islam is holding on tighter than ever to its founding doctrine, just like the proletarian terrorism that was inflicted on Europe 30 or 40 years ago.... In short, everything seems to indicate that what all the small groups more or less linked to al-Qaida are looking for is a war of civilizations. That is the trap we must avoid at all costs."
"The Surreal World Of Bush"
Editorial page editor emeritus Haroon Siddiqui reflected in the liberal Toronto Star (9/9): "Politicians don't always deliver what they promise. But George W. Bush is in a league all his own. He says one thing, does another and often manages the exact opposite of what he intends.... He said post-9/11 that he was going to isolate terrorists but ended up isolating America. He attacked Afghanistan to crush al-Qaida but spawned its branches or, worse, copycat outfits all over the world. He invaded Iraq to capture non-existent weapons of mass destruction, while his other two axis of evil nations, North Korea and Iran, were the ones developing nuclear weapons. He talked tough on Iran but it was North Korea that got busy and made two nuclear bombs. He saw his war on Iraq as a warning to other states not to develop lethal weapons but finds his credibility so eroded he can't convince others about the seriousness of Iran's nuclear intentions."
ARGENTINA: "September 11, Three Years Later"
Leading Clarin editorialized (9/13): "Three years after the September 11 attacks, the world has become more dangerous and life in societies more precarious.... It did not happen overnight.... On that day the U.S. and the world saw almost three thousand people die buried under the rubble of the Twin Towers in New York. And Americans still suffer it three years later with over one thousand soldiers killed in Iraq.... The Iraqi people are also a major victim, with tens of thousands of victims, after having endured decades of autocracy, and now a military occupation.... In this way if three years ago the September 11 attacks unleashed a war on terrorism that the USG decided to unilaterally launch, the outcome of it is certainly negative for the cause of international peace and security."
"Blood And Religion Shouldn't Go Hand-In-Hand"
Business-financial El Cronista editorialized (9/10): "Islam is a religion of peace and millions of Muslims believe so. This is why they urgently need to be the first ones to march against a terrorism that kills in the name of Allah. In this sense, the fact that an important number of Muslims--with or without headscarf--marched down the streets of Paris calling for the liberation of two French journalists kidnapped in Iraq, was a step forward, but is wasn't enough. It's necessary for them to march in their own countries. They must rally in Afghanistan, in Saudi Arabia, in the Arab Emirates, in the Philippines, in Kenya or in Pakistan.... It's true that the West must take an important step in allowing Islamic peoples to be free instead of seeking to dominate them, as occurred recently. Without this change, peace won't be possible.... It's important to know whether the larger Islamic community, composed mostly of peaceful people, is bold enough to challenge those who in the name of Islam fill the streets of the West and the East with dead bodies. Only if this answer is positive will we be able to fight against the scourge of a terrorism."
Miriam Leitão observed in center-right O Globo (9/13): "9/11 is among those [days] that left in all of us today the stupor and the fear of the world to follow that unthinkable, barbarian act.... Terrorism is the worst enigma of current times. It is being increasingly studied by experts, but so far they have found only parts of explanations. Terror continues inexplicably and remains as a frightening alert that barbarism may win. One thing we know for sure: the war will not be won by brute force only. Civilization needs to find the right portion of shrewdness, intelligence, force, apparatus, information networks, weapons, command and values. If it continues to be struggled with in a rudimentary fashion, as it has been in this Bush-Putin era, it will become a war without heroes. It will only produce victims and crazies."
MEXICO: "Black Tuesday Crusade Destabilizes The World"
Gabriel Moyssen and Isabel Mayoral wrote in major business daily Il Financiero (9/10): "Three years after the attacks by Usama Bin Ladin's al-Qaida network destroyed the World Trade Center in New York and damaged the Pentagon, the international community is still shaken by the antiterrorist offensive launched by the administration of George W. Bush. This campaign served as a pretext for a major realignment of forces in the Middle East with the occupation of Iraq and prompted the radicalization of nationalist, religious, and ethnic movements in Muslim countries, as the tragic seizure of hostages in Beslan, Russia, just recently underscored. The outcome of the U.S. campaign, which has provoked widespread criticism throughout the world, is negative. Bush himself admitted that he has lost interest in capturing bin Ladin--assuming he is still alive--and Afghanistan, which harbored the Saudi Arabian national, has turned into the world's largest poppy producer, on the eve of elections that are critically important for its immediate future. As for Iraq, it is the ideal sanctuary for al-Qaida and other extremist organizations that take advantage of a guerrilla-style war that has no hint of solution."
Academic Eugenio Anguiano observed in nationalist Universal (9/8): "Terrorism as a threat or justified violence when used against a civilian population to advance political ends is reaching unbearable extremes and is incompatible with the most basic concepts of civilization in the 21st century. Because aggression against unarmed civilians is so reprehensible, it's not possible that force is the only answer to an evil with many roots."
ECUADOR: "Three Years Later"
Grace Jaramillo wrote in Quito's leading centrist El Comercio (9/11): "In the midst of its pain, the United States only worsened its own security situation. Instead of putting in place a specific plan to systematically destroy the al-Qaida terrorist cells--which had even been identified--it decided to take up arms against Baghdad and get rid of a less dangerous, but more popular enemy. Despite existing efforts, the policy of attacking a nation-state to stop terrorism has not borne fruit, because the causes of this global disaster--intolerance, condescension, lack of respect for culture and religion, and above all, the irrationally of certain people--have not been addressed."
PANAMA: "Republicans Against The United Nations"
Tilcia Delgado remarked in leading Panamanian broadsheet La Prensa (9/10): "For many Republicans, the September 11 attacks heralded the reactivation of a U.S. foreign policy that had become opaque during the Clinton administration. For them, the United States is a country called to be the indisputable leader, and one that doesn't shiver in the face of war when its interests are threatened.... I doubt the world will be safer if George W. Bush leads the United States during the next four years.... He unleashed the hate of many, including those that attacked New York's financial center on September 11."
PARAGUAY: "A War That Threatens All Of Humanity"
ABC Color, Paraguay's largest daily, commented (9/11): "The first task of civilized humanity at the present time, whether in the East or in the West, is to defeat and eradicate this cancer [of terrorism]."
VENEZUELA: "The Plague Of Terrorism"
Leading liberal daily El Nacional editorialized (9/13): "9/11 changed Americans' way of being and living.... It is not a metaphor to say that 9/11 was 'the days that changed the world.' The United States is not the only country to have changed, but also other countries, especially those in North America, Europe and Asia. Spain suffered a major aggression on March 11. Latin America has not been the exception. Three years after 9/11, insecurity in the world has worsened in an unthinkable way. It is not an exaggeration to say that it is the issue that generates the greatest concern for the international community. However, there does not seem to be a common stance to face it. The U.S. and Europe have discrepancies in the methods to combat terror. Paradoxically, Washington and Russia have coordinated their policies. The number of terrorist attacks has increased. After the events in Russia, the attacks in Indonesia followed. The international community not only has not found a common stance to combat terrorism, but that possibility seems to be farther and farther as days go by. Let's observe the situation in the most threatened country, the United States, where al-Qaida and Usama bin Laden, as well as the war in Iraq, have turned into the two topics that dominate the presidential campaign, and have been used in a not very responsible way. If its politicians are divided, what can be expected from the international community?"
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|