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International Information Programs

July 12, 2005



**  It is "time to close ranks," move to "get our act together" and "root out terrorism."

**  Writers ponder: why do terrorists "pursue their lunatic plans?"

**  "High profile acts of terrorism" span the globe.

**  Terrorism deepens cultural divides, and threatens "multi-cultural societies."


'How to deal with terrorists who play the game without rules'--  London's 7/7 attacks led global writers to echo a Tanzanian analyst's call for "security forces around the world to cooperate more closely in fighting terrorism."  Even before a Brazilian observer likened London's blasts to "scenes of WW III," France's left-of-center Le Monde noted the "worrisome mutation of the terrorist threat," and urged Europeans not to "rejoice over America’s difficulties."  A Czech analyst held, "Muslim fundamentalism represents an aggressive evil that must be challenged" while a Saudi opined "Arab countries are the source of a culture of terrorism."

Deliberating the 'root causes of this evil'--  A Russian analyst surmised that al-Qaida evades destruction becuse it is "under the patronage of a recognized government."  Moscow'sKommersant said, "authoritarian regimes breed terror."  Saudi Arabia's moderate Al-Watan blamed terrorist recruiters who filled recruits' minds with "corrupted ideas." Turkey's intellectual Cumhuriyet asked, "Isn’t terrorism the price of imperialism?"  African and Latin writers cited oppression as a cause.  The Czech business daily Hospodarske noviny stated, "let’s identify who the attackers are" and opined, "we have been attacked and war was declared upon us.  Therefore, we must declare war as well--not on terrorism, but on Islamism." 

'The threat of terrorism in the world is still big'--  Observers recalled past attacks in Dar-es-Salaam and Nairobi along with 9/11 and other terrorist attacks "carried out in Bali, Madrid, Turkey, Mombasa, Saudi Arabia and Egypt" to say: they feed from the "same vein." "This time, it is London," said Canada's centrist Le Soleil.  Venezuela's liberal El Nacional emphasized "that terrorism is a real and lethal threat."  India's right-of-center Pioneer condemned "the outrageous jihadi attempt to blow up the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya" as a "grim reminder' not to let down its "guard against terrorism."  South Africa's conservative Star declared "terrorism is indeed global--and not unique to the Muslim fundamentalists," though a British observer asserted, "Islam does incubate terrorism."

'Jihadism outside the mosque' spawns a 'religious divide'--  Muslim writers expressed concerns over a "backlash against expatriate Muslims," while Pakistani outlets documented post 7/7 attacks against mosques in New Zealand and London.  Pakistan's liberal Daily Times called for Muslims to "help strengthen" the resilience and "democratic strength of the Western societies under attack by extremists."  Mass-circulation Jang warned against a "reaction of miscreants against Muslim communities in Britain and New Zealand" who aimed to "further widen the gulf between the Muslims and the Christian community." Tanzania's tabloid Mwananchi editorialized, "terrorism should not be given room in any civilized society.”

EDITOR:  Rupert D. Vaughan

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 51 reports from 26 countries from June 27 to July 12, 2005.  Editorial excerpts are listed from the most recent date.


BRITAIN:  "Islam Does Incubate Terrorism" 

Columnist Mark Steyn expressed the view in the conservative Daily Telegraph (7/12):  "Terrorism ends when the broader culture refuses to tolerate it.  There would be few if any suicide bombers in the Middle East if 'martyrdom' were not glorified by imams and politicians, if pictures of local 'martyrs' were not proudly displayed in West Bank grocery stores, if Muslim banks did not offer special 'martyrdom' accounts to the relicts thereof, if schools did not run essay competitions on 'Why I want to grow up to be a martyr'."

FRANCE:  "The Mutations Of Islamic Terrorism"

Piotr Smolar wrote in left-of-center Le Monde (6/27): “The U.S. is prisoner of Guantanamo....  Suddenly closing the base would be an admission of failure, something that is politically insufferable....  But the Europeans should not rejoice over America’s difficulties.... The worrisome mutation of the terrorist threat--due essentially to the mired Iraqi situation--and Washington’s need to give signs of openness have led to a rapprochement between the U.S. and Europe as illustrated in Florence at the end of May.... The delicate political position of the U.S. was obvious, as was the vulnerability of Europe… Terrorism experts in Florence acknowledged the worrisome mutation of Islamic terrorism.... Iraq holds a central role in the alarming analysis of this mutation.  Of course Americans and Europeans have diverging positions in the analyses of the root causes of this evil. Seen from the U.S., Europe is a reservoir for ‘jihaddists’ who choose to go to Iraq… Seen from Europe, experts contend that Iraq has become the land of jihad because of the symbolism attached to a confrontation with the United States in a Muslim country."

GERMANY:  "The Shock Comes Later"

Sabine Bennefanz editorialized in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung (7/12):  "We know that we cannot protect ourselves sufficiently.  Everybody could have been in this bus or train.  That's what makes this terrorism so cunning and incomprehensible.  If the terrorists had shot President Bush it would have been horrible, but it would not have questioned the life of a whole town.  Many Londoners might be used to the bomb alerts from the times of the IRA, but the northern Irish terrorists differed from the Islamic ones.  They had faces, a goal and an address.  Now, the perpetrators are hiding.  We don't know who they are and what they want.  Stronger than our fear is our anger.  We are angry because the terrorists are so cold-blooded and evil.  They hit a cosmopolitan and tolerant town like London and not the prime minister or the U.S. president.  London is a happy island in the middle of a conservative England.  Place of birth, color of skin and nationality hardly play a role here when you want to earn money and live peacefully.  Here, the United Nations have become reality."

"Van Gogh"

Jan Kanter noted in right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (7/12):  "First of all, it is important to present the Netherlands--and after the London bombings all of Europe--as a self-confident, free and strong society that terrorism cannot intimidated.  After that, we also have to make clear that not an entire religious community is accountable for the crimes committed by an individual or a group of people.  It is about fair and tough punishments without taking revenge.   Seeking revenge would mean to give up our values for extremists of the likes of Mohammed B.; then, he would become more successful than he deserves to be."

"The United States Talks With Terrorists"

Walter Riedel noted in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung (6/27):  "The news report from the Sunday Times was no great surprise, but reason for joy, and the fact that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld did not deny but confirm the report is an even better sign.  Now that the talks have become public, not only the Americans will ask for progress in the 'peace talks.'  This will put pressure on the U.S. government.  Allies and U.S citizens will want to know what are the reasons why terror cannot be stopped and what can be done to stop it the longer and the more brutal the terrorist attacks in Iraq are.  But another lesson we get is as important as this one:  The notion that the Europeans only use the weapon of criticism, while the United States focuses on the criticism of weapons is wrong.  Contrary to its self-presentation, the Bush administration talks to terrorists.  It does so by 'being ready for battle.'  It can do this because it has the weapons and it must do this, because every one knows that it has these weapons.  A threatening potential that would not be used to express threats, would not even be a paper tiger."

ITALY:  "Recruits Of Hatred Outside The Mosque"

Renzo Guolo commented in left-leaning influential daily La Repubblica (7/12):  “By striking London on the day in which the eyes of the world were focused on the G8, the Jihadists imposed their political agenda….The transformation of the Jihadist war also creates difficulties for consolidated techniques of western intelligence....  The British intelligence agencies however have not succeeded in predicting the birth of a new phenomenon: Jihadism outside the mosque....  We need new instruments to avert replicas of London and Madrid--efficient, swift and targeted operations by international police forces; multilateral efforts on hot issues that involve the Islamic world; real and non-unidirectional cooperation of intelligence....  In the presence of a Jihadism outside the mosque, widespread social control works better than any eagle-eyed surveillance.... Certainly the way of 'preventative policy’ needs a longer time but the shortcut of the ‘preventative war’ produced the results which everyone has seen.”

"Bush Has Overused September 11th"

Arturo Zampaglione editorialized in left-leaning influential La Repubblica (6/30): "The reference to the blackest day in American history raised strong emotions across the Atlantic. And Bush wanted to have this collective fear raised to stop the hemorrhage of consensus and escalation of criticism that is translating into a debacle of the popularity of the White House.  In reality, before the American invasion, there were no traces of Bin Ladin in Iraq.  And the presence [Al Qaida] now is an effect, not the cause, of the actions of the Pentagon.  But immediate polls [after his speech] reveal that Bush’s political operation had a certain success: Nearly one out of two television spectators likes Bush, while only one out of four is disappointed.  It will be necessary to wait several days for a more accurate balance, given that at present the democrats won’t make a truce.”

RUSSIA:  "Words And Deeds"

Vyacheslav Tetekin held in nationalist opposition Sovetskaya Rossiya (7/12):  “For all its might, the West and its special services can’t get Al Qaida.   Western leaders, echoed by their colleagues in this country, talk too much about the ‘monster,’ but there is little they can show for their successes in fighting it, so little, it makes you wonder.   What comes next to your mind is that the ‘monster’ must be under the patronage of a ‘recognized government.’   Otherwise, you can’t account for Western special services’ inability to track down and destroy Al Qaida, inexplicable terrorist acts, and the expertise of those who stage them.”

"Authoritarian Regimes Breed Terror"

Mikhail Zygar commented in business-oriented Kommersant (7/12):  “(Uzbek President) Islam Karimov tried for a long time to scare the world by claiming that, with him gone, Uzbekistan will fall into Islamic terrorists’ hands.   To believe him, the country is better off under him than under someone worse.   A dozen other leaders in former Soviet republics and the Arab world will speak the same.    The United States’ allies in the Middle East assert that the region would have plunged into chaos, but for their ironclad rule.   A month ago Washington stated it no longer believed that.   Coming to the Middle East, Condoleezza Rice said that the United States would not support authoritarian Arabs for the simple reason that they promise to fight terrorism, because, instead of ensuring stability, they incite extremism...  While they may not be behind terrorist attacks, authoritarian regimes breed extremists.   An overwhelming majority of those who blow up buses come from countries with authoritarian regimes that publicly claim to be committed to combating terror.”

GREECE:  "London - Srebrenica"

Senior editor Yiannis Pretenderis wrote in centrist, elitist To Vima (7/12):  "Only four days elapsed between the terrorist attack against London and the 10-year anniversary of the Srebrenica slaughter.  On the one hand we had the largest pre-meditated slaughter of non-combatants in Europe after the end of the Second World War. Then, we had also a pre-meditated attack against plain, unsuspecting people who had just chosen to take the bus or the metro to work that day.  The victims...and hatred...were the common denominators in both cases.  Milosevic's, Mladic's, and Karadzic's Serb butchers...are part of the same paranoid constellation to which bin Ladin's Islamist murderers belong....  We should not espouse hatred to be part of a normal way of living....  The slaughter of eight thousand people in Srebrenica, or some tens of peoples in the metro in London lies outside the sphere of comprehension.  Hatred cannot be justified, explained, or absolved.  It is something alien for human beings."

CZECH REPUBLIC:  "Hatred Is Multicultural"

Vladimir Kucera comments in the leading, centrist daily MF Dnes (7/12):  "It is true that none of us can sense which of our Muslim fellow citizens is a hidden enemy....  But it is also true...that the joy over the pain of the U.S. after the attacks on the twin towers was not only a delight of idiots from the Islamic world, but also of many very white and tribally Western people with a deficit of social intelligence....  The consideration--'let's cut out the Muslim ulcer in the shape of Arab immigrants and thus lower the security threat'--is therefore lame.  Terrorist groups possess considerable financial means and therefore would probably find people capable of a mass murder also among non-Muslims.  Venality, hatred and fanaticism are not a prerogative of only one culture....  Even our own culture has many of these.  And terrorists have enough time to steer them to their advantage.  The conviction about the collective guilt of Muslims is a first step towards hatred among us, the people of the West, and towards seeking those within our culture guilty of being a security threat.  Let's be banal: what else are terrorists up to?" 

"Let’s Identify Who the Attackers Are"  

Jan Machacek claims in the business daily Hospodarske noviny (7/11):  "Someone wages war against us, but we cannot identify the enemy.  Even after the London attacks, we hear terms such as 'war against terrorism'.  If we do not or cannot understand who attacked us we will never win.  Terrorists are only weapons of these assaults.  During WWII no one would have said that Britain is fighting with German submarines or rockets.  On the contrary--it was clear to everyone that the war was waged against Hitler and the Nazis.  After the attacks in New York, Madrid and London it should be evident that the war against our civilization is not waged by terrorism, but by Muslim fundamentalism or Islamism.  If we talk only about terrorism than we limit the debate only to our defense against explosions....  Muslim fundamentalism represents an aggressive evil that must be challenged not only militarily but through all possible means.  We should ask the Islamic countries and Islamic authorities to distance themselves from aggressive Islamism in a way that is much clearer than now.  We have a right to demand this.  We have been attacked and war was declared upon us.  Therefore, we must declare war as well--not on terrorism, but on Islamism."

"Terrorist's Mad But Functional Puzzle"

Viliam Buchert writes in the centrist daily MF Dnes (7/11):  The struggle with terrorism drains further billions of dollars, euros, pounds and yens away from purposes which could be used to the benefit of any society.  The spread of evil, on the other hand, does not cost much....  Although the Americans, the Spanish and the British have behaved wonderfully to their Muslim minorities after the successive attacks, nevertheless an aversion to Islam and its followers has been stirred up.  This will eventually bring about the emergence of further Muslim radicals who are already living in Western societies.  Thus, the divide between individual cultures is being deepened.  The intention of fuelling mistrust and in some cases permanent hatred is certainly repugnant, but the terrorists have succeeded in this, although the democratic world insists that it is still tolerant.  It is no problem for the terrorists to pursue their lunatic plans.  In fact, they struggle irrespective of any innocent victims, any relationship to human values.  Muslim radicals even violate what their belief preaches and often murder their fellow Muslims.  Lately, this happened in London.  Next time, it will happen elsewhere."

"Trade Mark Al Qaida"

Frantisek Sulc comments in the center-right daily Lidove noviny (7/11):  "Four years since the September 11 attacks developments can be summarized in two points.  The good one is that Al Qaida as we once knew it does not exist anymore.  The bad one is that given the autonomy of various (terrorist) groups (terrorist) attacks are harder to prevent and their perpetrators are harder to catch.  Al Qaida is the key word.... By the fact that we generalize and speak of Al Qaida as the perpetrator (of all terrorist attacks around the globe) we commit a simplification which complicates our understanding what has happened....  (Al Qaida) is now a loose grouping of people which have only two things in common.  Firstly, they pay homage to Bin Ladin--without him necessarily knowing his followers, their plans, or even giving them instructions.  Secondly, they use techniques which proved effective in the past--gaining money, planning and committing attacks or using fanaticized people settled in Europe or in the U.S.... Gifts and not contributions from Osama Bin Ladin finance actions by terrorists today.  Every (terrorist) cell is independent from whatever center-- although this does not preclude certain coordination or defining "spheres of interest"....  In other words: Our problem is not that Al Qaida exists.  Our problem is that it doesn't exist, at least in the way we used to know a couple years ago."

"How To Deal With Terrorists"

Publicisc Zdenek Svacha editorialized in mainstream MF Dnes (6/29):   “Western societies are not able to deal with absolute forms of evil.  They do not know how to deal with terrorists who play the game without rules.  Guantanamo personifies this dilemma.  On one side, there are a lot of people who do not belong there.  On the other, the prisoners are treated better than they themselves would expect or would do to others if the roles were reversed.  Instead of nose amputations, they must crawl on the ground and bark.  Instead of electric shocks, they must expose themselves to female wardens.  Instead of pulling nails, they must place the Qur'an on a toilet seat and so on.  It is actually a tragicomic situation.  If Mr. Clinton wants to finish it, he should say what reasonable steps could be taken."

NETHERLANDS: "Bush's Swamp"

Influential independent NRC Handelsblad noted (6/30):  “Terror actually started after the American invasion and grew into a full-blown international prestige battle.... For now Iraq will continue to be a pandemonium.  A rapid withdrawal of the Americans, or even setting the agenda for such withdrawal, is not an option....  The coalition is thinning.   NATO’s contribution by providing military training is only symbolic and does not mean much in numbers.  German Chancellor Schroeder during his recent visit to the White House said that a stable and democratic Iraq is also in the interest of Europe.... Well-said.  But what is Germany doing as a NATO member state to fulfill these words?  Too little!  The Americans and the British cannot do it alone in Iraq.  They are in a suffocating swamp and need help, preferably provided within NATO context.”

NORWAY:  "Everybody’s Quagmire"

Independent newspaper VG noted (6/30):  “ The Americans are in this quagmire together.  In fact, we are all there together. Terrorists being trained in Iraq are everybody’s business. They are terrorists, not resistance fighters.  Many are foreigners whose top priority is not a free and democratic Iraq. They want to achieve as much chaos as possible and create the deepest possible wounds on the United States and the rest of the Western world.  It becomes too easy for the war opposition in Europe to let the United States stand alone in the disaster they have created.  We are all counting on the possibility that at some point in time it will be possible for the United States to withdraw from an Iraq that functions well, a peaceful Iraq free of hatcheries for new terrorists.”

TURKEY:  “A Lesson Learned In Srebrenica”

Omer Lutfi Mete wrote in the mass appeal Sabah (7/12):  “The British Independent newspaper wrote yesterday that ‘humanity should take a lesson from the biggest massacre since the World War II, which took place in Bosnia, and apply this lesson in London.’  The lesson is that while our paranoia increases about radical Islam, the anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre reminds us that victims of the terror attacks in Europe can be Muslims as well as Christians or Jews.”

“Coincidental Fight Against Terrorism”

Ferai Tinc commented in the mass appeal Hurriyet (7/11):  “The Justice Ministers of the EU countries will convene in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss possible new measures to be taken against terrorism.  Considering the statements made after the London bombings, life will become more difficult for Muslims in Europe.  While a political strategy is necessary to counter terrorism, the global fight against terrorism became muddled after the U.S. decided to launch a war in Iraq as a method for fighting terrorism.  While the all-out war in Iraq was connected with the struggle against terrorism, people have now become convinced that terrorist actions will stop only if foreign troops are withdrawn from Iraq.  Will Spain’s withdrawal of its from Iraq following the attacks in Madrid make Spain safe from terrorism forever?  Did Turkey’s clear statements that it opposed the war save it from terrorist attacks?  Terrorism and the U.S. war in Iraq have become like twins attached at the hip.  In addition to radical Islamist terror groups, the PKK and other terrorist organizations have also started feeding from this same vein.  In order to fight against terrorism effectively, first the world should recognize the threat that it faces.  Unfortunately, a proper diagnosis has yet to be made.  It will not be possible to develop a strategy against terrorism until the U.S. and EU stop ignoring other terrorist organizations and blame only radical Islamists.”

"Isn’t Terrorism The Price Of The Imperialism?"

Erol Manisali observed in the intellectual Cumhuriyet (7/11):  “It would be the biggest possible mistake to consider Al-Qaida as solely responsible of the terror attacks in London.  Terrorism and radical organizations like Al-Qaida are the results of imperialism.  In some cases, terrorism was created directly by imperialism, while in other cases it emerged as a reaction against it.  Terrorism cannot be eliminated until the reasons for the terror are eliminated.  Imperialism is the main reason for terrorism.  Military operations, occupations, bombs, death, poverty, and hunger feed terrorism.  Terrorism sometimes appears as a tool, and sometimes as a reaction.  Terrorism is a tool for the imperialist countries, while countries that suffer under imperialism use terror as a reaction.  Ireland and Libya are living proof of this.  Attacks by the U.S. and some European countries after the end of the Cold War have become a new source for terrorism.  It was inevitable that terrorism would spread following the attacks and  occupations by the U.S. and UK in Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq.  Increases in terror attacks are parallel with increases in imperialist attacks.  If we want to eliminate terrorism, then, we have to prevent aggressive imperialism.  Terrorism will continue to increase as long as the U.S. and the EU continue occupying countries for their own interests.  If they say that they cannot survive without imperialism, than they have to put up with terrorism.”


ISRAEL:  "Europe's Real Self-Interest"

Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (7/6):  “It is ironic that Europe, which is arguably even more threatened [than the U.S.] and sitting closer to the fault line between free and fear still living in a pre-9/11 world in which countries like Iran are still treated as normal trading partners, and 'stability' still means tolerating whole regions of dictatorships.  If anything, Europe should be egging the U.S. on to push harder and faster.  Why is it in Europe's interest to be seen as defending rogue regimes, largely out of narrow financial interests, rather than joining the U.S. as an inspiration to oppressed peoples?  Is Europe betting that these peoples will not only be forever powerless, but also have short memories?....  A European shift toward the U.S. would greatly strengthen the West and hasten the victory over militant Islamism--a victory that is the only solution to many of the internal and external threats Europe faces. The truth is that the only hope that rogue regimes like Iran and Syria have is to continue to divide Europe from the United States.  Monday's immigration summit should help raise European awareness that its enlightened self-interest lies not in high-minded fear and loathing of the U.S., coupled with low-minded financial dependence on aggressive tyrants, but on the pooling of Western diplomatic and economic power to advance freedom and democracy where it is missing most."

"Soft On Terrorism"

Nationalist writer Uri Dan opined in conservative, independent Jerusalem Post (7/3): "The court in Nairobi, Kenya, that recently acquitted seven people accused of perpetrating a terrorist attack on Israelis in Mombasa awarded another victory to al-Qaida.  If it hadn't been for the efforts of the Israeli investigators sent to Kenya immediately after the attack in 2002, none of the accused would have been arrested....  It was well known in Washington, and particularly in the CIA, that the incriminating evidence presented for the arrest of the seven accused in Kenya, was very serious. But the judicial authorities in Kenya apparently don't care....  It seems that Kenya does not understand that through its actions it is abetting al-Qaida in its terrorist activities.  Perhaps it would be best for the U.S. to intervene now in the affair of the attack in Mombasa and explain to the Kenyan government the gravity of releasing, unpunished, the seven accused in Nairobi."

SAUDI ARABIA:  "Washington’s Dilemma "

Jeddah's conservative Al-Madina noted (7/3):  "The confusion in American politics in the Middle East is obvious. If democracy and the practice of international legitimacy are how the U.S. deals with other countries, then it is important to point out that all UN resolutions should be implemented. Combating terrorism should start with Sharon. So Washington has to calm down because escalations result in more violence."

"Toward Eliminating Terrorism"

Jeddah's conservative Al-Madina commented (7/2):  "The recent list might not be the last one because it contains the most dangerous elements, but it inaugurates a new period in our drastic battle against terrorists and murders. Moreover, announcing the names will help in arresting them with the help of both the public and security forces. The victory of arresting most of those on the first list gives confidence and optimism that the heads of the deviants will be crushed. The Kingdom will not lose any opportunity to eradicate these 'microbes' from our pure and holy land as soon as possible."

"Other List Of Terrorists"

Riyadh’s moderate Al-Riyadh editorialized (6/29):  "It is not possible to eliminate terrorists if their roots are deep in the community. Terrorists may be subject to successive strikes that will weaken them. Uprooting terrorists should be accompanied by full awareness of their danger... The security forces in the Kingdom were stronger in controlling terrorists’ sources of power....  Iraq may be the other base to spread terror after Afghanistan. The threat will not only be on the Kingdom but also at the international level... We should realize the value of exchange of information and make use of each country’s experience, mainly the Arab countries, as they are the source of the culture of terrorism."

"Al-Qaidah Cell In Saudi Arabia Eliminated; Fears Of Creation Of Cells In Iraq"

Abha’s moderate Al-Watan commented (6/29):  It is known that confrontation with terrorism can be a war of information.  Who has the information wins the war. The announcement of the third terrorist list means that those terrorists are known and not ghosts....  Names of those terrorists show that this cell is expanding horizontally.  Al-Qaidah picked up enthused youth who were in Afghanistan. They created their own cell in Saudi Arabia, helped to recruit those who had never been to Afghanistan, and filled their minds with corrupted ideas.... The new list proves that Saudi security has detailed information along with recent pictures.  The war on terrorism is on the right track.  The fear is of Saudis abroad that would create new cells in an unstable neighboring country."

IRAQ:  "Blair's Call And Talabani's Suggestions For Ending  Terrorism"

Hamdi Hassan wrote in SCIRI-affiliated Al-Adala (7/12):  "The London bombings will not come to pass without a real  strategic review of the international strategy against  terrorism.  The bombings in London hold the same importance  as the September 11th attacks.  PM Tony  Blair stated that the motives for terrorism must be eradicated because such terror is aimed at distorting Islam.  Blair added that procedures must be implemented to  reinforce mutual understandings between the world's religions and to proceed forward in working to achieve  peace in the Middle East.  In the wake of the London bombings, this suggestion appears  aimed at searching for treatments that can restore the  social, economic, and political balance in Middle Eastern  countries.  Many countries in this region are accused of  being a primary source for spawning terrorism.  Most  importantly, this suggestion is aimed at looking for the  motives rather than results.  All international efforts must  be united, in coordination with the Middle Eastern countries, to root out terrorism.  These terrorists are  exporting their crimes every day to the Middle East and around the world with the objective of disseminating more horror through killing and bloodshed. In Iraq, however, the  situation is more difficult because of the daily presence  of terrorist operations.  Nonetheless, we think that Blair's  suggestions are worthy and we support the call to establish  a strategy that will mobilize international efforts to  implement practical solutions to end terrorism. 

SYRIA:  "London Tragedy"

Muhammad Khair al-Jammali commented in government-owned Al-Thawra (7/12):  "The London attacks are a heinous crime against humanity as they targeted civilians who have nothing to do with policy and with the tragic developments which are the product of oppressive policies.... Policies of occupation, hegemony, and coercion create the right climate for terror and the emergence of terrorists."


INDIA:  "Jihadi Outrage"

Pro-BJP right-of-center The Pioneer commented (7/6):  “The outrageous jihadi attempt to blow up the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya is a grim reminder that India cannot afford to let down its guard against terrorism.  Tuesday’s attack has stunned every section of public opinion, not least because of the audacity of those behind the evil enterprise.  The disputed site in Ayodhya where the Ram Janmabhoomi temple stands is one of the most fortified places in the country....  Perhaps what the five terrorists had not bargained for is alert security personnel who felled them before they could inflict any damage on the temple.... Terrorists are driven by three motives: They want to create terror among civilians; they want to drive home their message....  In spite of the jihadis unabated and unrelenting assault, the Government of India has done precious little to convincingly demonstrate that it shall not tolerate acts of terror.  The BJP-led NDA Government had tried to raise some barricades by introducing an anti-terrorism law and cracking down on subversives.  Unfortunately, the Congress-led UPA Government had brushed aside genuine apprehension that this would embolden terrorists. Tuesday’s dark deed proves that this apprehension is not entirely unfounded.”

"Time To Be Calm"

Centrist The Asian Age editorialized (7/6):  “The foiled attack on the makeshift temple at Ayodhya by a group of militants must become a moment for introspection, and not confrontation. It is imperative that the BJP and the RSS review their initial responses and instead of using the incident to create a religious divide, join the rest of the nation in condemning the violence and resolving to remain united during this crisis ... The fact remains that the attack was foiled by the state police force posted at Ayodhya and the militants were killed before they could reach the target and destroy it. This in itself is indicative of a level of success, although both the Uttar Pradesh and Central governments should work together to pinpoint lapses and strengthen the intelligence and security apparatus further. The positive aspects need to be highlighted. For one, the police forces at the spot were vigilant and took quick deterrent action ... Two, neither the state nor the Central government has tried to exploit the situation by rushing to paint politically biased pictures of the event as has happened in the past ... And three, the Central government has risen to the occasion by sending out advisories to all state governments to ensure that vested interests are not able to exploit the incident to create further violence and unrest.  The Union home secretary, in fact, held a press conference to make it very clear that the government was in no mood to allow any group or party to communally exploit the attack, and that peace would be maintained at all costs. Restraint was exercised at the administrative and government levels right from Faizabad till New Delhi to ensure that the incident was treated as a crime, and not as a communal event that could pit religious communities against each other. This in itself is a very welcome development.”

"Time To Close Ranks"

Pro-economic-reforms The Financial Express commented (7/6):  "A day after the horrifying attack in Ayodhya was foiled, it is important to remind ourselves of the tragedy averted.  And to find the poise needed for the nation to confront a critical moment like this. By attempting an attack in Ayodhya, the site of so many grand passions, religious and political, the terrorists aimed at stirring up a communal conflagration perhaps leading to the disrupting of the peace process with Pakistan. Those dark ambitions cannot be allowed to succeed.... There have been several high-profile acts of terrorism in the recent past.... There is an increasingly urgent case, therefore, for plugging the holes and raising the level of vigilance at sensitive sites.  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ahs done well to restate his government’s resolve to do just that.... As the government gets down to work, the Opposition must give it the political space and support it needs to concentrate on the task.... This is not the moment to stir up the phantom of an entire community in danger, as the BJP has sought to do by dubbing it an ‘‘attack on Hindu faith’’....  This is the time to close ranks against the terrorist design to stir up divisive forces as the nation most conspicuously did in the face of the attack on Parliament, which happened on the NDA’s watch. Nationwide protests are a strategy for another occasion....  A nation increasingly sure-footed in the world, one that is confidently reaching out to its neighborhood, cannot let itself down now.”

"Dastardly Attack"

Pro-economic reforms The Economic Times wrote (7/6):  “The point about Tuesday’s attack on the makeshift temple at Ayodhya is that it was foiled.  The armed terrorists who mounted the assault were gunned down.  To say that this amounted to a security lapse, as have both UP Congress chief Salman Khurshid and the BJP, is laughable.  To say that the attack showed security failure and to simultaneously reward the Central Reserve Police Force personnel for their bravery in vanquishing the attackers too is ridiculous.  To demand, as the BJP has, that the prime minister, the home minister and the UP chief minister resign because of this `security lapse’, is cynical politics that shows contempt for public memory.  After all, no BJP minister anywhere thought of quitting office when the Akshardham temple in Gujarat, the Parliament House and the Jammu and Kashmir legislature were attacked during the NDA’s watch.  The BJP should resist the temptation to utilize the present incident as a convenient way out of its own internal conflict.  The simple fact is that anti-India terrorism has weakened significantly, ever since Islamabad was forced to abandon religion-based terror as an instrument of state policy, thanks to America’s discovery of jihad in September 2001.  The ongoing Indo-Pak peace process under-mines anti-India terror further.  It makes sense for terrorists to carry out attacks on religious sites in India, to inflame passions, derail the peace process and get back to business as usual.  But does it make sense for India’s political parties to respond to terrorist strikes with the politics of hatred and sectarian mobilization?  Apparently, it does, to some of them at least.  Such bankrupt politics must be exposed and defeated.”

PAKISTAN:   "Backlash Against Expatriate Muslims?"

Lahore's liberal English-language Daily Times (7/12):  "Four mosques in the U.K. have been hit by vandals after the July 7 acts of terrorism in London.  Similar attacks have been directed against the Muslim community in New Zealand.  The London police have arrested three suspects 'unconnected with the underground bombings' from Heathrow Airport under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, while one Pakistani allegedly carrying a map of the London underground was arrested from another airport outside London.  The police reported incidents of abusive language used against Muslims in the streets and Pakistani MPs from the Labor Party have expressed fears about a rise in hate crimes in the U.K. in the aftermath of the July 7 acts of terrorism....  Our communities living in the West are at risk and they can be secured against persecution only if we carefully select the messages we send out to the West through the media.  Muslims must acknowledge the resilience and democratic strength of the Western societies under attack by extremists and help strengthen these rather than weaken them.  Londoners, it must be admitted, have shown tremendous calm and wisdom in the face of adversity by not succumbing to racism and anger against the Muslims in the city, as have Britons in the U.K. in general.  That is the hallmark of a great, open, multi-racial and multi-cultural society."

“Conspiracy To Widen Differences Between Islamic, Christian Community”

Leading mass circulation Jang noted (7/12):  "An important aspect of the London Blast is that Al-Qaida and a lesser-known group of Organization of Jihad in Europe have been held responsible for it just like the blame for the 9/11 incidents was put on Al Qaida, Taliban and Afghanistan without a complete and impartial inquiry.  Therefore the reaction of miscreants against the Muslim communities in Britain and New Zealand against the Muslim community is not unexpected and this also gives credence to the impression that a deliberate attempt is being made to expand the confrontation with Islam and Muslims and to further widen the gulf between the Muslims and the Christian community thereby giving a dangerous practical shape to the clash of civilizations.  In order to pursue their objectives, the anti-Islam forces themselves stage such incidents and subsequently hold Muslims responsible for it."

"Going After Them"

Center-left independent national English-language Dawn editorialized (6/29):  "The government should take serious notice of the death threats issued on Monday by suspected Al-Qaida militants against 28 tribal and religious leaders in North Waziristan....  Most of the men named in the letter are prominent tribal leaders or those who are affiliated with foreign-funded NGOs working for the development of the area.  That no one has taken heed of such threatening tactics in the past does not mean that it should be ignored this time round also.  The militants have clearly doubled their efforts in spreading their edict against those whom they see as Islam’s enemies.  The government too needs to strengthen its resolve in ridding the area of such elements whose activities have caused the country enormous harm....  The government needs the support of tribal leaders, not just in arresting terrorist elements but also in developing the largely backward area seriously lacking in basic amenities.  Any backtracking on the government’s part will make the already volatile region a hotbed for more terrorist activities."

"Get Rid Of So Called War Against Terrorism"

Second largest Urdu daily Nawa-e-Waqt opined (6/28):  "President Musharraf, talking to newsmen after meeting Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Abdullah, said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are fully in touch for eliminating terrorism....  The entire advantage of this war against terrorism taken by America, Russia, India and Israel while the hapless Muslims are being targeted in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Palestine, Chechnya, Eritrea and other places....  America does not want to play a role for resolving the Kashmir dispute; it justifies India's inclusion in the Security Council, it conspires against our nuclear program, it demands Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan's custody and it accuses Pakistan of harboring Usama and Mullah Omar.  In such a scenario our cooperation with America is becoming stranglehold for us....  It is hoped that President Musharraf would have discussed the issue with Prince Abdullah.  The OIC foreign minister meeting should also take up the issue.  All friendly Muslim countries should prepare a strategy to get rid of this so-called war against terrorism, which has reached our doorstep.  If terrorism is a problem for America, it should combat it on its own.  Why should we become fuel for this war?"


SOUTH AFRICA:  "Let’s Get Our Act Together"

The conservative Star opined (7/12):  “Terrorism has fast raced to the top of the list of scourges [plaguing the world today. But we do not need to look to America, Europe or most recently England to see the carnage and havoc caused by acts of terrorism.  Africa has got many examples. Terrorism is indeed global-and not unique to the Muslim fundamentalists. But when it concerns ordinary Africans, including those whose lives are damaged by other Africans, it often appears less attention is paid to it.  Something which is not noted, but often inferred, is how the third world lives are undervalued.  Also Africans need to embrace initiatives such as Nepad which will lead to economic growth and development. We can’t go begging, cap in hand, to countries all the time. It’s demeaning.”

KENYA:  "London Bombing Cowardly"

Independent left-of-centre Nation (7/9):  “The barbrian and cowardly terrorist attacks, be they over religious or political grievances, wreak needless destruction to life and property.  They seriously disrupt the peace and tranquility that is a prerequisite for all human undertakings.  Fortunately for us all, they end up hardening people’s resolve to pursue with added vigour, their aims and their vision.  Such is the futility and stupidity of terrorism….Shame on the perpetrators for they again failed miserably.  All they did achieve was the callous and senseless murder of innocent men, women and children, and the disruption of talks vital for the future of Africa and global warming.”

"Let’s Address Root Cause Of terror"

Ambrose Murunga a columnist, writes in the Independent left-of-centre Nation (7/9):  Why are they getting sanctuary from the locals?  What message is it that previously neutral persons find so appealing that it has them volunteering for suicide missions in their hundreds?  Kenyans have been through two such attacks in the recent past, and would empathise with the Londoners recovering from the blasts.  But may be it is time governments around the world stopped railing at the symptoms and took an honest look at the reasons terrorism sprouts up in the first place: racial, social and political injustices.”

"This Spectre Of Terrorism Should Not Be Tolerated"

KANU party-owned Kenya Times (7/9):  “But while governments have a duty to ensure that the security of their citizens is guaranteed, the developed countries must forgo their hegemony over the Third World and sacrifice a few of their interests for the benefit of the poor nations and solve the crises that lead to terrorism.  Understood from this point of view, the attack on London sent a clear message--that the war on terror will not be won anywhere in the world through the efforts of a single nation or a group of nations but through the combined efforts of all nations of the world.”

TANZANIA:  "Bombs Won’t End Terrorism"

The Kiswahili independent, radical, daily tabloid Tanzania Daima commented (7/9):  “America’s closest ally Britain has now tasted the bitter effects of international terrorism first hand. This reminds us that the world is not a safe place and cannot be safe if rich countries continue with their current policies of believing that the use of military force is the best way to combat terrorism.  As John Kerry said last year, terrorism can only be contained if the whole world is involved in determining its causes and the right strategies to eliminate it. He rightly said it is wrong to believe that terrorism can be stamped out by the U.S. and Britain alone.  One of the causes of terrorism is that rich countries want to control everything in poor countries. But there are clever people like Osama bin Ladin who cannot bear to be mistreated. These are the ones doing what we are now witnessing.   Religion is not the cause of terrorism. Terrorism is the result of people being oppressed and being denied their rights. Oppressed people will always turn to terrorism so that they can obtain what they believe is rightly theirs.  We appeal to the U.S., Britain and their friends to change their policies. They should stop oppressing others, believing that their policies should be followed by the whole world.  Without going away from oppressive policies, the world will not be calm and terrorism will continue to be with us. We know the effects and we don’t want to experience them again.”

"Let Us Condemn and Reject Terrorism"

The Kiswahili independent and reliable tabloid Mwananchi editorialized (7/9):  “The recent terrorist bombings in London remind us of the 1998 attacks on the U.S. Embassies in Dar-es-Salaam and Nairobi. Other recent terrorist attacks include September 11, the ones carried out in Bali, Madrid, Turkey, Mombasa, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.  These attacks send one message: Despite the U.S. led war on terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq, the threat of terrorism in the world is still big.   We strongly condemn terrorism. Terrorism is murder and it is a great enemy of peace and development in society. We are aware that the perpetrators of terrorism justify their attacks citing oppression, denial of rights, etc. But this can never justify terrorism.   Another reason that is often given is the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Islamic holy cities. However, we believe that even if these complaints are justified, it is wrong to use terrorism to address them. Terrorism is a horrible crime. The victims are mainly innocent civilians who are in no way connected to the rights being demanded.   When terrorists bombed the U.S. Embassies in Dar-es-Salaam and Nairobi in 1998, it was ordinary Tanzanians and Kenyans who suffered most, not Americans. The same is valid for the attacks in Bali, Turkey, London, Saudi Arabia, etc.  It is very difficult to prevent suicide attacks. This is a challenge that calls for new approaches to fighting terrorism and eliminating it.  We appeal to security forces around the world to cooperate more closely in fighting terrorism. Terrorism should not be given room in any civilized society.”


CANADA:  "Barbarity"

Jean-Marc Salvet commented in centrist Le Soleil (7/8):  "This time, it is in London that the terrorists, blinded by hate and resentment, have committed unspeakable and cowardly attacks…. While terrorism specialists stress the organization and logistics behind the coordination of a series of attacks, [Thursday’s] events mostly remind us how easy it will always be for fanatic extremists to place bombs in public places….  These attacks will reintroduce in British Parliament controversial security laws set aside by Tony Blair’s government.  They will fuel the arguments of the hardliners.  These bombs have already reopened the issue of the presence of British troops in Iraq alongside U.S. divisions.  Nobody can deny that the war…has increased the risks taken by extremists…and their determination….  But let us not sink into naiveté.  Iraq has become an alibi, a useful pretext for those who want to sow terror and chaos.  If it were that simple Spain…would not be constantly on alert.  And France would not worry about attacks in the Paris subway.  If Paris is a target, it is because of the ban on wearing a veil in school….  The war on terror will last a long time, at least a generation.  To be won, it will need to be fought simultaneously on the political, military, police and intelligence fronts."

ARGENTINA:  "Simple Hands"

Marcelo Cantelmi, leading Clarin international editor, opined (7/9): "These attacks have a larger dimension than the shock they produced. Terrorists are aware that they cast a blow in the heart of the global leaders gathered in Edinburgh and of Tony Blair himself. In an instant, this attack evaporated the ephemeral glory of the Prime Minister after his triumphant debut at the EU Presidency and the gift of the Olympic venue for 2012. This is what makes the new threat, with Italy as a target, more credible. They know they can do it, and that the way in which they will be detained is not clear. Piously, we may say that the hands that lead the battle against this hidden enemy...are very simple. This enemy is an adversary that feeds on the mistakes of its opponent. When this enemy was able to go this far, the question is 'what would be a serious strategy to reverse this threat? Most likely, it isn't the one displayed in Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib; with the curtailment of individual rights, the collective guilt in Iraq or falsifying reality to buy people's minds. Clearly, this only 'fed' the 'monster' even though London, simply, insists in saying that Iraq had nothing to do with the attacks."

BRAZIL:  "Scenes Of WW III"

Columnist Carlos Heitor Cony observed in liberal Folha de S. Paulo (7/12):  “We must deplore the recent terrorist attack in London, but it should not be a surprise.  It was a predictable in a sequence of others already committed by terrorists and others that will still be committed. We are living in a war since September 11…. The most dramatic in this type of war, that is threatening to be the longest in history, is that it is not a traditional war…. It would be absurd in such a type of war if on Sept. 12, 2001 the attacked party launched a counterattack.  The counter offensive came slowly, in isolated moves against the suspects until reaching the invasion and occupation of Iraq, in an episode of traditional war.  The counterattack from the other party is already coming and will come in drops, in actions such as those of Madrid and London, with the surprise element prevailing over the technological superiority of the stronger side. This is why this war will not be won militarily, but politically.  More or less like it was possible to end the Cold War.”

MEXICO:  "Double Failure"

Juan E. Pardinas asserted in independent Reforma (7/10):  “London experienced for only one day the violence that Baghdad has experienced daily for the last two years.  If the existence of WMDs was the reason for the military invasion of Iraq, such action was a mistake.  If the military invasion sought to promote democratic stability and protect the Western World against terrorism, we are witnessing a double failure.  However, it would be a historical mistake for the U.S. and Great Britain to withdraw their troops from Iraq-as Spain did after the terrorist attacks in Madrid.  The withdrawal would not bring about peace, and the incipient Iraqi democracy would be at the mercy of the assassins who have carried their actions in London.  The statement ‘we all are citizens of London’ is repeated throughout the world.  The real and imaginary inhabitants of this wonderful city have the common mission of not letting hate contaminate our souls.”

GUATEMALA:  "Guatemala, Vulnerable To Terrorism"

Economical daily Siglo Veintiuno published a column by Francisco Cuevas (7/9):  "The first reflection on terrorism is its ability to show the world that it is a destructive and powerful force in any country in the world.  Second: the association of terrorist groups that would like to become allies with Al Qaeda, supporting their Islamic terrorism, of which any global security program is vulnerable to.  Finally: nobody is free from the consequences that terrorist attacks cause, including developing countries.  For which Guatemala should take the new terrorist scenario seriously....  Although it seems bizarre that our territory be used to give international terrorists an easy route to the United States, security deficiencies in our two international airports, seaports and borders make Guatemala an attractive country for international organized crime."

JAMAICA:  "Cowardly Attacks May Curtail Civil Liberties"

Jamaica's center left Gleaner stated (7/9):  “The bombings in London are fearful reminders of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S., the so called 9/11 start of the war on terror....  It is bad enough that the cowardly attacks on innocent targets have nebulous objectives other than instilling fear.  Worse yet is that the prospect of a trend toward curtailing of civil liberties in the established democracies may become a first line of defense against the terror of evil.”  

"If We Must Give Up Some Civil Liberties, So Be It."

Columnist Jean Lowrie-Chin opined in the centrist Daily Observer (7/11):  "I want to ask Amnesty International, wouldn't Londoners have been safer if those terrorists were under lock and key in Gitmo?  Yes, probe and send home the innocent, but arrest and restrain these veritable loose cannons....  I refuse to use the Iraq war to excuse terrorists for attacking innocent people.  A terrorist is a terrorist.  The long arm of the law must lock itself around them and make this world a very uncomfortable place for them.  If it means that we have to give up some of our civil liberties, then so be it.” 

VENEZUELA:  "A World Of Terror"

Journalist Augusto Hernández commented in national Ultimas Noticias (7/11):  “Who causes more terror: the one that puts bombs on the trains or the one that invades a country, subjecting its people by force?  I strongly believe that the American voters will end up understanding who George W. Bush is and the damage he has done to democracy and to the image of the his country overseas.  In the meantime, I have decided to include him on the list of the most fanatical extremists and with a small capacity to accept those who don’t think like him.  It is true that Al-Qaida terrorists deserve capital punishment for the barbaric acts, but it is also true that the America military might commits large-scale acts of terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and in other places under its control.  The U.S. President will have to live, from now until the end of his days, surrounded by body guards: a little enviable fate for someone that is supposed to be the world’s most powerful man.” 

"And Now London"

Columnist expert in security Marcos Tarre Briceño commented in leading liberal El Nacional (7/11): “The attacks are in the framework of the global strategy to ‘punish’ the nations that participate with their armies in the military operations in Afghanistan and, especially, in the invasion of Iraq.  What can we learn from the bombings in London?  First, that terrorism is a real and lethal threat.  That these criminals have detected the sensitive points, almost impossible to watch or control, of the modern cities, which is the public transportation system.  That these criminals are capable of killing innocent people with cruelty and insensitivity.  But the criminal acts that took place in London also show that the countries that are the target of terrorism, their rulers, authorities, police corps and media, have learned the lessons of the past, they are capable of minimizing the political objectives of the attacks, of paying adequate and respectful attention to the victims and that they will find the culprits and will make them pay for their acts, either before tribunals or in the secret wars the intelligence services wage.”


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