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From the December 2001 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 48, No. 12)


War on Terrorism

BELGRADE NIN (independent political weekly), Oct. 11: America’s war against Afghanistan is seen by our public with mixed feelings....Having faced terrorism at home, we have naturally and sincerely joined [the]...anti-terrorist coalition....On the other hand, as a country that was cruelly bombed by Americans two years ago,...we naturally cannot be part of those who would wildly applaud...the same Americans because they bomb a poor, starving, bigoted people under the pretext of war against world terrorism.

SANTIAGO El Mercurio (conservative), Oct. 8: The war has begun. For the time being, it is focused on precise objectives....The risks of escalating the conflict are extremely high....As the president of the republic has said, we stand against terrorism, but more specifically we stand beside the United States,...[which] has sought to create a broad coalition,...the start of a new climate of cooperation and unity in a world shaken by the violence.
—Enrique Correa

BEIJING China Daily (government-owned), Oct. 9: Terrorism is the common enemy of the entire human race. It has constituted a serious threat to world peace and stability. The fight against international terrorism will be a tough and long-term task that requires the coordinated efforts of all countries. To this end, consensus should be reached that the United Nations should play an important role in the global efforts to fight international terrorism.
—Hua Hua

VILNIUS Respublika (independent), Oct. 11: The war in Afghanistan is already accepted by the Western community. But it looks as if the war could be extended—neighboring Pakistan is boiling over. If allies of the Taliban took over there, there could be serious difficulties for the rest of the world, since Pakistan has the nuclear bomb.

BUENOS AIRES Página 12 (center-left), Oct. 9: Were it not so tragic, so pitiable, a smile would be in order upon observing images that show U.S. airplanes dropping parachuted boxes of “humanitarian aid” to defenseless Afghans. These images, yes, are curiously [broadcast], unlike those displaying the damage wrought by the bombardments, which according to the “official story” (the only one we are allowed to hear), only strike military targets and not the civilian population.
—Washington Uranga

CHRISTCHURCH The Press (conservative), Oct. 9: The initial attacks give optimism that the United States does have an intelligent strategy in place. Above all, it realizes that military action must be quarantined as an attack only on terrorists and their backers, and balanced by humanitarian measures. To do otherwise would further foster a culture of hatred that would breed more Bin Ladens.

SOFIA Demokratsia (Union of Democratic Forces), Oct. 9: The insufficient and uneven democratic development of nations seems to be the main cause [of terrorism]....The terrorist wishes to wreak havoc in the civilized world. This desire is accompanied by a strong wish for self-destruction and spiritual annihilation. The very development of civilization will transfer terrorism to space. By hitting space telecommunication systems, extremists could disturb the functioning of developed societies.
—Blagoe Grahovats

JAKARTA Kompas (independent), Oct. 9: Even if Osama bin Laden were caught, this would not necessarily put an end to terrorism. As long as its root [is] not properly taken care of, there will always be more Osamas....The root of the problem is injustice. Especially injustice in the Middle East.

HAVANA Granma (Communist Party weekly), Oct. 14: It’s not a war against terrorism, which could and should be waged in a faster, more effective, and lasting way. That opportunity was within reach. But now it’s a war...whose military operations will make terrorism much more complicated and difficult to eradicate. It’s a remedy worse than the illness itself.

HARARE The Sunday Mail (government-owned weekly), Oct. 7: The causes of this war are not difficult to find. The Muslim hatred toward America is [a reaction to] U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East....If the Americans could not bomb Viet Cong guerrillas in their foxhole tunnels, it is going be tougher to bomb Bin Laden out of those bald-headed mountains, which have no easy roads for “special forces” to move on.
—Brigadier Felix

OSLO Aftenposten (conservative), Oct. 9: If Bush wins, it is imperative that he avoids sliding into a religious war..., a clash of civilizations, but manages to play on the disgust of the average person over the death of innocent fellow beings to terror. He must ally himself with these feelings against Osama bin Laden, who wishes to draw him into a war between Islam and Christianity. —Nils Morten Udgaard

NEW DELHI The Economic Times (conservative), Oct. 9: That both the United States and Bin Laden recognize there is a propaganda war to be fought is not in doubt. What is important is for the United States to recognize—as Bin Laden almost certainly does—that the propaganda war is far more important than the military one. For a U.S. military victory would be at best short-lived if Bin Laden succeeds in convincing the average Muslim that Islam and the West cannot coexist.

ROTTERDAM NRC Handelsblad (independent), Oct. 9: The war against terrorism is not a new crusade. But extremist Muslims...see things differently. They are at war against the unbelievers, the half-believers, and those who have fallen away. The unbelievers—that is us, the West. The half-believers are the countless Muslims whom the fundamentalists believe they can win over. They belong, in the majority, to the camp of peace and reason.

CAIRO Al-Ahram (semi-official), Oct 9: Our wish is that the United States win the fight against terrorism. However, we do not want this war to create new generations of terrorists, who would be crueler and more atrocious than their predecessors. The announcement by the United States that this war could widen to include other areas is very dangerous, since it will confuse right with wrong and lead to more hatred and animosity.

SINGAPORE The Straits Times (independent), Oct. 9: The broader war on terrorism has to be fought on many fronts— financial, diplomatic, political, and psychological....Recognizing this, governments should not allow themselves to be distracted by the military strike, spectacular though it may be. They must continue to eliminate networks in their midst, cooperate on intelligence matters, and monitor financial transactions to starve terrorists of funds.

AMMAN Al-Ra’i (pro-government), Oct. 5: The question is what will happen if and when and after the Taliban are destroyed? Will Afghanistan be better? Will it have a new leadership? But more important, we should realize that the existence of the Taliban and even worse groups like Al Qaeda is the direct result of [U.S-supported] domestic repression of Islamist groups in Arab countries....The solution to all these problems is this: The new “cold war” against terrorism cannot be one of bombs and missiles but of diplomacy, economic support and investment, and the elimination of the sources of terrorism (such as poverty and repression).

DAKAR Walfadjri (independent), Oct. 9: Arab countries allied with the United States are keeping silent since the strikes in Afghanistan, which [conveys] the embarrassment felt by leaders caught between anti-American public sentiment on the one hand, and a strategic and financial dependence on Washington on the other.

JERUSALEM Hatzofeh (right-wing, religious), Oct. 8: The Americans, the only superpower, believe in the primitive idea that murder is revenge. They also haven’t heard that “one makes peace with one’s enemies.”....You don’t speak of terrorists—instead you drop explosives on them....The Americans are responding correctly, in a fit manner, a fine and measured reaction. Exactly as we need to behave with respect to our “Bin Laden.” We need to applaud and learn from him. Omri Sharon [Ariel Sharon’s son], please wake up your dad and turn the television on for him.
—Gonen Ginat

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