- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 1, 2001

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Tages-Anzeiger
The next step in the war
ZURICH Victory makes you hungry. Because the campaign against the Taliban was a piece of cake, President Bush already has his next target in sight Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The accusation is old: Saddam produces weapons of mass destruction. What's new is that this is being classed as a terrorist act. With this definition the United States is trying to create a justification for war.
There are more than enough grounds for longing for an end to Saddam. But starting a war at this time would be a fatal error. The Taliban are still not defeated and Osama bin Laden not captured.
Second, a war against Iraq might well be the death blow for the anti-terror coalition. The anti-American voices in the Arab world would not allow Middle Eastern leaders to support a war against Saddam. The people do not see the Iraqi dictator as a terrorist, especially as Washington has no proof that he was involved in the September 11 attacks.
Third, the military conditions do not exist for a successful war against Iraq. Unlike in Afghanistan, the Americans cannot rely on allied fighters in Mesopotamia.
Finally, there is no political strength for a new order in Baghdad. There are only a few exiled, dissident Iraqi splinter groups.

The Cape Times
Cloning human embryos
CAPE TOWN, South Africa Predictably, a storm of protest has arisen following the announcement by scientists that they had successfully fashioned the world's first cloned human embryos.
The company responsible has said that their intent is not to clone human beings as such, but to develop the means to grow human tissue and possibly organs a sort of spare-part business for humans.
But at what price do we tinker with the very basics of humanity? And how do we judge perfection? Already there are countries where girl babies, deemed to be a drain on families, are identified during prenatal screening and aborted clearly a case where beneficial technology becomes subverted.
Perhaps Raymond Flynn, a former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, summed up this new development most succinctly when he said: "Some may call it a medical breakthrough. I believe it is a moral breakdown."

Liberation
Afghanistan, heal thyself
PARIS Afghanistan, before hoping to rebuild itself, needs to pour cold water on its fever.
Unfortunately, Afghanistan is not starting from zero but from a mixed accumulation of former conquerors, former conquered, etcetera. And its national unity remains to be demonstrated.
The American intervention and the fall of the Taliban offer a unique opportunity to pick up the pieces. If the chance isn't grabbed, it might not come back for a long time.
In some ways, it isn't the Americans' problem. The improvement of the lot of the Afghans is for them a secondary benefit at best, in comparison with their principal objective of the destruction of Al-Qaida.
In fact, the disinterest of Washington in Afghan politics is the reverse of the priority it gave to its anti-terrorism goals. To avoid being implicated is also to avoid making enemies and to assure the widest collaboration.

The Jordan Times
The postwar conference
AMMAN, Jordan Representatives of Afghan factions opened historic talks in Bonn on how to share power and secure peace across their war-torn nation once the Taliban are smoked out by the U.S.-led military alliance.
They have a historic opportunity to stabilize their country and avert a repeat of fighting between rival warlords after they drove out Soviet occupiers in 1989. But they must help create credible institutions in which all Afghans are represented and which are regarded as legitimate by the Afghan people.
Yet, no one is under any illusions that the problems of Afghanistan will be solved in a matter of days. The meeting is the first step in a lengthy process filled with political mines and competing agendas.
Any outcome has to win a minimum of understanding from key power-brokers like Russia, Pakistan and Iran, and to have the blessing of the United States and the United Kingdom.
For the burden of peace rests on the Afghan people themselves. Otherwise, all the ingredients are there for a return to the anarchy that reigned when rival factions battled for power and money before the Taliban takeover.

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