- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 1, 2003

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:
Asahi Shimbun
Kowtowing to Washington
TOKYO Again and again, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Iraq should cooperate fully with the U.N. arms inspection team, and again and again he said this issue should be addressed by the entire world community. But he would not be drawn out further on that.
Koizumi most likely does not want to sully Japan's relations with the United States, especially now, when it must cooperate with the United States in addressing problems with North Korea.
But an attack on Iraq will have a serious impact on the Middle East and the global economy. It will also affect future Bush administration policy toward the "axis of evil" and the role of the United Nations.
A growing number of European critics, concerned over unilateral U.S. action, say the Iraq problem is really the American problem.
Japan cannot watch from the sidelines. Most of our oil comes from the Middle East. If the war triggers new terrorism, Japan could become a target.
Successive Japanese administrations have been very poor at providing calm, straightforward and constructive criticism of American actions. But this is the time for the Koizumi administration to do precisely that.

Svenska Dagbladet
Saddam is the problem
STOCKHOLM "Stop the war." That's the message shouted by pacifists at U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
There is no room in their world of ideas that Saddam Hussein is the problem.
Neither for the fact that Iraq has had more than a decade to do what some now believe will happen if the country gets just a little more time.
If there is armed action against Iraq, the full responsibility lies with Saddam Hussein.
Ha'aretz

Polls predicted outcome
TEL AVIV Television polls and the first results from ballot boxes Wednesday confirmed the trends the public opinion polls had been predicting: The Likud's parliamentary representation would grow substantially, putting Ariel Sharon in a position that practically guarantees the president will ask him to form the next government. The Labor Party, defeated at the polls (and barely passing Shinui), is meant to take up the difficult role of leading the opposition in the next Knesset. The national interest dictates that both parties should fulfill the roles the voters chose for them …
The election campaign gave the voter a choice between two diametrically opposed views, the Likud proposed continuing the hold on the territories, defining the Palestinian Authority as an enemy and seeking a military conclusion for the conflict. Labor proposed the opposite platform, resumption of negotiations with the Palestinians to settle the conflict on the basis of the Clinton framework accords.
Starting [now], enormous pressure from various directions will be applied on Labor to compromise its principles and join a government led by Sharon. The arguments will sound reasonable: The interests of the state are at stake, a stable government is needed, the American war with Iraq, Palestinian terrorism, deepening economic crisis. The Labor Party and its leader must remember that their responsibility equals the importance of the role mandated to the Likud and its leader, to stick to their platform, to use it to undermine government policies, to persuade the public … that their approach offers an alternative that far better serves the national interest.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung
Toying with Yugoslavia
MUNICH The latest product of the European Union's Balkan policies, the so-called "Serbia and Montenegro" to replace the Yugoslav federation, is being born under strange circumstances. …
On one side, there is Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica who, when he beat Slobodan Milosevic at the polls, made revival of the federation between Serbia and Montenegro a prominent aim.
Now he has had his party vote for the constitutional provision but against a law to implement it.
His opponent has been Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic, who long demanded independence from Belgrade. Now [Mr. Djukanovic] has agreed to a reorganization that stipulates that the federation with Belgrade will continue at least three more years.
Meanwhile, the Serbian prime minister, Zoran Djindjic, is rightly hitting out at Kostunica's way of dodging decisions. … He is doing it again with the EU-brokered reform in the Balkans that doesn't satisfy any of those involved.

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