- The Washington Times - Friday, June 18, 2004

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

The Egyptian Gazette

The future of Iraq

CAIRO — The days ahead are tough for the Iraqis, their new interim government and the United States. … In a couple of weeks, the U.S.-led occupation authority will transfer power to the Iraqi government. … Among the new government’s immediate tasks is to establish security in the largely chaotic country.

Iraqis need to feel that the transfer of sovereignty is genuine and that the new government is theirs. But the latest events in Iraq bode ill for [Prime Minister Iyad] Allawi’s government, set up along ethnic lines.

The situation is no less worrying for the United States. While it clinched a unanimously adopted resolution from the U.N., blessing the creation of a sovereign government in Iraq and the presence of a U.S.-led multinational force, the latest upsurge of violence puts this international commitment to the test. Very few countries are willing to share the human and financial burden in Iraq. …

What feeds fears is that no end looms in sight to Iraq’s anarchy, which is escalating rather than declining.

El Mundo

EU Parliament election

MADRID — Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski called his fellow citizens “irresponsible” and “immature” for their scant participation of only 20 percent in the European elections.

… It is necessary to … comprehend why 56 percent of eligible voters in the 25 member states decided not to cast ballots.

The EU has become an economic giant, but it is still a political dwarf because of popular indifference and profound divisions among the governments in essential matters such as the politics of defense and security, as during the Iraq crisis.

The time to stop the clock has come, … to reflect on the Europe that we are creating and whether it makes sense to continue with a constitution, which as shown in these elections, generates zero enthusiasm among Europeans.

Khaleej Times

The Srebrenica massacre

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Bosnian Serb officials have, for the first time, admitted that their troops carried out the infamous Srebrenica massacre that killed tens of thousands of Muslims at the height of Bosnian war between 1992-95.

The admission … does little to cheer up the survivors. … It will only rake up the old wounds and terrible memories of the trauma the Bosnian Muslims suffered at the hands of the marauding mobs of Serbian murderers. …

Bosnia has been part of Europe’s collective memory. How the Serb troops, at the height of the Balkan conflict, overran a U.N.-declared safe zone in Srebrenica and slaughtered thousands of Muslim men and boys and heaped abuse on their women cannot be easily forgotten.

Sydney Morning Herald

The U.S. military posture

SYDNEY, Australia — Washington is moving away from the conventional security approach its static northeast Asian military bases represent. … It wants a more agile, flexible force closer to areas of instability, such as pockets of Islamic extremism suspected of sheltering terrorist networks.

The proposal for joint training facilities in northern Australia, which could bring thousands of American troops to train at upgraded bases in the Northern Territory and far north Queensland, is part of this new strategic vision. It has been welcomed by the Australian government.

The compliance of other governments in the region, however, is less certain. …

Asia’s rapid economic growth, especially over the past two decades, has buoyed regional confidence. … New diplomatic and strategic initiatives are also fostering cooperation. This means much of East Asia is becoming less reliant on the U.S. military for its sense of security. This should not be mistaken for an anti-U.S. trend. …

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