- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 15, 2001

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world.


Corriere della Sera

Anti-terrorism and civil liberties

MILAN, Italy When the Cold War ended, most of the world's democracies cut military spending. With no real enemy to target, their intelligence services stopped monitoring "ordinary citizens" and started focusing on industrial espionage instead.

Governments gave the private sector, civil society, human and environmental rights groups more space to act in areas that were once off-limits to all but the state.

With the passing of the ideological conflict between East and West, new social struggles took center-stage the right to privacy, the rights of women and children, the humane treatment of animals and the scrapping of Third World debt.

But in the wake of the September 11 attacks, the state has reconquered lost ground. The United States scrapped the right to a fair trial in court cases dealing with immigration. President Bush banned several Islamic charity organizations without providing evidence of their alleged wrongdoing. The British government has authorized detention without trial for indefinite periods. The European Union has rushed to adopt wide-ranging international arrest warrant measures.


De Volkskrant

The EU and Yasser Arafat

AMSTERDAM The European Union has called on Palestinian leader [Yasser] Arafat to break up the "terrorist networks" Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.

Following the United States, Europe has also increased pressure on Arafat.

Just or unjust, Arafat is now considered to be the man who has to take the first step before peace talks can continue. Arafat is still seen as the man who is able to curb Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, although this is getting increasingly difficult.

We can ask Arafat to halt the terror, but on the Israeli side there also must be steps taken to make that possible.

The EU justly points out that Israel has to stop the executions-without-trial of persons who are suspected of terrorist activities. Also, Israel needs to withdraw from Palestinian autonomous areas and has to lift the blockades.

The recommendations from the EU are a first step.

But eventually [only] the United States has the power and influence to bring peace to the region.


As-Safir

Europe and Arafat

BEIRUT If one is to learn anything from the EU stance, it would be that this position should remove from our minds and calculations two great and dangerous myths:

The first and clearest myth is thinking we can depend on a European position that balances the American position, or one that influences it to our advantage, or to the advantage of what's right and just, or a kind of new cold war, however mild.

The second and deeper myth, is thinking that we can rely on "the international community" and "world conscience" and "the sense of justice and fairness" to compensate for our weakness.

The fall of the second myth should teach us that the "international community" is nothing but a grouping of interests a title for the strong and powerful winners, and we and our partisans are not among them.

Why do we confirm our need for others every day, when they are not in need of us?


Business Day

Zimbabwe and the regional economy

JOHANNESBURG Not for the first time, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) minister's delegation that met in Harare on Monday and yesterday was outmaneuvered by [Zimbabwean] President Robert Mugabe's embattled government. In the end, it spent more time expressing solidarity with Harare than focusing on the root causes of, and the possible remedies for, Zimbabwe's worsening malaise.

The opportunity for the SADC to help the people of Zimbabwe was lost once again because the delegation allowed Harare's bombastic foreign minister, Stan Mudenge, to make the outrageous opening statement that there could be "no sanctions smart enough to affect Zimbabweans alone."

The SADC should take the cue from President Thabo Mbeki and insist on the presidential election being free and fair.

Further, the body must expose the real meaning behind Mudenge's assertion that the region's "destinies are intertwined" by driving home the point that the anarchy in Zimbabwe is indeed negatively affecting all the countries in the region by discouraging tourism and investment.

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