- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 29, 2001

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:
Asahi Shimbun
Sexual exploitation of children
TOKYO An international conference to combat the mushrooming problem of sexual exploitation of children was held on Dec. 17-20 in Yokohama.
Sexual abuse of children is a deep-rooted problem that defies any simple solution. Poverty, conflict, the collapse of the family, the profit-oriented culture of today and the proliferation of misinformation concerning sex have all complicated the task of wrestling with this problem.
An effective approach requires deep insight into human nature.
Sexual crimes leave a deep, often permanent scar on the victims, condemning them to a lifetime of suffering.
Damaging children amounts to damaging the future of humanity.
This is the message coming out of the conference that everyone should take to heart.

Daily Dispatch
A child is born
EAST LONDON, South Africa Indian poet and author Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) penned the words: Every child comes into the world with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.
Despite all the foibles, follies and failings of the human race, the Creator continues to stock up the world with new generations of the species with every birth of a child.
Each child bears a further message to humanity: Here is another chance we have been given to make this world a better place. Jesus, the Christ-Child whose birth in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago is celebrated today, to the believer offers the ultimate message that there is hope for the world.
For South Africa, if we wish to localize that message: Every South African child shares the same innocence, beauty, value, goodness and wonder as the Child of Bethlehem.
When those celebrating this religious day today contemplate the Child Jesus, they ought to see Him in every other child in this country.
Perhaps that will be a most powerful deterrent against the next child rape and child abuse.

Le Matin
Blocked from Bethlehem
LAUSANNE, Switzerland In the Middle East the dialogue of the deaf has been demonstrated by the ban imposed on the Palestinian leader's going to the Christmas Mass in Bethlehem. Ariel Sharon failed to realize that he was costing his country the sympathy that has been manifested since the Palestinian suicide attacks. The Israeli leader is blinded by the dogma of Europe's bad conscience toward Jews and has yet to understand that, since the war in Lebanon, public opinion has been more favorable to the Arabs of the territories, victims of a historic injustice.

Die Presse
American Flight 63
VIENNA, Austria We must renounce the misconception that Europe is not really involved in the campaign against terrorism.
It's easy to make fun of airport controls in the United States and accuse Americans of not being able to ask the right questions.
But who in Paris noticed that someone without luggage boarded a long-distance flight? Why didn't anyone there ask the right questions? Is European complacency still so widespread?
And why did it suddenly become known that a forging network exists in Brussels? If is was easy to identify, why wasn't it broken up?
There is certainly no way to protect ourselves completely from either murderers or the abuse of technology. But the incident on Flight 63 has shown us one thing: Before we begin talking about fate and unavoidable tragedy, security must be improved.

Berliner Zeitung
Terrorism, counterterrorism
BERLIN At the end of this year, there is no sign of a new world order emerging, as George Bush senior hoped it would after the Gulf war.
For now, chaos rules. Whether the power of the United States is sufficient to bring this chaos back under control remains uncertain after the overthrow of the Taliban.
If it can't, 2001 could also mark the decline of American culture. Freeing the world permanently of terror is, because it's unachievable, a delusion that could mean ever more war and new chaos.
Even when Osama bin Laden is in the hands of the United States, dead or alive, that won't mean the end of armed conflicts.
The conflict in the Mideast threatens to escalate further because Washington is hesitating to put its foot down.
The spreading violence is bringing extreme danger to the whole region and threatens important Western interests.

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