- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 20, 2001

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Frankfurter Allgemeine
Middle East terrorism
FRANKFURT, Germany How is one to combat terrorism in the Middle East?
Even the United States knows that merely dropping bombs on Kabul will not suffice.
Many past military interventions like those in Somalia and even the Persian Gulf suffered from the lack of clear, practical ideas for a subsequent political order.
Do such ideas exist in the case of Afghanistan and terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, whose standing among the Islamic masses is growing?
Some critics of the United States say the right way is to introduce a civil society in Afghanistan, to promote democratic structures in the country and even to build up women's groups instead of dropping bombs.
But this is the West telling people what to do again, the very thing that terrorists are not alone in rejecting. Besides, the question remains whether that requires ousting the ruling Taliban militia first. As long as it is in power, all these good intentions do not have the slightest chance of being implemented.
Nonetheless, Afghanistan does need a new order. The old forces have been discredited.
Once the Taliban regime has been removed, an order acceptable to as many Afghans as possible must be found. Given ethnic and religious rivalries, that will not be easy. Moreover, Pakistan's and Iran's interests have to be considered.

Corriere della Sera
On international politics
MILAN, Italy U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, like his predecessor James Baker during the Gulf war, is attempting to build a great coalition, and, like Baker he has to assure America's new allies that their efforts will be adequately compensated.
But there's a great difference between the old coalition and the new the first was built to achieve a short-term objective, Kuwait's liberation, and then dismantled; the second has to last until the long war against terrorism is won.
It's early days, but the crisis that started on Sept. 11 has already produced winners and losers on the international stage.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has become along with Britain and Pakistan, America's main strategic partner. He can now justify Russia's intervention in Chechnya and can claim NATO needs to be reformed.
Israel's prime minister, Ariel Sharon, is among the losers. America will not abandon Israel and will continue to guarantee its security. But Sharon can't count on U.S. "benevolent neutrality" in the Palestinian conflict.
Europe is also a loser, no longer at the center of world politics as during the Cold War. Britain is playing a high-profile role as America's traditional ally, while the other states have been scampering individually to Washington hoping to win a place in the sun.

Asahi Shimbun
Horror of biological weapons
TOKYO The most recent anthrax scare has renewed the horror of potential terrorist acts involving biological weapons, not only against people in the United States, but throughout the world.
Terrorists seek to instill fear. If people are cowed by the shadow of terrorism, allowing their routines to be disrupted, they play into the hands of the terrorists.
The United States government must not only increase security, but must establish procedures for medical care and information disclosure that will be a model for the rest of the world.

Bombing Afghanistan
PARIS As it enters its second week of selective bombing of Afghanistan, the United States gives the unpleasant impression of indecisiveness. Its war aim is to render [Osama] bin Laden's few thousand men harmless by neutralizing the Taliban regime that has set itself up as a protector of the terrorist network.
For the moment, nothing seems to be going according to plan.
By constantly putting off the question of post-Taliban power, the United States is condemning itself to continuing the bombing which will necessarily create civilian victims, without making sense to ordinary people for much longer.
It is high time Washington understands this and remembers that it is possible to devise, with United Nations help, a solution to the question of transitional power in Kabul.

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