- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 10, 2002

Here are excerpts from editorials around the world:


La Repubblica

on the American economy

ROME President Bush declared on Monday that he remains optimistic about the American economy, but the more he repeats these statements, the more ineffectual they become. The International Monetary Fund has lowered its projections for American growth, and America is on the verge of a relapse into recession.

These 900 days of falloff in the market approaches the record of the Great Depression. There are fundamental differences between then and now, but there are also similarities: the risk of war, protectionist tensions that could slow down globalization, xenophobic reactions to immigration, an imbalance of the funds accumulated during the boom.

O Estado de Sao Pauloon U.S. support to South American economiesSAO PAULO, Brazil Banks in Montevideo had returned to normal work when U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill visited Uruguay this past week. Besides supporting an agreement between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Uruguay, the United States advanced a $1.5 billion emergency loan to allow banks to restart operations. Is Washington policy regarding Latin America changing?

If there was a change, it was prompted by the perception of two facts: First, the economic crisis in Argentina was not confined to that country; second, the price of a financial disaster in Brazil would be too high, with repercussions probably all over Latin America.


The Jordan Times

on U.S. military action against Iraq

AMMAN, Jordan If the U.S. is to launch a war against Iraq soon, what legitimizes such an attack from both national and international perspectives?

Internationally, an attack by any U.N. member state against another must reckon with the U.N. Charter. None of the existing U.N. Security Council resolutions on Iraq offers a legal basis for a fresh attack on Baghdad.

What complicates and even clouds the issue of whether to start a war against Iraq is the incoherence of the rationale offered to explain the urgency of such a war. For national and international purposes, one wonders what really is the ultimate objective of a U.S. war on Iraq. Is it the toppling of the Iraqi regime led by Saddam Hussein? Or is it the elimination of all real or imaginary weapons of mass destruction existing on Iraqi soil?


Le Figaro

on the figure skating scandal

PARIS The Salt Lake City Olympics skating scandal is pushing the sport into the dangerous sphere of influence of organized crime. And not just any organized crime since, if one believes the FBI's sleuths, a certain Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, who allegedly "fixed" the medals, is supposed to be a figure in the Russian mafia.

Organized crime seems to have set its heart on professional sport. In Russia, the few sporting authorities who have dared to stand in the way of the gangsters have died in the attempt.


The Jerusalem Post

on a report that dubs Saudi Arabia as an enemy of the United States

JERUSALEM The record shows that Team B is generally more accurate than its civil service counterparts, and the conclusions it brings to the table should not be readily dismissed. Though the CIA's reaction to Team B's Cold War recommendations was to disband the group and bury its conclusions, the truth of its analysis ultimately prevailed. This time around, America's policy-makers should and will likely heed such warnings in a more timely fashion, and recognize Saudi Arabia for what it is a hostile foe of Israel and the West.


Straits Times

on Taiwan

SINGAPORE At best, it was an off-the-cuff remark that did not signal any dramatic change in official policy; at worst, it was an act of provocation certain to have consequences. The "it" is President Chen Shui-bian's call for a referendum to decide if Taiwan should go it alone as a separate country. "Taiwan is our country, and our country cannot be bullied, dwarfed, marginalized or regionalized," he said. "Simply put, Taiwan and China are countries on each side of the Strait. That has to be clarified," he said, calling for a referendum.

Taiwan would be well-advised to desist from adopting this kind of stance.

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