- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 31, 2002

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

The Guardian
Odd man out
LONDON For months, [Prime Minister] Tony Blair has repeated a mantra. Military action against Iraq is not imminent. We are not yet at the point of decision. We should not get ahead of ourselves. Debate, when it comes, can only take place at some unspecified time in the future. The phrases are familiar. Mr. Blair's mantra was never satisfactory in the first place. But in the light of the debate that has burst out in the United States, Mr. Blair's continuing failure to speak for British and European interests on Iraq has become irresponsible and indefensible. America's debate is public, intense and high-level. If Monday's speech by Vice President Dick Cheney means what it says (which one has to assume it does), the administration has made up its mind to act and now seeks support for war. It follows that Britain has its own choices to make.

Asahi Shimbun
The world summit
TOKYO This summit is important to the sub-Sahara nations of Africa afflicted with poverty and armed conflict. African nations have been left behind in economic globalization, largely because they get less aid from the developed world as their strategic importance has diminished since the end of the Cold War, and because of low prices for raw materials.
Developed nations must increase economic assistance and open their market to the developing nations. Beyond that, however, there is no way to help those "basket case" countries whose leaders have given up halfway into the process of nation-building and are preoccupied with power struggles.
Democracy and economic development should not necessarily have Western nations as the sole model. African nations, bringing together people of many ethnic backgrounds, should have their own development models.

Israel's Arab citizens
TEL AVIV Israeli citizens are sitting in jails for inciting, transporting or otherwise aiding terrorist attacks. There was even an Israeli suicide bomber. According to data issued last month by the head of the Shin Bet [security service], Avi Dichter, approximately 100 Israeli Arabs have been arrested on suspicion of assisting attacks, from the start of 2001 through last month.
Any attempt to besmirch an entire public, to the effect that it is a fifth column working to eliminate Israel, is both unfair and unfounded. The vast majority of Israeli Arabs are not involved in violent actions against the state and the Jewish public, even if considerable sections of the Arab sector identify with the struggle of the Palestinians in the territories against the Israeli occupation.
Anything touching on the network of relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel touches a raw nerve. While the Israeli establishment indeed sinned over the years in neglecting the Arab sector, responsibility must also be laid at the feet of the Israeli Arab political leadership. Almost all of those sitting in the Israeli parliament on behalf of Arab parties choose to wave the flag of the Palestinian national struggle, not that of the struggle for equality.

The Sowetan
The wrong drummers
JOHANNESBURG It would not be an exaggeration to suggest that mass action or popular protest helped free our country from apartheid. Together with the armed struggle, marches forced the white minority regime to accept that apartheid was unsustainable as an ideology.
Peaceful marches have a place in a democratic society. But it is becoming increasingly clear that some of the planned protests have, as their major goal, the intention of making this week's World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) fail. This should not be allowed.
The anger of the protesters, fueled by concern that the WSSD may not come up with much for the poor, is understandable.
The world's leaders need to be reminded as they meet in Sandton, most of our neighbors will be staring starvation in the face.
But derailing the WSSD flies in the face of the rationale of the marchers. Endangering the lives of the demonstrators by proceeding with an illegal march may produce good TV footage and deliver another martyr for the protest brigade. But it will not put bread on the table of the poor.

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