- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 21, 2002

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Assassinations, land mines
COPENHAGEN One could have feared the worst after information from Washington [last] weekend that the CIA now has the president’s permission to kill 25 named terrorist leaders no matter what country they are in if the CIA decides it is impractical to catch them.
Plus, there is the announcement that the United States is stockpiling land mines in countries neighboring Iraq with the right to use them in a coming war, regardless of the fact that other NATO countries have decided to ban land mines and regardless that they don’t fit with the president’s promises of a short, high-tech military solution to the Saddam problem.

Dubious Likud methods
TEL AVIV The weekend papers provided sufficient material for the police to start an official investigation of alleged criminal activity in the election of the Likud’s slate for the next Knesset. It seems the election mechanism implemented by the Likud left an opening for fishy characters and dubious methods to substantially influence the party slate. It is in the best interest of the Likud to have the police investigate the validity of these complaints as thoroughly and quickly as possible. Criminal behavior would poison the way the party functions, contaminate its ability to manage state affairs and tarnish its image.
If criminal behavior is condoned, Likud will eventually pay the price and be kicked out of power. But even if it transpires that the allegations against several candidates and ballot contractors in Likud are unfounded, the internal elections in the party have revealed a cultural phenomenon that must be addressed. Apparently, people with proven criminal records and others with dubious ones have become power brokers in Likud. Representatives who hold the highest jobs in the country are not ashamed to socialize with families that have a less-than-spotless reputation.
A public leadership that does not shun criminals or people on whom the police is keeping tabs leads to a blurring of the distinction between right and wrong. …

Le Figaro
The war against terrorism
PARIS France has already been a battlefield of two world wars. It couldn’t escape Islamic terrorism that, operating everywhere, has taken on a global dimension since the thunderbolt of September 11. As in 1914 and 1939, our country is a central actor on the international stage. And therefore a target …
In the eyes of Osama bin Laden, France still carries the sin of having, like Great Britain, oppressed Muslims in Algeria, then in the Middle East. …
Our country is also a breeding ground. The presence of 6 million Muslims allows al Qaeda to recruit many militants, who, living in the heart of enemy territory, are difficult to catch before they act. …
Communism, which claimed to be converting the world with Marx and the Red Army just as Osama bin Laden wants to have it submit to the law of the Koran, finished by collapsing. But when facing an enemy without a flag or borders, victory will demand even more patience and determination. …
France may be finding itself engaged in a hundred years’ war.

Asahi Shimbun
Expanding the EU
Tokyo The European Union is currently facing two crucial East-West problems. The first is the need to advance smooth acceptance of countries in the Eastern bloc during the Cold War. The second is whether or not Turkey, a genuine crossroads between East and West, will be allowed into the EU fold.
It is quite possible that opening EU membership to Turkey, which straddles the border between East and West, could trigger an endless stream of requests for admission from other EU hopefuls. Then again, clear improvements in Turkish democracy and human rights would leave little grounds for rejection under the EU pact.
So far, the integration of Europe has been advanced without any clear indication of just how far the borders of the EU will be allowed to expand. In facing the issue of whether to admit Turkey, debate on this issue can be expected to broaden. …
The countries of Europe are populated by large numbers of Muslims, and many residents are of Turkish descent. There are also Islamic nations such as Albania. …

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