- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 16, 2002

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Le Monde

Milosevic in the dock

PARIS The trial of Slobodan Milosevic before the [International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia] at The Hague is a milestone in the slow emergence of a world order governed by law.

This advance … is unfortunately tarnished by the United States' denial of rights to the 457 prisoners taken in Afghanistan. …

They are imprisoned without status at least to begin with, since, bowing to pressure, President Bush has finally had to accord prisoner status to those of Afghan nationality. …

For the United States to want to try the al Qaeda terrorists before military tribunals is contrary to the spirit … of The Hague, because the [U.N. war-crimes tribunal] will carefully watch the conditions of Milosevic's defense. … Bush is giving arguments to the Yugoslav dictator, who denies the legitimacy of the court. … [Mr. Milosevic] believes the tribunal represents not law but the "justice of the strong."

Asahi Shimbun

South Korea politics

TOKYO South Korean President Kim Dae-jung is encountering greater difficulty than at any other time since he took office. A series of shady deals have come to light: Government officials and Kim's relatives are suspected of involvement in illegal loans to venture businesses, and some of the president's proteges have been forced to step down to take the blame. Meanwhile, relations between North and South Koreas have reached a stalemate.

If only for the sake of pressing ahead with worthwhile policies including improving people's daily lives, which he cited in his New Year's news conference as a national policy target, Kim must demonstrate determination in thoroughly investigating a series of suspected misdeeds and eradicating corruption. Otherwise, he will not win the public's understanding and support.

Because of his resilience in surviving crises, Kim is often compared to honeysuckle, a perennial plant whose leaves do not wither even in winter. In his last year as president, he should proceed as tenaciously as a honeysuckle.

The Jordan Times

Bombing the Gaza Strip

AMMAN, Jordan For the second consecutive day on Monday, Israel wreaked havoc on Gaza. Its F-16s and Apache helicopters bombed public buildings and Palestinian National Authority security offices. The raids injured scores of innocent Palestinians and sent hundreds of school children, who had just left their already damaged classrooms, running for their lives. Another regular day in the life of Palestinians living under occupation.

And another day in which Israel succeeded in making peace an even more distant goal.

Israel is dead wrong if it thinks that its suffocation of Palestinians, its undermining of their leadership and its destruction of their infrastructure is going to get it even a semblance of security.

By collectively punishing the Palestinian people, Tel Aviv is inviting further attacks and more violence. The roar of warplanes will certainly silence the voice of reason. If it wants calm, Israel has to help moderate Palestinians state their case. It cannot ask the Palestinian leadership to detain extremists in jails that its military machine continues to destroy. Day after day, it is becoming more obvious that the policies of Ariel Sharon are pushing the region toward the abyss. Something ought to be done.

But who is going to do it? Certainly not the Israeli government.

Yediot Ahronot

Bush and Iraq

TEL AVIV The Americans are hinting that they are about to embark on stage two of the war against terrorism with Iraq in their sights. America has to weigh its course carefully. Iraq is not Afghanistan and many Muslim states will say to President Bush: Enough. If war breaks out against Iraq, it may well be interpreted in Cairo, San'a and other places in the Muslim world as a war against Islam.

Many in the United States, in any case, already tend to say that this war is a personal vendetta of President Bush, settling accounts for [the failure of] his father, who tried to unseat Saddam Hussein, who is still in power while all those who fought him have long since been dropped from the stage of history.

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