- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 23, 2002

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:
Egyptian Gazette
Expect more tough talk
CAIRO American anti-Baghdad rhetoric is most likely to increase in the weeks ahead, particularly until May, when the U.N. Security Council decides on revamping the sanctions regime imposed on Iraq more than a decade ago.
Washington's bellicose rhetoric has created a rift between the U.S. and its European allies, who accuse the world's only superpower of unilateralism in affairs that have a direct bearing on global stability.
Talking while one finger is on the trigger may well produce the opposite results and is bound to compound global fragility and heighten feelings of vulnerability. Militarism does not sound such a good idea to make the world feel secure.
In the case of Iraq particularly, the U.S. has not come forward with a single shred of evidence to support the accusation that Baghdad is involved in terrorist activities and building weapons of mass destruction.
What is ominously grave is Washington's renewed resolve to topple the Iraqi regime. Besides setting a precedent, this move would spell massive trouble. It will open the door for Iraq's partition and plunge an already volatile region into chaos.

The Guardian
Zimbabwe's political crisis
LONDON As insults fly, sanctions bite, and the political situation in Zimbabwe moves from serious to critical, a sense of perspective is increasingly important. Robert Mugabe, despite his racist taunts, intimidatory tactics and homophobic rants, has not rejected the democratic principle outright. He seeks to manipulate, not abolish, it. … The president still craves the respectability, at home and abroad, that an election victory alone can confer. …
Although he has cruelly exploited the issue, disproportionate white ownership of the best farming land is an abiding problem. And despite his ruling elite's economic mismanagement, corruption and abuses, Mr. Mugabe himself remains a sober, even austere figure. No profligate Ferdinand Marcos or Papa Doc he, nor a barking, bonkers Bokassa either. Far less is he Africa's Saddam, an absurd comparison conjured by yesterday's Tory claim that Zimbabwe is a potential "rogue state." …
With any ensuing state of emergency and army intercession would come the death of all lingering adherence to democratic principle. Zimbabwe's whole future is now at stake. Yet it is still hard to believe, despite everything, that Mr. Mugabe would make unmitigated despotism his final bequest to his young nation. As the West looks on impotently, it now falls to his neighbors to talk him back from the brink.

Asahi Shimbun
President Bush and Japan's woes
TOKYO The Japan seen by President George W. Bush must have been quite unlike the Japan his father George Bush saw when he visited a decade ago.
What a big difference a decade makes. Japan's presence as an economic power is barely perceptible now. Beyond that, the weakness of the domestic economy is seen as the biggest peril to the global economy.
Bush said a robust Japanese economy is in the world's best interest. Although his comment was benign, his remark should be taken as an expression of strong misgivings. And his feelings are undoubtedly shared by the leaders of European and Asian nations.
Japan must face up to such stern global appraisal.
In a press briefing after his meeting with Bush, [Japan's Prime Minister Junichi] Koizumi said, 'Policy measures must be coordinated with members of the Diet. Reform takes time, but it is making steady progress.' What is so badly needed now, however, is prompt action. …

Jordan Times
Israeli-Palestinian violence
AMMAN, Jordan For over 19 months, Jordan, Egypt, the United States, Europe and many members of the international community have been trying to put an end to the violence that engulfed the Palestinian territories and Israel. Their efforts have come to naught. The responsibility for that falls on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
The Israeli premier is still refusing to accept that there can be no military solution to the Palestinian issue. His failure to see the inevitability of reaching a political solution to the problem is inflicting a heavy human and material toll on Palestinians and Israelis alike. …

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