- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 2, 2002

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Yomiuri Shimbun
The 2002 Winter Olympics
TOKYO It was initially hoped to be an event to lift the dark shadows cast by the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States and to extol reconciliation and peace among the peoples of the world.
However, something went wrong. The Olympic Games have become tainted with distrust and suspicion. The Olympics' raison d'etre will be questioned unless drastic reform measures are taken to solve all the problems that came up one after another during the games.
After a French skating judge admitted being pressured by the president of her nation's figure skating federation to rank a Russian pair first, more trouble followed. Judges were successively suspected and protested against in snowboarding, short-track speed skating and cross-country skiing. …
It should be reaffirmed that the Olympic Games are not an entertainment event but an athletic meeting. The commercialism and expansionism inherited from the days of former International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch call out for urgent review.

The Jordan Times
Yasser Arafat's quarantine
AMMAN, Jordan The decision by the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday to continue the blockade on Palestinian President Yasser Arafat was yet another confirmation that [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon is determined to continue his aggression on the Palestinian people and his campaign to undermine their legitimate leader.
Since early December, when he decided to deprive Arafat of his freedom of movement, Sharon had been saying he would lift the siege as soon as the Palestinian National Authority arrested those responsible for the October killing of an ultra-nationalist Israeli Cabinet minister.
Arafat has detained the suspects in the killing.
But Sharon reneged on his pledge. …
Most Israelis should by now have realized that they are less secure today than they were before [Gen. Sharon] took office, one year ago.
It is peace, and not buffer zones, that will ensure their security and that of the Palestinian people.

The Egyptian Gazette
Aiming to oust Saddam
CAIRO Intentionally or not, the U.S. has recently upped the ante on Baghdad, reinforcing the belief that Iraq is the next target on Washington's anti-terror agenda. It has openly said it is ready to go it alone to bring about a change of the regime in Iraq, thereby setting off concerns worldwide over the scale and potential consequences of U.S. unilateralism. Except for London, all other allies of the U.S. have voiced stiff opposition to Washington's anti-Iraq agenda. Nonetheless, Washington looks set to spark off a new flash point in the already volatile Middle East.
One aim behind Washington's bellicosity is to ram its controversial "smart sanctions" planned for Iraq through the U.N. Security Council, which is due to make a final decision in May. So as the date draws near to the council's debate on the blueprint, Washington will predictably hype up its war rhetoric against Baghdad. It may even be tempted to pull the trigger before producing a shred of evidence that Iraq is behaving roguishly.

The Independent
Zimbabwe's presidential election
LONDON Less than two weeks before the voters of Zimbabwe go to the polls, it appears to be dawning on President Robert Mugabe that brutal intimidation, censorship of the media and rabid "anti-imperialist" bombast may not be sufficient to guarantee him re-election. This is one inference perhaps the most hopeful one that can be drawn from the arrest yesterday of the country's main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. … The evidence on which the charges are based seems equally spurious. It is contained in a mysterious video broadcast on Australian television, which purports to show Mr. Tsvangirai in talks to arrange the "elimination" of Mr. Mugabe. The video, which bore all the hallmarks of having been heavily edited, if not doctored, has been extensively replayed and reported in the state-controlled Zimbabwe media. Again, the aim appears to be not to prevent Mr. Tsvangirai from competing for the presidency, but to discredit him with the voters; to do everything to render the opposition unelectable, while still going through the motions of an election. …



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