- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 23, 2002

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world
Jordan Times
On religious extremism
AMMAN, Jordan Coming on the heels of the communal riots and bloodshed between radical Hindus and Muslim extremists in the western Indian state of Gujarat, the ghastly attack on a Protestant church in Islamabad that took the lives of the worshippers and injured scores of others on Sunday suggests that religious intolerance and conflict in that part of the world are anything but waning.
Religious extremism is on the rise in many other parts of the world. Condemning interreligious bloodshed is obviously not enough. Much more needs to be done to reverse the tide of religious wars, which, history shows, have been the bloodiest.
Religious leaders must work harder to promote harmony among the faiths by encouraging grass-roots participation and involvement in exercises that show. Otherwise, all efforts will be remote and ineffective.
Muslims are requested to abide by the cardinal religious tenet: "You have your religion and we have our own." This edict should be emulated. Religious intolerance is a threat that should be addressed collectively through efforts that tackle all social, economic and political imbalances that trigger and feed it.

Folha de Sao Paulo
On U.S. nuclear plans
SAO PAULO, Brazil Focused on fighting terrorism, the U.S. government is causing world concern with a ghost that since the end of the Cold War has worried the world less and less: a nuclear war. A Pentagon confidential report says the United States plans to develop less powerful, more efficient nuclear bombs to destroy enemy countries' nuclear weapons protection systems.
Three instances, according to the report leaked [recently], would lead the United States to use nuclear weapons: In case enemies are able to resist non-nuclear attacks; in retaliation to a nuclear attack; in case of unexpected military developments.
It is the last instance that worries military specialists, for it would hypothetically open a window to attack any country threatening U.S. interests.
The threat of a nuclear conflict is real, according to the report, for the United States would have identified more than 10,000 underground military installations in more than 70 countries. Of that total, 1,400 would shelter massive-destruction weapons, missiles and military commands.
The arms race that followed World War II did not have launching nuclear bombs as a real objective. The United States and the former Soviet Union used them as a dissuasive power.
But now it is different. There is no possible dissuasion with terrorism. The outlook, as it emerges from the Pentagon report, is one of effective use of nuclear bombs. … The plan presents a militaristic recrudescence in the United States. September 11 attacks justify concern [about terrorism], but the reaction of the only superpower shouldn't be disproportionate to the facts that generated it.

Yediot Ahronot
On the Cheney visit
TEL AVIV [Gen.] Anthony Zinni has been appointed to decide whether [CIA Director George J. Tenet's] plan is being realized. From [Vice President] Richard Cheney's remarks, it seems that the general has been told to be strict with [Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat and therefore, the government pats itself on the back over the results of his visit. The editors believe that Vice President Cheney gave his tacit assent to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's conditions regarding Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's being allowed to return from the Arab League summit in Lebanon. The paper wonders if the Saudi peace initiative was not created in Washington, with the Saudis acting as the Americans' front-men.

Ma'ariv
On cease-fire talks
TEL AVIV The test will be in results on the ground only. All of the signs indicate that, regrettably, we are in a rerun. While the [Israeli Defense Forces] indeed carried out its part and withdrew from A areas, IDF intelligence reports reveal a chilling picture, and there is no change in the Palestinians' extremist rhetoric. Yasser Arafat feels that the wave of violence he has been riding for 1 years is finally beginning to bear diplomatic fruit. Then why shouldn't he continue on his current path?



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