- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 2, 2002

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Sueddeutsche Zeitung
The Moscow hostage crisis
MUNICH Russian President Vladimir Putin faced a terrible task, and he had no other option to deal with it than an attempt to liberate the hostages by force. …
It also remains a fact that the Kremlin chief reacted calmly in an extreme situation.
He learned from mistakes. Immediately after the storming of the theater, he publicly asked the dead hostages' relatives for "forgiveness" and visited survivors in their hospital beds. …
All this, however, should not block our view of the background.
The Moscow hostage-taking is and remains a direct consequence of the Chechen war for which Putin is partly responsible.
The killing and marauding of Russian troops in the Caucasus provides no moral justification for the attack in the Russian capital, which was sheer terrorism.
But what has been going on in Chechnya for the past eight years explains the biography of the hostage-takers. …
Violence leaves an impression. It has made countless men and women in Chechnya into anti-Russian rebels and some of them into terrorists.
That's why it is fatal to lump all of them in with the September 11 al Qaeda terrorists. …
Putin's tough answer will be misunderstood to mean that terrorism can only be defeated with an iron fist and the actions of Chechen hostage-taker [Movsar] Barayev will serve as an argument for Russia continuing not to look for a political peace in the Caucasus.

Egyptian Gazette
Arafat's battle for survival
CAIRO Long a symbol of Palestinian struggle for nationhood, Yasser Arafat is famed for his uncanny power to survive misfortunes. Although his current woes are unprecedentedly massive and multilateral, he continues to project the image of an unfazed leader.
Branding him Israel's "Enemy No. 1," Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dismissed him as irrelevant. Sharon's campaign to demonize Arafat to the outside world has made headway at least in the United States.
Apparently swayed by Sharon's propaganda's blitz, President Bush departed from [past American policy] to demand that Palestinians replace Arafat with a "different leadership not compromised by terrorism." His special envoy to the Middle East, William Burns, last week gave the cold shoulder to Arafat while marketing "a road map [to peace]" drafted by an international committee and endorsed by Washington.
Burns' scheme demands, among other things, that the Palestinians launch sweeping reforms. Months ago, Arafat himself pledged to pursue an overhaul of the Palestinian institutions. His new government is one such move. Whether the new government will be able to function under a ruthless Israeli siege is doubtful.
The big irony is that to bless any Palestinian reform, Washington will accept nothing less than Arafat's political disappearance.

Corriere della Sera
Brazil's presidential elections
MILAN, Italy Newly elected Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has inherited some notable economic achievements from his predecessor, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, although Brazil's foreign debt has reached U.S. $233 billion.
What fate fetters this Latin-American Colossus? After all, it doesn't lack energy resources nor raw materials for industry and agriculture. The problems faced by its many governments can be blamed on multiple factors, from historic traditions to social customs to geographical and climactic conditions.
The country has also experienced incessant population growth.
But the Brazilian experience is just one of many symbolizing an absence in the Third World of responsible policies aimed at curbing population growth and safeguarding the dignity of life.
Those who deny the gravity of this problem argue that population growth diminishes with economic progress and an improvement in standards of living.
However, at the U.N. World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in September, the demographic issue was ignored by almost everyone. Both pro- and anti-globalization proponents considered it "politically incorrect" to discuss the topic.
But this essential problem persists, as is testified by the many Brazilian children abandoned to live in the streets.

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