- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 5, 2002

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

The Star
AIDS 'population control'
JOHANNESBURG Small report, big implications. That's our reaction to an item in the paper last week, which quoted an authoritative American organization as saying that our population is set to decline by 25 percent between now and 2050.
If that were because South Africa was taking note of resources and sustainable development, and had found a sensible answer to curbing population growth, good and well. But the reality is that according to the Population Reference Bureau's data sheet, about 5 million of our citizens are living with HIV/AIDS. This is then related to the fact that South Africa is one of only three countries in Africa in which more people are dying than being born.
Even allowing for these figures being overstated, we believe the bureau provided more than enough food for thought (a drop from 44 million people to 32.5 million). But will it lead to a more convincing approach from government and health authorities?

Il Foglio
Russia's policy on Iraq
MILAN, Italy Last year the "two Ivanovs" seemed to quarrel incessantly. The first, Igor, Russia's foreign minister, expressed solidarity with U.S. policy against international terrorism. The second, Sergei, the defense minister, was more prudent, moving to exclude Russian support for America's attack on Kabul.
But now, the two Ivanovs work in harmony and both advocate Russian opposition to an attack by the United States on Iraq. However, they, like Russian President Vladimir Putin, consider that the alliance with America, following the September 11 attacks, has benefited Russia by eliminating the menace posed by Afghanistan.
Russia's army is being restructured to become a modern professional military force. For this reason, Igor Ivanov has convinced his colleagues of Russia's need to play an important role in international politics. Putin will have to impose his views on the United States to ensure that he is not left with a military and diplomatic establishment unnecessarily reinforced, and thus potentially destabilizing.

The Independent
The International Criminal Court
LONDON When the court is established it will be an important strengthening of the idea of universal human rights. With a remit to try crimes against humanity, it will hear the kind of cases that, from the Nazis at Nuremberg to Milosevic at The Hague, have until now been heard by one-off tribunals.
One of the obvious suspects who should end up in the dock of the new court is Saddam Hussein, on charges of using chemical and biological weapons and waging war on the Kurdish minority in Iraq. The United States knows that the court's powers would not be used against its private citizens or soldiers. Its purpose is to prosecute the orchestrators of genocide or serious war crimes.
The idea of making special concessions to one nation simply because it is so powerful is odious. Earlier this summer, the United States threatened to pull out of peacekeeping duties in Bosnia unless exemptions were agreed within days. They are still there. If the United States eventually comes round to joining the International Criminal Court just as it rejoined the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization this month it will not be because the European Union made some craven concessions today.

The failed siege
TEL AVIV Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's capitulation to American pressure to lift the siege on Yasser Arafat's headquarters in the Muqata compound highlights the haste with which the Cabinet decided to renew and tighten the siege 12 days ago. Cabinet ministers, enraged by the attack on Tel Aviv's Allenby Street, did not consider as they should have what the goals of tightening the siege were and what the chances were of achieving those goals, and they did not attempt to stop Sharon when he pressed for a decision to strike at Arafat's headquarters.
In Sunday's decision to cancel the siege, the prime minister behaved more judiciously, weighing the damage that had been caused and the lack of prospects for success. Unfortunately, he reached this stage only following a harsh Security Council resolution and in light of the United States' unequivocal position on the matter.
Operation "A Matter of Time" was an unmitigated failure. The Cabinet, acting at Sharon's urging, did not succeed in weakening Arafat's status. Indeed, Arafat's position was strengthened.

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