- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 28, 2002

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Sydney Morning Herald
Force is not the answer
SYDNEY, Australia Well before George Bush made "regime change" a code for seeing Saddam Hussein off the world stage, the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, had talked even more frankly about getting rid of Yasser Arafat. In both cases, the suggestion of forcible removal of a political enemy through undefined means has aroused widespread unease in the international community.
Many agree that if Saddam and Mr. Arafat were no longer in power, the Iraqi and Palestinian peoples would be better off. But few, except among the most extreme elements in United States or Israeli policy-making circles, seriously think any political leader should be removed by war, assassination or other force.
What then is to be made of Israel's latest assault on the headquarters of the Palestinian leader in the West Bank town of Ramallah? The Israeli military operation against Mr. Arafat's headquarters began [Sept. 19] after a Palestinian suicide bomber blew up a Tel Aviv bus, killing himself and six others. The authorities say the siege was undertaken to arrest terrorists. Yet those responsible for last week's terrorist attacks are thought to belong to either Islamic Jihad or Hamas, organizations Mr. Arafat does not control.

The Guardian
Blair's approach to Iraq
LONDON [British Prime Minister] Tony Blair insists he has not changed his goals on Iraq or the means that he favors to achieve them. But the more immediate truth is that, over the past month, Mr. Blair's whole public approach to Iraq has been substantially redefined in a more measured way. Why this has happened is no mystery. It has happened because Mr. Blair's loyalty to a frighteningly unclear United States policy was causing him to lose too much domestic political support to ignore. Yesterday [Tuesday] in the House of Commons, the prime minister was therefore compelled to give a far more balanced, more focused and more factual account of the challenges posed by Saddam Hussein than he has given before. [T]he prime minister took his stand in the right places on the need to enforce U.N. resolutions, on the need for sustained engagement and on the dangers genuinely posed by the Saddam dictatorship. That approach is entirely in line with the poll finding yesterday that 86 percent of voters want to follow the U.N. and parliamentary routes. The problem and it is a huge one is that this is not the view of the U.S. government. The motion that Mr. Bush submitted to Congress last week gives him sweeping authority to do whatever he pleases over Iraq. All the administration's rhetoric is entirely in that vein and lacks any of the respect for other viewpoints that Mr. Blair has at last embraced. Somewhere down the line Mr. Blair may have to choose between the U.S. and the U.N.

De Telegraaf
Tony Blair and Iraq
AMSTERDAM British Prime Minister Tony Blair has given clarity: Iraq has chemical and biological weapons that can be ready for use against other nations or [Saddam Husseins] own people within 45 minutes. He also has ballistic missiles, and may soon have nuclear weapons to arm them with.
Iraq must get rid of its weapons, preferably voluntarily but, if necessary, involuntarily. If not, it will eventually be tempted to use them and not think of the consequences. That is reason enough for preventative action.

La Stampa
Berlin's criticism of Bush
TURIN, Italy [German Chancellor Gerhard] Schroeder and [his Foreign Minister Joschka] Fischer's criticism of Bush's military plans against Iraq is not a sign of anti-Americanism. Instead it indicates a new phase of shared responsibility between leaders of the European Union and the United States, especially concerning the question of the use of military force in international conflicts.
Critics of Schroeder's position on Bush's war must remember that Germany also sent soldiers to Kosovo, participated in military operations in Afghanistan, and expressed sincere condolences for the tragedy of September 11.
Schroeder's critique must be seen not as a regression but as a new phase. It is not anti-Americanism to doubt the direct connection between international terror and Iraq and to fear the destabilization of the entire Middle East after a military action disapproved of by all countries in the region. This is merely a new era in which cooperation between Europe and the United States includes criticism.

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