- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 26, 2003

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Changing rationale for war
LONDON [Prime Minister] Tony Blair may have won the war, but he is in danger of losing the peace. This country did not go to war in order to overthrow Saddam Hussein. The fact that Mr. Blair inserted that objective into his national address at the start of the conflict and the fact that Saddam's overthrow is overwhelmingly welcome do not alter that fact. Britain went to war in order to enforce U.N. resolutions that require Iraq to destroy its weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles. … The enforcement of the international mandated crackdown on WMD is absolutely at the heart of the whole Iraq crisis. It is the reason British troops are in Iraq. It is not some passing pretext which can be picked up or discarded according to convenience. It is therefore of more than academic importance to demand to know where Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and missiles are, and to demand that the U.N. should now continue to carry out its work of inspection to find them.

El Pais
Iraq's Shi'ite majority
MADRID Democracy, if it comes [to Iraq], won't come soon. There's little doubt that when Iraq eventually begins practicing the basic rule of 'one person, one vote,' the Shi'ites will control the south and east of a federally structured country. Although not all Shi'ites favor a theocracy like the one [Iran's late Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini imposed in neighboring Iran, this is a worrying possibility that must not be discarded. But what is incongruent is that [U.S. Defense Secretary] Donald Rumsfeld, after a war against a dictatorship, should suggest that the United States will not accept an Islamic regime even if it comes via the ballot box. One of the targets of the United States is the Shi'ite theocracy of neighboring Iran, another country considered part of [President George W.] Bush's "axis of evil." But it won't be easy for the U.S. to stop the Shi'ites extending their power not just in Iraq but in all of the Middle East.

Egyptian Gazette
The anti-Syria campaign
CAIRO Washington's intensified drive against Syria points to a reversal of roles in U.S. relations with Israel. It is a smear campaign by proxy to promote the Israeli agenda.
Apparently grateful to the Jewish state for steering clear of the war in Iraq, Washington wants to show its recognition in an unmistakable fashion. Syria is the arena.
Many eyebrows across the world have been recently raised, when senior U.S. officials fired verbal salvos against Damascus, accusing it of developing banned weapons and sheltering fleeing Iraqi officials. The American threats are so vociferous that the world wonders if Syria is the next target on the U.S. hit list.
Obviously at Israeli behest, the U.S. seeks to pressure Syria into expelling Palestinian groups and compelling Hezbollah to drop its anti-Israel agenda. Due to a war of attrition pursued by Hezbollah, the Israeli army carried out a messy and humiliating withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000. Another aim of the U.S. campaign is to force Syria into making peace with Israel on the latter's terms.

Asahi Shimbun
SARS and China's responsibility:
TOKYO The official number of cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Beijing turned out to be about nine times the previous stated figure. The world was stunned by the new revelation made by the Ministry of Health.
China's leaders must know how seriously China's credibility has been impaired by its efforts to hide information about SARS.
Governments must pay a high price for concealing information. We hope China's leaders will strive for a more open society, drawing a lesson from the experience of the SARS outbreak. As leaders of a great power, they are responsible to the global community, and their efforts to do so will be in China's own best interests.
There is so far no cure for SARS. Finding ways to treat the disease requires China, where many cases have been reported, to report infection routes of the disease and explain the nature of individual cases.
Leaders of nations in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will meet next week to discuss ways to deal with SARS. China should voluntarily send a representative to the session.
The spread of SARS must be stopped by international cooperation, based on close collaboration between China and the World Health Organization.

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