- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 22, 2003

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:
The people speak up
LONDON They came, they marched, they went home. It is fitting that the issue of war brought so many out on so many streets. [Last] weekend saw the kind of global protest that few arguments can inspire. This at a time when disengagement from politics was supposed to be one of the trends of the modern era and when globalization had reduced voting to parochial concerns.
In America, where few mainstream politicians have spoken out against bombing Baghdad, hundreds of thousands did. The largest demonstrations were in the countries considered to be George Bush's staunchest allies: Britain, Spain and Italy.
History marches on and we are quickly approaching a moment of truth in British politics. [Prime Minister Tony] Blair's instincts are pointing in the opposite direction to those of the nation's voters. Without a second U.N. resolution … Mr. Blair could lead Britain into a U.S.-led war that few want. If the conflict was messy and prolonged, with nasty outcomes, Mr. Blair might even leave office.

Transatlantic relations
HELSINKI Those who thought that [last] weekend's massive demonstrations against war plans by the United States would have an effect on President Bush were disappointed. Instead, American politicians and media have criticized with increasing irony and arrogance those who don't adopt their line, particularly their European friends.
This means that the rift between Europe and the United States is widening at the same time as an attack against Iraq draws ever closer. The fact that hundreds of thousands of Americans with a long line of luminaries at the front also condemned the war hasn't made the Americans more favorably disposed toward Europe.
In the United States, one often seeks to find an answer to the question: Why can't the naive Bush critics understand that we must get rid of [Iraqi President] Saddam Hussein? In Europe, instead, one hears the basic question: Why can't the United States understand that the victims and the risks involved in an attack are too great? …

Jordan Times
The Arab position on Iraq
AMMAN, Jordan The discussion of the Arab foreign ministers in Cairo about an emergency Arab summit is welcome, although one has to wonder why it is only now, after the storm clouds of war have been looming over the region for months, that there was realization that an emergency exists.
In order to make a difference, the Arab League must adopt a clear position that war is the wrong answer to the Iraqi situation, whether or not the United Nations, under coercion and influence, passes another resolution authorizing it.
To maintain its credibility, the Arab League will have to address those who wonder why countries which are farther away and have less at stake than the Arabs collectively in preventing a war have so far been the most visible and active in trying to stop it, while the Arab nation seems to be sitting on the sidelines. …

Asahi Shimbun
Against war on Iraq
TOKYO An unprecedented groundswell of opposition to a war against Iraq at the initiative of the United States has been building all over the world.
The unfortunate reality of the world since September 11 is that a rift of understanding has widened between the United States and the rest of the world in terms of assessing the terrorist threat and deciding what kind of alliance should be formed to counter it. This gap in understanding is symbolized by the current chasm separating the United States and European nations.
If the United States were to go to war against Iraq under the present conditions, the world will be divided in many ways. Citizens opposed to war with Iraq would be pitted against their governments for conducting such a war. "Old Europe," fearing war, would confront the "new continent," which looks at such a war with optimism. And the Muslim world would be pitted against the Christian world.
The earnest challenge for the international community is to eliminate the threat of weapons of mass destruction without resorting to war. That challenge can be met. …
We believe war against Iraq can only be characterized as unjustified and against the interests of the United States.

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