- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 11, 2003

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:


Justifying a war with Iraq

PARIS We might be living in the last weeks before war. Each passing day sees an improvement of the military means necessary for an action against Saddam Hussein. …

Despite his careful wording, [Frances President Jacques] Chirac appears decided that the French military will join in the combat if the U.N. gives its support.

The French, a majority of whom are against this, do not realize that history is knocking at their door in the form of the first important war in the 21st century.

All comparisons with the first Gulf war can only emphasize two immense differences. … No one doubts that the forced annexation of Kuwait was a crime that the pacifist community of nations could not let go unpunished.

There is no similar justification for a second conflict, even if the proliferation of terrifying weapons is a grave and lasting problem.

The other difference: a president from the left is paradoxically more free to adopt a warmongering attitude than a president from the right, because he can count on support from his opposition. …

Until now, Chirac has played a double game quite skillfully. On the one hand, he has distanced himself from [President George W.] Bush by making him bend to U.N. procedures. On the other, he reassured him of the solidity of the French alliance.

If the U.N. wants it, war will take place, and it will take place with French participation. Chirac will then have to go against an anti-warmongering current that he himself encouraged, even if no new fact justifies such a reversal.

Yomiuri Shimbun

The threat posed by North Korea

TOKYO The international community has issued a warning that it will no longer allow Pyongyang to insist on acting in a way that flies in the face of reason and accepted norms of behavior.

The warning came in a strongly worded resolution adopted by the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The unanimous resolution strongly criticized North Korea, which has unilaterally decided to resume operations of its nuclear facilities.

The international community is united in its condemnation of North Korea's move. We believe Pyongyang must take to heart the significance of the warning and bow to the IAEA's will.

The current nuclear crisis will deepen if North Korea does not toe the line. In this regard, countries concerned are advised to expedite efforts to coordinate their policies toward North Korea.

The countries concerned agree that the Korean Peninsula must be a nuclear-free zone. In this connection, the two Koreas jointly issued a nuclear-free declaration.

Consequently, we believe it is vital for Japan, the United States and South Korea to cooperate in dealing with North Korea.

Allgemeine Zeitung

WMD: Iraq and North Korea

FRANKFURT, Germany It is not Iraq, but rather North Korea, which currently provides an instructive illustration of the consequences of the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

President Bush, commander of the world's strongest and proudest army, had to say meekly that he is seeking a diplomatic and peaceful solution with the regime in Pyongyang, which has thrown out inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Just months ago, North Korea was counted as a member of the "axis of evil" along with Iraq and Iran. …

If President Bush like his predecessor uses threatening military gestures or attempts intervention, then Kim Jong-il would have a terrifying instrument with which to strike back.

He could obliterate the South Korean capital, Seoul, with a nuclear attack. With the necessary missile technology, he could even hit Tokyo.

North Korea's large conventional weapons capability already represented a trump card. With the possession of atomic weapons, it has made itself practically unassailable.

This is exactly where the problem of proliferation lies. …

The American president has no choice but to play the game for now.

Kim is a predictable man, Washington says of the reclusive ruler who has just discarded all its agreements with America.

Behind this, maybe, is the quiet hope that in the end it will only be necessary to pay money or make some political concessions.

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