- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 15, 2003

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:
Asahi Shimbun
Superpower vs. tyrant
TOKYO If the United States now pursues the use of military force, no nation or international organization can stop it. That is the unvarnished reality.
If there is a way to avoid a war, it is by the combination of Saddam Hussein destroying all Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and stepping down.
If there is an attack without a Security Council resolution, the prestige of the United Nations would be shaken. The effect of that on the world would be vastly greater than during the NATO air strikes on former Yugoslavia, which also lacked Security Council authorization. …
During a recent Arab League meeting, Persian Gulf nations recommended Saddam Hussein resign and go into exile under a grant of immunity from criminal prosecution. President George W. Bush has also encouraged exile.
War must be avoided to prevent a wider rift between the Muslim world and the United States. We hope Saddam Hussein will decide to follow the advice.

Corriere della Sera
Italy's U.N. predicament
MILAN, Italy In the next few days, the Security Council will vote on the second Iraq resolution. If the United States is defeated by not receiving the necessary nine votes, it will attack Iraq anyway and the authority of the U.N. will receive a devastating blow. If, instead, the United States obtains the nine necessary votes, France will veto the resolution, but the war will break out anyway and the trans-Atlantic community will break down.
In a worst-case scenario, what should Italy do?
Italy cannot allow itself to break with the French and Germans, cracking the European Union in order to save its friendship with the United States. But it also cannot take the opposite choice, favoring France in its delusions of omnipotence and an independent Europe, since Europe has no military resources nor a general political strategy.
It's clear what Italy's national interests are and it's equally clear that Italy will have trouble consistently pursuing them. Italy is caught between a public that favors peace, a Catholic world that interferes with politics from a religious point of view, a government majority with anti-European components, and post-Communist opposition that is strongly in favor of Europe.
In this predicament Italy's political leadership may not be able to live up to the country's international role.

The Australian
Expelling Helal Ibrahim Aaref
SYDNEY, Australia There have been widespread reports that Saddam Hussein has ordered his diplomats to support terrorists in attacks against the West during a war, which would simply extend Iraq's long tradition of supporting terrorism.
And there is evidence Helal Ibrahim Aaref's activities were well outside any diplomatic norm.
The government has not released details of the activities that led to Mr. Aaref's expulsion. Nor does it need to. He is simply being asked to leave and has had ample opportunity to put his case before the local media. The fact that it follows a general U.S. alert about the activities of Iraqi diplomats is anything but sinister. It is an example of the value of information-sharing among allies.
Once his spying was uncovered, Mr. Aaref should not have been given five days to leave the country. He should have been put on the first plane to Baghdad.

Helsingin Sanomat
End of road on Cyprus
HELSINKI Greek and Turkish government representatives are still trying to maintain hope for a last-minute reconciliation in the Cyprus dispute, but U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's comment at the end of The Hague marathon meetings was severe: We have "reached the end of the road."
The Greek Cypriot leader, Tassos Papadopoulos, wanted to have another go, but the old Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's decision was blunt. "We could not put this plan to a referendum," he declared.
Now, only the Greek Cypriot side is likely to be accepted as a member of the European Union. That is a blow to the Turkish Cypriot minority… . At the same time, it is a blow for Turkey's hopes to get its own EU negotiations on track.
But, Turkey is not innocent in the impasse. If it wished to, it could force Denktash to change his mind whenever it wanted.

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