- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 24, 2003

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Jordan Times

The return of terrorism

AMMAN, Jordan — It was highly expected that war on Iraq and America’s failure to timely and adequately address the deadlock in the Middle East peace process would have led to a recrudescence of terrorist activities in Arab countries.

The brutality and deadly rage unleashed against tens of innocent people [in Saudi Arabia and Morocco] exceeded the worst expectations.

These acts seem to indicate a solid organizational structure, an intact and functioning chain of command and a high degree of coordination and communication amongst operatives of the same terror group.

The region’s governments must show the same solid organization, effective cooperation, seamless communication and top-level coordination in their response to these terrorists. …

Too many people, for too long, have been saying that there is a fine line between terrorism and legitimate resistance. There is not. The red, thick line that separates the two is clearly drawn with the blood of innocent victims.

El Pais

Iraq in chaos

MADRID — Iraq continues to be engulfed in chaos six weeks after U.S. troops entered Baghdad. Basic services have not been fully re-established in the urban centers and security has deteriorated to such an extent that the Iraqi capital is an outlaw’s city in which there are repeated clashes between gangs of looters and citizens obliged to adopt self-protection measures.

… The removal of Jay Garner shows Washington recognizes the failure of the former general to fulfill the United States’ obligations as an occupying power.

… Bush ordered the advance on Iraq convinced that the population would welcome his soldiers as liberators, in such a way that the problems resulting from the collapse of the state would be handled in a climate of cooperation. It hasn’t been that way.

[L. Paul] Bremer’s mission may take a year, a more realistic time limit than initially imagined. But he faces the paradox of Washington accepting a longer stay while time is no longer in its favor. …

Asahi Shimbun

Aceh talks break off

TOKYO — Peace talks between the Indonesian government and separatist rebels from Aceh province held in Tokyo broke off Sunday with no agreement. Within hours, Indonesia’s President Megawati Sukarnoputri declared effective martial law in Aceh and ordered an army assault on the Free Aceh Movement, the pro-independence rebel group, known locally as GAM.

Indonesia is a multicultural, multiracial nation of many religions and languages. It is not hard to understand why the Megawati government was so quick to crack down on any separatist movement. But history shows this problem cannot be solved solely by military force.

GAM also needs to back away from insisting it will never stop its pursuit for independence, no matter how long it takes. No nation in the world would support a revival of the Aceh Kingdom. Most people in the region prefer a peaceful and quiet life above all.

Although the peace negotiations in Tokyo failed, Japan holds some leverage with Indonesia as its largest aid donor. The government should press Indonesia and other concerned nations to try harder to bring the two sides back to the negotiating table as soon as possible.

Corriere Della Sera

Protect privacy, fight terrorism

MILAN, Italy — While terrorism spreads carnage throughout the world, feeding the demand for public security “at any cost,” the European Union is indicating that the protection of personal information is a fundamental right of its citizens. Security and privacy seem to inhabit two separate, distant worlds.

Are privacy rights really in conflict with security rights? Defending individual privacy isn’t necessarily a limitation; it’s an opportunity. More privacy can mean more security. The protection of data as innocuous as airline passenger lists, for example, can be crucial. …

The protection of personal data must be addressed through precise regulation, as a type of habeas corpus for citizens of the third millennium. If one opts to sacrifice his right to privacy on the altar of security, there should be measures in place to protect his personal information. Those who compile private data must be held accountable.

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