- The Washington Times - Friday, November 12, 2004

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Telegraph

Battle for Fallujah

LONDON — Many British people regard the battle beginning at Fallujah and last week’s casualties among the Black Watch with dismay, even revulsion. They perceive an ugly predicament in Iraq growing worse by the day, and Tony Blair allowing hapless British troops to be dragged ever deeper into it. Here, they say, are the first fruits of the re-election of George W. Bush, an ignorant and dangerous man. Heaven help those shackled to his chariot wheels, when he really gets into his stride.

There are good reasons for questioning Bush’s fitness to lead the world, and for savaging his administration’s handling of Iraq. Yet it seems gravely mistaken to go beyond this and start to hope — as so many French and German people hope — that Washington’s hubris will be humbled in the Sunni triangle. Even Bush’s Western critics should beware of wanting him to fail in Eyerack.

Win or lose, we are in this together. If America fails, we all fail. If Iraq dissolves into anarchy, as well it may, the world will be the loser.

La Nacion

Postelection Afghanistan

BUENOS AIRES — For the first time in 5,000 years, Afghans have freely chosen their national leaders. Hamid Karzai was declared the winner in the first presidential elections in the country, which has been plagued for years by tyranny, wars and high levels of poverty.

After three weeks of investigating, authorities determined there was no fraud that should invalidate the result of the elections. The joint electoral committee that Afghans formed with the United Nations confirmed that Karzai earned 55.4 percent of the votes cast Oct. 9. In addition, a call has been made for opponents to cease fighting and work together to rebuild the nation. …

The country’s economy has grown by 15 percent over the last three years, small businesses have multiplied, and some 3.3 million refugees living in neighboring countries have returned. These positive facts inspire hope that the first electoral process in Afghanistan will mark an opportunity to end the enormous poverty … that prevails in that society.

Egyptian Gazette

The Palestinian cause

CAIRO — … [Yasser] Arafat’s passing should by no means sound the death knell to the long-unresolved problem.

Arafat is an enduring symbol of his people’s struggle for nationhood. He epitomizes their dream for ending Israeli oppression and forging a new future. Like all freedom fighters, Arafat’s larger-than-life stature will live on. What will things be like after Arafat’s departure? The question is on the minds of several sides … the Palestinians, the Israelis and the United States.

Tel Aviv and Washington have been at pains to marginalize Arafat, depicting him as a main obstacle to making peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Arafat’s physical disappearance is most likely to please both Israel and the United States. They will be hankering after finding someone to step into his shoes. Of course, this hand-picked successor will have to promote the American-Israeli agenda.

Arafat’s disappearance may galvanize the United States to revive efforts to broker an end to the Palestinian-Israeli feud. These endeavors should be sincere, impartial, and most important of all, based on U.N. resolutions. Sticking to these yardsticks holds the key to a happy ending for everyone.

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