- The Washington Times - Friday, October 8, 2004

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Daily Telegraph

Presidential debates

LONDON — … It is always difficult to know what to make of the BBC’s analysis of American politics, so egregious is its pro-Democrat bias. … On this occasion, however, the BBC seems to have got it about right. John Kerry did not manage to skewer his opponent, even on Iraq: his own voting record on the subject is so convoluted and opportunistic that he finds it difficult to play what might otherwise have been his trump card. But, crucially, he failed to conform to the Republican stereotype of the long-winded flip-flopper. He even appeared fleetingly presidential.

George W. Bush, for his part, looked tired and edgy, pulling faces as Mr. Kerry criticized him. … His body language … occasionally suggested that he was worn out by his responsibilities.

But Middle America is not very interested in body language; and it is swing voters in rural and rust-belt states who will decide the outcome of this election. … Although they may have been impressed by Mr. Kerry’s polite eloquence, they will also have appreciated the simple clarity of his opponent’s message. …

Straits Times

The U.S. debates

SINGAPORE — … The 90-minute exchange between President George W. Bush and his challenger, Senator John Kerry, turned out to be almost exclusively about Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorism and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Asia, the world’s most populous and economically most dynamic region, received no attention. …

So was Latin America, one of America’s biggest markets. Africa and its AIDS pandemic was not even mentioned, other than a passing reference to the genocide in the Darfur area of the Sudan. The increasing violence between Israelis and Palestinians? Nothing. Nothing, too, about the potentially harmful consequences of rising oil prices on world economies. …

… One must hope the next two debates will offer more by way of the candidates’ insights into other pressing issues and concerns. …

Egyptian Gazette

Israeli-Palestinian conflict

CAIRO — The Palestinian uprising shows no signs of abating, despite being the target of an all-out Israeli war. Over 3,000 Palestinians are estimated to have been killed in Israel’s ruthless clampdown. Thousands of others have been injured. Israeli bulldozers … have pulled down scores of Palestinians’ houses. …

A key casualty of this open war is the hope for peace, which has been relentlessly crushed. … The Palestinians’ dream of an independent state is far from attainable. …

Washington’s woolly “war on terrorism” has proved a windfall to incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. … He tries to portray his atrocious crackdown on the Palestinians and their leaders as part of the global war on terrorism. …

The Palestinians are not blameless, however. They have abysmally failed to forge a uniform agenda in fighting their battle. … Palestinian authorities have not been immune to petty wrangles, occasionally developing into open struggles over power. … Militarizing the Intifada has been a contentious issue, with some believing taking up arms against Israeli civilians has done the Palestinian question more harm. …

Reforma

Same-sex unions

MEXICO CITY — Considering the evident problems that the institution of marriage suffers in modern society, one could ask why homosexuals want to live under the rules of this type of contract.

One could think that one of the benefits of being different would be living without the trappings of traditional institutions. But the interesting thing is that many homosexuals are specifically looking for the “bonds” of marriage. In many cases, this is because many homosexuals want to emphasize that they have a long-term commitment as a couple. …

… [T]he government should not involve itself in the moral decisions of individuals. … There are too many important services that the government should be responsible for and doesn’t fulfill to put it in charge of caring for the moral life of people.

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