- The Washington Times - Friday, August 26, 2005

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Yomiuri Shimbun

North Korea arms

TOKYO — Six-nation talks aimed at scrapping North Korea’s nuclear arms program are expected to resume in Beijing by the end of the month at the earliest.

Dealing with the reclusive state’s nuclear weapons and missile development programs is a matter of grave concern for Japan’s national security.

What are the views of the political parties on this problem? North Korea should be debated as a major issue in each party’s campaign for the Sept. 11 House of Representatives election.

The manifestos released by the major political parties for the upcoming poll all cite North Korea as a major policy issue. However, these election pledges are unsatisfactory in many respects.

Japan would be exposed to a direct nuclear missile threat if North Korea developed a nuclear warhead. This country is within range of North Korean ballistic missiles. None of the manifestos seem to reflect the threat this nation faces. Japan has every reason to urge Pyongyang to scrap its nuclear development program.

It is important for Japan to use its alliance with the United States as a basis for its approach to the North Korean problem. At the same time, however, from a point of view of protecting Japan’s national interest, we consider it important for this country to urge China, South Korea and Russia to behave carefully.

The Jordan Times

Jordan and Britain’s agreement

AMMAN — The memorandum of understanding (MOU) recently signed by Jordan and Britain allowing the latter to deport Jordanians considered a security risk is continuing to fuel national debate.

There are those who regard this MOU as a form of a treaty that must be submitted to parliament in accordance with Article 33 of the constitution before it acquires the force of law in Jordan.

While others view the agreement as simply an “understanding” between the two countries that falls short of a treaty and therefore does not require the parliament’s ratification.

Article 33 requires that any treaty or convention that “negatively” affects the rights of Jordanians be submitted to parliament for approval before it becomes legally binding. …

Perhaps a closer reading of the MOU would stop the ongoing acrimonious debate. What the MOU says is that Jordanians who are deported from the UK to Jordan for security reasons must be assured of their basic human rights. … There is nothing here that impinges on the human rights of such people.

Daily Telegraph

Iraq’s constitution

LONDON — When Britain ruled Iraq in the 1920s, there were problems, just as now, in bringing all the ethnic and religious groupings in to the political process. At that time it was the Shia Muslims who were left outside — not least because their religious leaders refused to meet face-to-face with Gertrude Bell, the woman who put modern Iraq together. …

She had little time for the Shia ayatollahs. “They sit in an atmosphere which reeks of antiquity and is so thick with the dust of ages that you can’t see through it — nor can they.”

Britain’s solution to sweeping away the dust of antiquity was to call in a foreign king from the Hashemite dynasty, whose family ruled until they were massacred in 1958.

This being a new century, and the Americans being in charge of Iraq now, Washington’s solution is a constitution, modeled on the U.S. document. …

That constitutional process is now in crisis. Far from being the magic lamp that would legitimize leaders installed by American and British bayonets, the constitution is a source of massive discord. Sunni leaders — whose community lost power when Saddam was deposed — say the latest draft will provoke civil war if the Shia majority and the Kurds force it through. The Kurds — who have enjoyed self-rule under the protection of the U.S. Air Force for more than a decade — are threatening to split Iraq unless their autonomy is enshrined in a federal constitution. Not to be outdone, some Shia factions want autonomy in southern Iraq, giving them control of its oil resources.

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