Friday, July 22, 2005

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Daily Telegraph

London suicide bombers

LONDON — Two days after the atrocities of July 7, we congratulated British Muslim leaders for their patriotism. “None of the Islamic organizations was so tasteless as to try to add a ‘but,’ ” we said. No longer. This Tuesday the “buts” were in full cry, with people lining up to suggest that the bombers had been forced into their terrible actions by the policies pursued by our own government.

In Downing Street, the prime minister hosted “moderate” Islamic leaders. Meanwhile, Sheik Omar Bakri, a prominent British Islamist, stated that the British people brought 7/7 on themselves by initiating a “cycle of bloodshed” in Iraq. And [London’s mayor] Ken Livingstone asserted that “we (the West) created these people” by assisting the mujahedeen in Afghanistan. …

The real project is the extension of the Islamic territory across the globe, and the establishment of a worldwide “caliphate” founded on Shariah law and the temporal reign of ayatollahs and imams. In such a struggle, the “moderate” Muslim leaders in whom Mr. Blair reposes his hope are as loathed by the fanatics as Mr. Blair himself, George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon.

Daily Nation

Security Council ‘reform’

NAIROBI, Kenya — The much-touted “reform” on the United Nations Security Council is fast turning into a farce.

One of the most controversial aspects of the U.N. Security Council as it is today is that any of its five permanent members — the U.S., the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China — can veto any Council decision.

The post-World War II logic of that structure and the veto has long expired.

The permanent five constitute a tiny percentage of the world population, and in a few years, they will be a small part of the global economy.

However, while some of them are willing to consider expanding the membership of the Council, none of them is in favor of handing any new members the veto. …

Expanding the Security Council without sharing out veto powers with the new entrants is ridiculous and meaningless.

Corriere della Sera

Iraqi leader’s Iran visit

MILAN, Italy — In the past days we have paid little attention to a crucial event: The visit of Iraqi leader Ibrahim al-Jafaari to Iran, the first of its kind … after eight years of conflict and a million deaths.

The story is nearly as rich with reconciliation as it is with wars, but the renewal of political dialogue between Baghdad and Tehran comes as a bet with a very high risk: Capable of contributing to the stability of the area, but also able to accentuate and further complicate the fight against terrorism. …

We certainly know that an Iran with the atomic bomb could trigger a military response and thus ignite the entire region.

Asahi Shimbun

The London bombings

TOKYO — … The question now is how a nation can prevent acts of terrorism by its own people. This is a new aspect in the war against terrorism. Previously, suicide bombings were associated with Iraqis or Palestinians. But out of the blue, the British public now realizes it can happen at home.

Some people suggest the London attacks represent the emergence of a new breed of terrorists.

Unlike Osama bin Laden and his contemporaries who personally experienced conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan, the suspects of the London attacks grew up in an industrialized country in a free and open environment. What drove them to commit such dastardly acts?

The Middle East situation and the Iraq war may have provided an incentive. Two slogans are typically chanted: That the United States and Britain invaded Iraq with powerful military forces, causing innocent people unbearable pain and [that] Israel continues to inflict terror on the Palestinians. Perhaps they felt that Islamic culture was under attack.

If we sit back and do nothing, it will be increasingly difficult to contain terrorism.

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