- The Washington Times - Friday, June 17, 2005

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Dagens Nyheter

U.S. double standards

STOCKHOLM — Criticism of the Guantanamo military prison is growing, even in the United States.

And the dilemma is evident: The Americans demand that others respect what they do not live up to themselves. For example, they demand that others must disarm, or refrain from procuring nuclear weapons, while at the same time not living up to their own commitments in accordance with the non-proliferation treaty. The U.S. is publishing annual reports about the state of human rights in different parts of the world, while at the same time the prisoners at Guantanamo live in a limbo.

To have such double standards is, in practice, to undermine the possibility of gaining the support of the rest of the world for the rights it considers itself to have.

Asahi Shimbun

Why do people choose to die?

TOKYO — An average of 88 people committed suicide every day last year in Japan for a total of 32,325, according to the National Police Agency.

Five years ago, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare devised a plan to reduce the number of suicides to 22,000 by 2010.

The plan’s main approach was to fight depression. People who think about ending their lives have a variety of problems, but most are diagnosed as having bouts of depression or being chronically depressed. The ministry is trying to establish a system to encourage such people to seek consultation and treatment.

Although it is a move in the right direction, the harsh reality is that there has been little progress in this grand project that was set up amid much fanfare. …

Many choose death only after thinking long and hard, so we have the opportunity to prevent such tragedies.

The Egyptian Gazette

The violence in Iraq

CAIRO — An upsurge of deadly attacks in Iraq is diminishing hopes that the country will recover from the bloody chaos of more than two years. The vortex of violence has become more nightmarish than before since the Iraqi government of Ibrahim al-Jaafari was set up in late April. None is immune to random killings in Iraq.

Over the past few weeks, civilians have been the target of car bombings, particularly in Baghdad. Last weekend, unidentified gunmen opened fire at a truck carrying laborers. Execution-style killings are becoming rife.

It is unlikely that spiraling horrendous deeds in Iraq are carried out by locals, though there are many disillusioned among them. The key casualties of the latest bombings have been innocent compatriots braving unstable conditions to make ends meet. Likewise, it is implausible that self-styled Arab [holy warriors] are the perpetrators of such acts, which cannot be described as resistance fighting.

They are apparently the work of hither-to-unknown quarters keen to perpetuate Iraq’s nightmare. No Iraqi, whatever his/her leaning may be, stands to benefit from seeing the country sliding deeper into such horrifying anarchy. …

El Universal

Guns from the north

MEXICO CITY — … The president of the republic has said he has asked the U.S. government to seal the border to arms arriving in our country illegally, part of Mexico’s joint effort to attack head-on the violence and crime in eight states in the northern part of the country.

Certainly, the call to seal the border to the traffic of bellicose instruments is relevant. But just as the United States is generally rigorous with migrants entering its territory or those carrying travel articles that its customs agents consider potentially dangerous, it is also certain that there exists a huge border hole that, for whatever reason, allows the weapons industry to flourish with impunity, which is unacceptable.

One of the evident characteristics of the phenomenon that generates violence in our country is a problem that is exclusively a U.S. one: The demand among U.S. citizens for drugs. …

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