- The Washington Times - Friday, November 4, 2005

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

People’s Daily

Coping with bird flu

BEIJING — Recently, avian flu has been looming large over many countries, posing great threats to people’s production and daily life and catching the attention of the international community.

Bird flu is testing the scientific and psychological qualities of the general public. Some people are excessively fearful of it. Some people dare not eat the eggs or meat of fowl, and others indiscriminately take preventive medicines.

Scientists point out that bird flu now infects mostly animals. Though there are individual cases of humans who were infected by bird-flu virus and died … there is still no evidence of the spread of bird flu among people. Therefore, there is no need for panic.

Human history is a history of struggle against diseases, and each epidemic has promoted human progress. Before modern science, when humans encountered disease epidemics, they could only attribute them to natural calamity and were at a loss about what to do, waiting passively for death.

Today, people have a deeper understanding of many major diseases and countermeasures to cope with them. Therefore, today in the face of bird flu, people should cope with it in a … rational and calm manner.

However, reason does not mean lowering one’s guard, and calmness does not mean ignoring danger. At present, the threat of a global epidemic remains, and the situation of bird flu in China is still quite grim. According to experts, three of the eight global migrating routes for birds of passage run through China, and birds pose great threats to aquaculture.

At the same time, China raises a lot of poultry, and it is highly possible bird flu may occur and spread in this country. Furthermore, domestic fowl are raised mainly in a scattered form, and managed with extensive human contact, making epidemic prevention rather difficult. This reminds us that at no time should we treat the danger lightly and relax our vigilance.

Egyptian Gazette

Middle East problems

CAIRO — Clouds are gathering over the Middle East, raising fears about the future of this region. Optimism that peace will eventually nestle in the area is making way for pessimism about fresh tensions.

Over the past few days, Washington has turned up the heat on both Syria and Iran, which U.S. President George W. Bush has branded as outlawed regimes. Earlier, Mr. Bush had termed Iran as one member of the “axis of evil,” which he said grouped North Korea and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. With Saddam now toppled and his country occupied, the United States sees Iraq as a paradigm of democracy in the Middle East.

Realities on the ground, nonetheless, point otherwise in Iraq where deadly attacks and bloody chaos remain the disorder of the day.

Syria faces a foggy future after a U.N. team, investigating the slaying of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, implicated senior Syrian intelligence officers in the murder. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has, meanwhile, raised eyebrows around the world, especially in the West, by calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map.”

La Stampa

Iranian leader on Israel

TURIN, Italy — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad knows better than we do that the United States is in a difficult situation because the war in Iraq threatens to be the same hell as it is today for the next 10 years. It is true that a democracy can coexist with terrorism and a hostile war and then finally win, but it’s bound to pay a high cost (both in lives and in dollars).

In his personal exaltation and ignorance of the world that make him a slave of self-esteem and wrongly calculated risk, Mr. Ahmadinejad doesn’t seem to be destined to win the battle. …

Mr. Ahmadinejad should try to look around: The United States might be in trouble, but it can still overturn the situation even tomorrow, if necessary. And if his statement on [Israeli Prime Minister] Ariel Sharon is mostly political, it is also true that Israel can eventually “get seriously angry.”

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