- The Washington Times - Friday, March 17, 2006

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Corriere della Sera

Avian flu

MILAN, Italy — The last few decades, as well as featuring many natural disasters, will be remembered for the accelerated proliferation of previously unknown deadly viruses and bacteria. First Ebola, HIV, BSE, SARS. Now the deadly strain H5N1, carrier of the avian flu.

New pathogenic agents always emerge, of animal or vegetable origin, to attack the human race. …

New contributions to the human defense shield derive from globalized monitoring and from the vast amount of pharmacological drugs including vaccines, serums, antibiotics, chemotherapy.

Still, biologists predict that in the near future there will be many more invisible flocks of enemies to tackle, who knows how many beyond the realms of scientific imagination.

Asahi Shimbun

U.S. military realignment

TOKYO — By an overwhelming margin, residents in the southern city of Iwakuni voted against a plan for the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan as proposed by Tokyo and Washington. Residents reacted angrily to the highhanded way the central government tried to force the plan onto the local community.

The outcome of the closely watched plebiscite was a harsh blow to the government just before the end of the March deadline for finalizing an overall blueprint on the reorganization of U.S. forces in Japan.

The government must not forge ahead recklessly with drawing up the final report on U.S. military reorganization. It should make renewed efforts to negotiate a deal with local residents, even if that means extending the deadline.

National security is primarily a main policy of the central government, and beyond the responsibility of a local government. But the actual burden must be shouldered by cities, towns and villages.

Jyllands-Posten

Israeli elections

VIBY, Denmark — The Israeli election is in full swing but is being overshadowed internationally by events in Iraq and Iran. That doesn’t diminish the importance of forming the new parliament. With Iraq on the brink of civil war, an aggressive and hostile Iran, and an irreconcilable Hamas in power in Ramallah, the future Israeli government will face immense challenges.

Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has revealed his plans for maneuvering in this space. He will unilaterally draw Israel’s borders during the next four years. His plan includes a partial withdrawal from the West Bank and is both ambitious and defeatist. Ambitious for desiring a final drawing of Israel’s boundaries. Defeatist because it’s based on the notion Israel shouldn’t expect cooperation from its neighbors and has to find a solution by itself. …

If Hamas and the Palestinians — despite recent signals indicating otherwise — really want to talk with Israel about a common, peaceful future, there must be a change of track. Otherwise Israel defines everything.

The Observer

Death of Milosevic

LONDON — Slobodan Milosevic will not be much mourned across the former Yugoslavia that he tore apart. His vision of Serbian nationalism brought bloodshed from Croatia to Bosnia and then Kosovo, first through the tanks of the Yugoslav National Army, then through Belgrade-backed Serb paramilitaries and, finally, through the police squads of the Ministry of the Interior. In a few brutal years, more than a quarter-of-a-million people died in Mr. Milosevic’s failed wars. But while Mr. Milosevic and his Bosnian Serb ciphers — Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic — must bear the bulk of the responsibility for the killing, an assessment of the career of Europe’s last mass murderer poses uncomfortable questions for a world that let him prosecute his crimes. …

But if Mr. Milosevic’s death brings memories of a shameful period, it is also a powerful reminder of how, in belated response to political thuggery, a new doctrine of humanitarian intervention emerged.

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