International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

September 11, 2002

September 11, 2002





 ** As the world's news outlets contemplated the enormity of the 9/11 attacks, two editorial trends emerged.  One line of thought focused on the necessity of fighting the scourge of terrorism, which had demonstrated an ability to strike even "the safest place in the world." 

**  Another school contended that the Bush administration, by responding to 9/11 in a predominately military manner, had "squandered the almost universal goodwill offered the U.S. a year ago."    




EUROPE:  U.S. must inspire global support for anti-terror fight; ideological divide on preventive warfare, 'militarily-dominated defense.'  One theme resounded across Europe's political spectrum:  With the war against terrorism still in its infancy, the U.S. must impress upon the world that the campaign is not just one country's response to a domestic terrorist attack but a global quest to remove all terrorist threats.  Liberals and conservatives, however, parted ways on the doctrine of preventive warfare and the reliance on military solutions.  Liberal dailies in Britain, France and Germany contended that while the U.S.' desire for justice is understandable, its use of "undiscriminating violence" is not.  They argued that an Arab-Israeli agreement and "a global market that actually deserves its name" may ultimately do more to minimize the threat of terrorism than the use of force.  Conservative outlets in Britain and Germany, however, applauded the U.S. for its "proportionate" military response to 9/11 and exhorted Washington to show no "sign of weakness" in the anti-terror campaign.  London's Daily Telegraph chided Europeans for "failing to grasp the political dimensions" of 9/11, thereby requiring the U.S. to "act, preferably in concert but, if necessary, alone." 


MIDEAST, MUSLIM WORLD:  Pledges of support against terrorism, but criticism of U.S. methods and tactics.  While Muslim writers reiterated their abhorrence of the 9/11 attacks and their support for eliminating terrorism, many asserted that the U.S. has not dealt with the roots of extremism and terrorism.  Turkish Milliyet articulated this common theme, observing that America's war on terror has not produced "full results" in eradicating social, economic and political injustice.  The Syrian Times, though "with [America] in combating terrorism," criticized the "injustice" the U.S. "arbitrarily imposes" on the Middle East.  If the "scourge of terrorism" is to be defeated, Pakistani Dawn cautioned, the U.S. should follow a minimum standard of "political morality, democratic tolerance...and social justice."  Israeli writers were by far the most supportive of the U.S. administration.  Independent Ha'aretz emphatically called upon the nations of the world to either "stand together" or "stand aside" against "evil incarnate."




ASIA / PACIFIC:  Aussie paper stands behind Bush in anti-terror fight, others 'doubtful' of U.S. approach.   Australia's leading Daily Telegraph raised a steadfast voice in support of a "continued offensive against bin Laden and his murderous cadres and other military incursions in the war against terror."  Most media outlets in East and South Asia, however, feared that the global war against terrorism was compromised by a "flawed" U.S. approach to the issue.  Several criticized Washington's "limited world view" and its insistence that "terrorism remains only what America says it is," with the U.S. apparently unconcerned with the "experience of so many nations" that have come face to face with terror. 


AFRICA:  Debating the lessons learned.  African writers also worried about the causes and roots of terrorism, and expressed concern that the U.S. was not adequately addressing these in its war on terrorism.  The Nigerian Guardian noted the importance of understanding and confronting what drives terrorists to commit such depraved acts.  South Africa's Business Day believed the main lesson to be learned from 9/11 was that even powerful states like the U.S. are "increasingly vulnerable to unsophisticated attacks by determined non-state actors."  To combat this properly, America and the world must rethink "the nature of security threats and revisit the concept of 'the enemy.'"  The paper declared that the defense of democracy, justice and the rule of law is of paramount importance to the war on terrorism.


WESTERN HEMISPHERE:  'A clash of civilizations has begun.'  Observers from Canada to Argentina commented on a wide range of after-effects of 9/11.  Brazil's liberal Folha d. S. Paulo declared that "the world remains as confused as ever," while Mexico's nationalist El Universal proclaimed that the continuing fight against terrorism and prospect of the U.S. going its own way against Iraq meant that "everything has changed and nothing has changed."  Writers worried that 9/11 "shut down democratic values and harmed civil rights" and that the preoccupation with countering al-Qaida had swept other Hemispheric issues like migration and trade off the table.  The Toronto Star declared that somewhere after 9/11 "the war on terror changed course to become a war of civilizations"--or would soon, "unless both sides step back from the brink."  


EDITORS: Gail Hamer Burke, Stephen H. Thibeault, James Iovino, Steven J. Wangsness




Editor's note: This analysis is based on 81 reports from 48 countries, September 4-11.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.








BRITAIN:  "One Year's Work"


The conservative Daily Telegraph opined (9/11):  "After Sept 11, 2001, many Europeans reacted to America's pain with the half-spoken thought 'Now you know what it's like.'...  The European reaction itself was uncomprehending, for the fact is that no Western country since the Second World War has been attacked as grievously, suddenly and dramatically as was America a year ago. This moment was just as big as it looked.  Europeans...failed to grasp the political dimensions of the event, and this explains their hostility to how America has reacted.   America...had to act, preferably in concert but, it necessary, alone.  The way in which America has acted over the ensuing year has, in fact, been proportionate.  America has moved against terrorism.  Europeans are quite right to complain that America has been poor at explaining to them what it is trying to do. Bush needs to explain, which is no more than the truth, his war against terrorism is ours, too. America and Europe ought to be on the same side."


"September 11:  One Year On"


The independent Financial Times held (9/11):  "A year on...the victory is not complete. The bigger battle to promote lasting stability and peace in a volatile region and around the world is not even half-won....  The world must never forget. . .America has the right and duty to protect itself from those who would do it harm.  Today, however, the civilized world stands as it did a year ago with the victims. Americans should be reassured, not discouraged, by the willingness of allies to play their part in ensuring that it never happens again."


"Fateful Day"


The mass-circulation Sun opined (9/11):  "Today the civilized world unites in an act of remembrance that spans the globe.  We shall remember Sept 11 as the day the world changed, the day it united in a war on terrorism.  [The minutes silence] is but a brief moment but its importance will echo through time.  It is a silence not just of grief--but of steely determination that we will never let the terrorists win."


"A World And Its Losses"


The liberal Guardian held (9/11):  "Specific U.S. responses to Sept 11 have already set in train an aggressive, self-serving process of realignment reassertion and revenge that may not soon be sated. Understandably enraged by the violence done to its citizens, the United States offered even greater, undiscriminating violence of its own.  A weak, second-rate president with no mandate and less nous has since Sept 11 gained unprecedented levels of voter support.  Only Bush's progressively higher-handed, unilateral and exaggerated responses to Sept 11 could have made of bin Laden, and now Saddam, such potent and (to some) heroic bogeymen.  Bush squandered the almost universal goodwill offered the United States a year ago. Perhaps only Bush could have made Sept 11 even worse than it actually was. Sept 11 initiated a sorry year of violence. Now, if only to spare future generations their own repeat cataclysms, it is time to strut, threaten and fight less, delve and deliberate more, and reflect meanwhile that though America's cause may be just, its heedless leader's still unfolding actions and aims increasingly are not." 


FRANCE:  "The American Impasse"


Jean-Marie Colombani wrote in left-of-center Le Monde (9/11):  "A year later, America is on the war path. It is also at an impasse which can cause us harm....  Last year's reflex of solidarity has turned into something that could imply we are all anti-American.... George Bush has chosen to ignore the lessons of Sept. 11 and decided to change nothing to his perception of the international scene....  It is as if after the war in Afghanistan, the Bush administration had returned to the period before Sept. 11, taking the United States back to Baghdad....  In the worst-case scenario, the United States, without regional support, will engage in a campaign of strikes. The result will be maximum disorder. The tension caused by Sept. 11 is such that we are close to the breaking point... The most pressing point about Iraq is that it is urgent to wait and see....  President Bush has chosen a no-win game. His preventive war goes against everything which has been established since 1945 in matters of international law....  Should we rejoice about America's dangerous conduct and revert back to our anti-American reflexes? Rejoicing in America's misery would be rejoicing about our own. We are today and will remain for years to come Americans, because our fates are intertwined. A weakened America is dangerous, what we need is a reformed America....  But can America change? America must remain one of the leading nations in the democratic coalition.  On condition that it accepts the idea of a coalition. With partners, not satellites....  Development and containment have always been the two pillars of the Atlantic coalition....  Bush has replaced them with protectionism and preventive interventionism....  We need a better America, a stronger America that will help us defeat terrorism."


"A Year Later"


Philippe Mudry wrote in centrist La Tribune (9/11): "Churchill once said to De Gaulle: 'Between Europe and the Ocean, Great Britain will always choose the Ocean.'  Between the Midwest and his allies, George Bush will always choose the Midwest.... While it has never been easy for America to reconcile its national interests with its responsibilities of dominant world power, the gap is today patent.  Ever since the intervention in Afghanistan, the U.S. has been riding alone. It is preparing a military operation against Iraq and will go ahead with or without anyone's consent. Such an initiative will be harmful to the world's economy; it will also strain the alliance of western nations...  Sept. 11 called for a strong renewal of dialogue between the allies and the rest of the world. Washington should have taken the initiative. It did not, but it isn't too late."


GERMANY:  "The Fate Of A Global Power"


Berthold Kohler noted in a front-page editorial in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (9/11):   "The United States has a pacifying and constructive influence in many crisis regions ranging from eastern Europe to East Asia.  No other country has a comparable influence.  If the United States were to give up its claim to leadership right now or created doubts about its determination back up that claim, it would be seen as a sign of weakness of the West and its leading nation, and not only in Iraq.  The Bush administration's reaction to 9/11 is clearly marked by a neo-conservative approach that relies on strength in foreign policy and views multilateral attachments with skepticism.  Even before 9/11, the United States had begun to pay more attention to Central Asia and the Pacific region, where it sees economic opportunities and possible threats.  Since then, Washington's relations with Europe, in the tradition of realpolitik, have been determined mostly by whether Europe will be a help or an obstacle in facing these new challenges.  As long as Europe does not develop into a significant international player by itself, Washington will continue to groom the militarily advantageous 'special relationship' with Great Britain and focus its attention of countries like Russia and China."


"Lessons For The West"


Wolf Lepenies judged in an editorial in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (9/11): "The great post-9/11 coalition of countries clearly marked the beginning of a different era.  The West should have tried everything to turn this new constellation into a coalition of cultures.  However, even the coalition of countries is already in the process of falling apart and threatens to break apart completely over a war in Iraq.  The United States is not the only guilty party in this context.  It was the responsibility of all Western countries to use the shock of 9/11 to make progress on the road to global domestic policy.  However, no serious attempt was made in this area.  In the long run, the West's militarily dominated defense cannot replace the need for civilian concepts and actions.  It is necessary to build up a global market that actually deserves its name.  The industrialized nations must do away with custom barriers and subsidies and need to open up western markets to agricultural and textile products from developing countries.  As a consequence of 9/11, the decisions of the Uruguay round aimed at reducing trade barriers have become obsolete:  The United States will subsidize its agriculture with 190 billion dollars between now and 2008.  The EU is following the same course.  Each subsidy of this kind is a small declaration of war for the Third World."


"Europe's Lack Of Courage"


Brigitte Kols observed in an editorial in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (9/11): "Even one year after 9/11 the facts cannot be improved by spin control: The United States continues to view the EU as a global lightweight.  The Europeans, however, are contributing to this state of affairs.  What kind of EU standpoint is Foreign Policy Commissioner Solana supposed to convey to Washington if Blair is ready to go to war, if Schroeder says 'no,' and if Chirac sits on the fence?  As long as the Europeans come across as narrowly national in their dealings with the United States, Washington will ignore the EU as a global player.  A world that is coming apart at the seams because its conflicts are not tackled at the root cannot be helped by the Europeans' testimony for the history books:  We knew better and could have prevented the damage.  Unfortunately, we could not implement our good intentions because we lacked courage and cohesion."


ITALY:  "USA, Loneliness After Solidarity"


An analysis by Aldo Rizzo in centrist, influential La Stampa (9/8): "Despite the common awareness of the danger and of the need to defend themselves, the Europeans and the Americans have increasingly shown that they disagree on the strategy.  More specifically, European governments (not all of them, but a considerable part of them) have changed their perception of U.S. policy, switching from an unconditional support to a critical evaluation. The American superpower--wounded physically but also in its pride--is allegedly adopting a too unilateral approach, based on a prevailing, if not exclusive, military logic, without any attention to the opinions and the material contributions provided by European nations.  The United States is, instead, showing that it can count on new (potential) allies such as Russia and China.  The two, however, did not take too long to distance themselves (from the U.S.), especially Russia....  Two of Bush's speeches contributed to chill the allies--both real and potential.  The first was the State of the Union Speech on January 29, 2002, in which the President referred to the Evil Axis formed by Iraq, Iran and North Korea....  The second was the speech at the West Point Military academy in early June, in which he expressed the theory of the United States' right to 'pre-emptive defense' vis-à-vis any kinds of threat."


"Ice Between The U.S. And Europe:  A Victory For Bin Laden"


Cesare De Carlo opined in conservative, top-circulation syndicate La Nazione/ Il Resto del Carlino/ Il Giorno (9/4):  “I don’t know if, once again, we will all still feel  ‘American,’ as most European dailies ran their headlines after 9/11.  Frankly, I doubt it….  A year after, America is almost convinced that with the European allies it cannot move very far ahead and is ever more convinced to do it by itself.  A year later, Europe is almost convinced that the superpower is too ‘unilateralist’ and that it is possible to reach a compromise with everyone, including those who swear to hate us forever.  There are some who maintain that these juxtapositions will last until the German elections.  If the right wins in Berlin as well, then Blair and Berlusconi will no longer be alone in resuming the transatlantic relations and dealing with this new historical challenge with the spirit that led NATO to win the Cold War.  But, at the moment Europe and America are further away from each other, not closer.  And this is already a success for bin Laden, or his heirs."



AUSTRIA:  "The 9/11 Hype"


Deputy chief editor Andreas Schwarz opined in centrist Die Presse (9/4):  "9/11 was a live event....  There's no doubt the media have unwillingly and inevitably become an instrument of terror.  Terror thrives on publicity....  And the current 9/11 hype--the never-ending torrent of unspeakable images repeating themselves, which some cannot bear to watch any longer and others consume all too greedily--is nothing but a second round of success for the terrorists, with all the imaginable consequences, ranging from economic slumps to a justification of the current U.S. foreign policy."


BELGIUM:  "Bush's War On Terrorism"


Foreign editor Paul De Bruyn wrote in conservative Christian-Democrat Gazet van Antwerpen (9/11):  "Nobody blames Bush for having reacted to the attacks.  Such crimes must not remain unpunished.  The war against terrorism also led to the disappearance of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan--and that is a good thing.  However, Bush's behavior causes concern. The (U.S.) resignation from the Kyoto Treaty and the ABM Treaty and its opposition to the ICC indicate that he doesn't care much about the rest of the world.  His statements like 'the axis of evil' and Donald Rumsfeld's and Dick Cheney's saber rattling have increased that concern.  There is major concern because Bush apparently wants to expand his war against terrorism without restrictions.  The next target is known: Iraq....  Iraq will be a crucial test for international relations.  It will be decisive for the world in the future. Bush has the power and the means to settle his account with Saddam.  However, if he wants a safer world, two things are essential: an action against Saddam must be carried out with the support of the UN and the Israeli-Palestinian problem must be solved.  If that is not the case, new (acts of) terror will not fail to occur."


BULGARIA:  "One Year Of Loneliness"


Influential weekly Kapital (9/6) commented:  "After September 11th the world changed is the most frequently mentioned theory when it comes to the terror attacks in America and everything...  Observers say that the most immediate and clear-cut effect of the September 11th tragedy is that the U.S. once again began to isolate itself, which reflected in unilateralist and aggressive foreign policy, based solely on American interests and the new national security concept....  This trend became evident for the first time in Afghanistan, when the US. completely ignored NATO and conducted an operation on its own to oust the Taliban regime, which sheltered suspect number one Usama bin Laden....  In Afghanistan the U.S. openly demonstrated its capability to act as a global super-power, which only cares about its' own interests."


CZECH REPUBLIC:  "Are We Still Americans?"


Pavel Masa wrote in the center-right Lidove Noviny (9/10): "(After the original shock from the terrorist attack from September 11 and the initial unity in diplomatic, and military fields) old differences between Europe and the U.S. have returned to world politics in full strength, the same way as they were obvious during the Balkan crisis and before the attack on Iraq in 1998.  'America differs from Europe in that it has fewer historical experiences with what war is about and what it contains,' Chancellor Schroeder pointed out, describing one explanation for this status.  A simpler conclusion can be made--the United States has all the essential tools for pursuing power politics.  Europe lags behind even more after September 11." 


"Year After:  War In the Eyes Of Al-Qaida"


Milan Vodicka noted in leading, centrist MF Dnes (9/10):  "There were many successes (in al-Qaida's view); however, none of them were relevant from the viewpoint of the final goal, militarily-speaking....  They didn't manage to turn Islam against America.  Retaliation of the Americans wasn't revenge--and it wasn't such a one that would cause an outrage and uprising in the Islamic world....  Nobody rushed into the streets to overthrow monarchs and presidents in that part of the world.  And here is the weak spot of al-Qaida to which the group will focus now.  If it wants to hold its own, it has to arrange two things: make Muslims its followers and create a tension between Muslim states and the U.S.  It may achieve the first goal by making a display of its action capabilities....  The second one by forcing Americans to intervene in the most places possible....  And this will be the strategy of al-Qaida now--driving Americans out of the Muslim world by forcing them to get stuck in it first."


HUNGARY:  "After The Year Of Mourning"


Foreign affairs writer Ivan Nagy concluded in liberal Magyar Hirlap (9/11):  "On 9/11  last year everybody knew that  neither New York or America nor the world was going to be the same. The most debated topic is the Bush government's  performance.  The United States is becoming more and more introverted.  There is only one main guideline that remained:  The U.S.' own interest. But the year of mourning is over.  The much awaited 21st century will hopefully begin."


IRELAND:  "Remembering Victims And Heroes"


The liberal Irish Times held (9/11):  "The huge increase in military and security expenditures and preparedness inaugurated by President Bush and the determined assault on the Taliban regime in Afghanistan accused of harbouring the al-Qaida organisation which claimed responsibility for the attacks have been followed by a much more ambitious and controversial affirmation of unilateral U.S. power against a new set of enemies. Iraq has become its primary focus, although that state's responsibility for the September 11th attacks remains unproven. President Bush's administration has yet to convince its own people and its friends and allies throughout the world that a military attack on Iraq is a valid way to avenge this horrendous crime."


"Remember And Learn"


The conservative, progressive, populist Irish Independent told readers (9/11):  "The United States had a right, in morality and in law, to defend itself and strike back. That applies to the war in Afghanistan.  It applies to interventions still to come. The Bush administration correctly speaks of, and wages, a 'war on terrorism'. But the means employed are another matter. Are they appropriate? Are they well-judged? Will they serve the desired end? The war in Afghanistan was justified and in military terms a brilliant success. But it did not bring the death or capture of the terrorist mastermind, Usama bin Laden. It did not settle that unfortunate country, which has since fallen prey to a resurgence of warlordism..... Do we now risk another intelligence and political failure as President Bush and Prime Minister Blair plan their campaign in Iraq? The danger is enormous. At worst, the legitimate and necessary war on terrorism, if conducted in the wrong way, could help the destroyers instead of isolating them. The anti-terrorist offensive must go on. But along with it must go a drive for reconciliation between the Western and Muslim worlds. A task, perhaps, for generations. But a suitable ambition on this solemn anniversary."


NORWAY:  "Fear Is Their Weapon"


In social democratic Dagsavisen (9/11), foreign affairs editor Erik Sagflaat commented:  "With the terrorist attacks of September 11 last year, history was written.  Not because terrorism is something new, but because the method was so simple and the effect so enormous....  But even worse is the damage that fear is causing our open society....  For the terrorists it is also a victory that we so easily have renounced our own lauded civil rights.  The fear of new terrorism has caused a series of countries to carry out anti-terror laws where the individual's rights are pushed aside.  For the terrorists, this is a confirmation of their disgust for our democratic system when we so easily can be scared into putting the rule of law's most central principles aside....  If there should be any hope at all of winning the war against terrorism, it is absolutely crucial that the coalition against terrorism be maintained and even strengthened.  The battle has only just begun... All over the world people will today remember the many victims of terrorism.  The best way that we can honor them is by letting the terrorists lose.  We will do this by circling around our democratic values and our open society with respect for human rights and for the rights of the individual.  If we allow fear to have the upper hand, and compromise these values, we will give the terrorists a victory that they do not deserve."


"America After September 11"


Leading circulation, independent VG held (9/11): "Great powers politics has never been a Sunday school class, and long before September 11 the U.S. played a strong leadership role....  The big difference lies in how the United States is exercising this leadership role.  It began well enough in the days after the terrorist attacks.  Sympathy flooded in from the whole world....  There is little left of this common feeling today.  Seen with Washington's eyes, Europe is behaving almost like a bunch of spoiled kids. They have lived in a security policy luxury for so long, thanks to American guarantees, that they have almost lost sight of what is best for them....  In the long catalogue of issues of conflict, the policy regarding Iraq's Saddam Hussein is the most burning.  An American military solo run will make the political fronts between Europe and the U.S. even more entrenched.  God forbid that little Norway should be in such a great political squeeze that in reality we must choose sides.  We are convinced that Foreign Minister Jan Petersen joins us in this wish."


PORTUGAL:   "The Challenge Of Fighting Terrorism"


EU Commissioner and Socialist Party figure António Vitorino wrote in a special commemorative edition in leading moderate left newsweekly  Visão (9/5):  "The (9/11) attacks made clear that we are facing new threats that know no frontiers....  But our fight for security must not sacrifice fundamental rights or restrict the liberty of citizens, nor can it serve as an argument against immigration....  For example, the legislation approved in the U.S. widening the immigration service's powers of detention, and allowing terrorists to be tried by military commissions, could provoke some apprehension.  There are also fears about those detained at Guantanamo Bay....  The fight against terrorism must at all costs avoid creating restrictive effects that are disproportionate to fundamental rights."


RUSSIA:  "Little Change"


Official government Rossiyskaya Gazeta (9/11) front-paged a comment by Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Federation Council's foreign relations committee:  "One year on, the world, for all the vortex of events, has changed far less than one might have expected....   The September 11 attack, among other things, was meant to strike a blow to humanness and political correctness.  The idea was to incite enmity between the Muslims and Christians....  The terrorists failed.  Their efforts, futile, also proved counterproductive....  It is true that those who practice terror at home think nothing of sponsoring terror elsewhere.   It is equally true that while some people may be incorrigible, regimes never are.   War is a horrible and risky business and its outcome is hard to predict."


"Global Evil"


Yuriy Sazonov commented on page one of official parliamentary Parlamentskaya Gazeta (9/11): "The world has crossed into a new age, with fanatics, furious at not being able to fit into an increasingly technogenic and intellectual world, becoming hostages of dangerous myths....  For the first time in the history of Russian-U.S. relations, the two countries share a global aim, joining forces in a war against terrorism....  Surely, Russia has not gone back on its commitments by one jot.  And it certainly does not regret that. Some politicians are trying to drive a wedge between Russia and the United States, claiming that the only surviving superpower has been ruling the world with complete disregard of other countries, including Russia.   But they tend to forget that we did not guide ourselves by time-serving considerations as we picked allies in the war against terrorism....  No country, no matter how powerful, can cope with terrorism.  To stop one evil from begetting another, all countries must work in concert within the framework of international law....  If international terrorism is to be eradicated, the Arab world must become part of international solidarity. This means that the United States needs to change its ways....  As shown by the 9/11 attacks, the time of power politics is gone.  Superpowers must learn to listen to others, as well as to themselves."


SPAIN:  "A Year Later"


Conservative La Razon opined (9/11): "After 9/11 there exists a world led exclusively by the Empire of the United States of George Bush....  It is the only one capable of leading a fight against a common enemy.  To forget this fact is nothing more than a childish exercise."


"A World In Which Liberty Is Threatened And Poorly Defended"


Independent El Mundo stated (9/11): "Bush seems decided in embarking on this dangerous adventure, in which he can only count on the unconditional support of the UK, and by telephone yesterday, with the unmatched support of Aznar, as a return for Bush's support in the fight against ETA....  The plans of Bush to attack Iraq, his unilateralism, his reactionary turn in the treatment of liberties gives one the sensation that the U.S. and Europe are going down different paths towards a future in which there are beginning to figure new economic and political blocs."


SWEDEN:  "The U.S. Can Do Better"


Independent, liberal Stockholm tabloid Expressen stated (9/11):  "One year after the 9/11 tragedy the wide gap between the views of the Right and the Left with regards to the terrorist attacks.  The Left continues to deny the need for military solutions to the threat of terrorism while the Right refuses to acknowledge the political roots of bin Ladenism.  Both perspectives are equally deceptive. Usama bin Laden and his disciples are extremist remnants of the Mujahedin war against the Soviet Union. They must be found and neutralized. But in order for the war against terrorism to become successful, the United States must do something in order to change the environment that produces fanaticism and hatred against the United States.  Immediately after the terrorist attacks there was certainly a clear political dimension in the U.S. action. The Bush administration made every effort to build the widest possible international coalition....  Today there are only remnants left of the then existing consensus."


TURKEY:  "The Impact Of September 11"


Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (9/11):  "The September 11 situation shook the international equilibrium.  Russia turned into a Western-friendly country, and furthermore an ally.  China and Central Asian countries as well as Pakistan leaned towards the Washington line.  In other words, despite ongoing criticism, the Bush policy of 'you are with us or against us' actually worked....  Yet the negative signs are there.  For instance, the war against terrorism has not produced full results.  Most important of all, UBL's whereabouts are still unknown which implies an ongoing terrorist threat....  The U.S. remains the sole super power, and after the 9/11 it even enhanced its strength.  However, the 'Rambo' image of the U.S., particularly in the Islamic-Arab world, is highly negative.  War against terrorism should include a fight against social, economic as well as political causes.  The world leaders should focus on this angle--otherwise the 9/11 type of fanaticism and tragedy might happen again."


"September 11"


Nihat Ali Ozcan argued in Islamic-intellectual Zaman (9/11):  "The 9/11 attacks provided justification for the U.S. to increase its overseas military presence or station itself militarily in new geographies.  It also met the need for 'new enemies' to be able to conduct a military expansionist policy.  In fact, terror is a complex issue.  It cannot be controlled via only military means due to its social, economic, politic as well as psychological components.  Hatred is the feeling, which paves the way for irrationality and terror.  If the U.S. really wants to see a terrorism-free world, it should work on eliminating injustice and prejudice as well as discrimination."




ISRAEL:  "Against An Evil Exis"


Independent Ha'aretz editorialized (9/11):  "On September 11 last, many people immediately understood that the world had changed....  It took time for states and people to comprehend that the term 'war on terror' was too narrow to encompass the whole challenge that the developed world faced.  Hence, a year later the U.S. is preparing to attack Iraq as part of the same all-out war because the challenge, and the war, is not limited to eradicating the terrorist organizations, no matter how dispersed across the planet and how dangerous they may be....  During the months that passed after September 11, the definitions were sharpened.  The enemy was understood to be all those who threaten to use weapons of mass destruction against peaceful populations.... That is the essential, horrifying link between Usama bin laden and Iraq and other countries on Bush's list of the axis of evil....  On the not completely self-evident assumption that Washington's political and military decisions will continue to be balanced and responsible, the world now faces the same test that was thrust upon it with sudden horror on that bitter day in Manhattan.  The world's countries must decide whether they will stand together against evil incarnate, or they will stand aside."


"The War For Democracy"


The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (9/11):  "On September 11, 2001, war was declared against the United States, and by extension, the Free World.  Or more accurately, America joined a war launched against it by militant Islam.... The current war is essentially one to transform the world from one in which freedom and democracy are the province of the lucky few to a world in which the concept of universal rights finally comes into its own....  One thing can be said about the challenge of promoting democracy; It is much preferable to the challenge of containing rogue dictatorships.  This is the fundamental lesson that America has and should have drawn from September 11.  It is the reason why removing Saddam is nearer to the beginning than to the end of this war.  And it is the reason that this war should ultimately be seen as one for democracy even more than it is against terrorism, which is after all but a tool of the dictators who live by it."


"For The Better Or The Worse"


Senior analyst Hemmi Shalev opined in popular, pluralist Maariv (9/11):  "Even after a year, when the world's enthusiasm has chilled out, Israel continues to fully support Bush's war against evil forces....  Only in Israel we understand the frustration that exists today in the administration by the fact that most of the world does not understand that terror is a whole, from Bin Laden to Arafat and Saddam and that in the terror and evil business there is no gray, only black and white and that there is no compromise....  When the Americans were shattered they had full sympathy, but now when they want to return a fight the world doesn't stop complaining....  The future of this special relationship [between the U.S. and Israel] now depends on security developments....  An American attack on Iraq, even if successful, might demand an American effort to rebuild its status in the Arab world....  If the case is of a U.S. tangle in Iraq and another failure to remove Saddam Hussein it would have far reaching results.  Then Israel shall absorb the full 'indirect damage' of the extremism and maybe even the revolution that is predicted in the Arab world....  Therefore that's the package deal, after September 11 and until further notice: wherever the U.S. goes Israel goes for the better, but one should remember, also for the worse."


WEST BANK:  "A Year Later"


Independent Al-Quds editorialized (9/11):  “The September 11 attacks have placed the whole world in a new era dominated by what the U.S. has called ‘war on terrorism.’  In addition to waging a massive war on Afghanistan targeting Taliban and al-Qaida one of the most significant effects of the attacks has been limiting freedoms in the U.S., of which Arabs and Muslims living in America and Europe are a target.  Another major outcome of the September 11 attacks has affected the Palestinian issue by giving the extremist right-wing Israeli government the justifications to escalate its military offensive and aggression against the Palestinians under the pretext of fighting terrorism.… One year after the September 11 attacks, Arabs and Muslims, including Palestinians and their leadership, have reaffirmed their condemnation of the attacks and reiterated their willingness to provide full support and cooperation with the United States.… Nevertheless, the Palestinian people and the Arab and Muslim nations have unjustly been made to pay a tremendous price for the 9-11 attacks.  This should be [an answer] for those in the U.S. who are still wondering why those attacks took place and why many nations hate U.S. policy.”


“Americans Aren’t The Only Victims of 9-11”


Tawfiq Wasfi commented in Al-Ayyam (9/11):  “We will remember September 11 as we wish to remember it. Some see it as ‘pay back;’ others consider it as a tragedy that exposes other tragedies; yet others will remember it as the ultimate terror.… We realize the overwhelming horror felt by Americans on that day and the days that followed as they experienced the pain of enormous death and destruction.  The bitter feeling of being unsafe has shaken their faith in many of their principles and values.  More than anybody else, however, we understand this feeling because we, ourselves, have suffered from death and destruction more than anyone else in the world.  As far as security is concerned, it’s one thing that we have not had the chance to enjoy it thanks to Israeli aggression.  Despite the fact that September 11 is an American occasion, we should not be embarrassed to state that the Americans bear responsibility for the agony that we and many other oppressed nations are enduring.”


EGYPT:  “What Happened To The World?” 


Pro-government Al Ahram Editor-in-Chief Ibrahim Nafi’e of Al Ahram concluded (9/11): “It seems clear after one year of September 11 events that things have come back to normal in the international order, as it had been before the attacks. The period of international sympathy for the United States, and the abuse that dominated the policies of some international powers to take advantage of the events to get rid of prominent problems, has given the United States the chance to play the role of the sole power.  After a year, it seems the role has shrunk, which the United States has to realize because if it doesn’t, it might lead to many problems with its allies and friends.”


IRAN:  "American Measures Have Strengthened The Roots Of Terrorism"


The state-run television station Islamic Republic of Iran Network commented (9/9):  "Officials in Washington are still insisting on a military solution for confronting the so-called terrorism.  From the viewpoint of international community, not only this would not lead to uprooting of terrorism, but it will seriously reduce the global security coefficient.  As regards America's chaos creating, the officials of other countries who are concerned about the threats against international peace and security, are trying to attract the attention of American officials to the observing of international regulations and the need to take any measure within the frameworks of the United Nations organization.  From this point of view, the news conference of the foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran and particularly his hint about the fact that America's measures following 11 September have not led to a true campaign against terrorism and instead, they have strengthened the roots of terrorism in the world, is a way of attracting the attention of international and regional mechanisms to the unfavourable impacts of the policies of Bush administration on the global peace and security."


IRAQ:  "The U.S. Administration Of Evil"


Ahmad Abd-al-Sahib wrote in independent pro-government Baghdad al-Iraq (9/8):  "Since 11 September 2001, the U.S. administration of evil has been exploiting so-called terrorism in the service of its political, economic, and security ambitions and designs. The undisputed fact is that the death of 3,000 people in the September attacks as a result of what the Administration in Washington calls terrorism is not equal to the crimes that have been committed by the American leaders.  The hands of these American leaders are stained with the blood and loss of more than 1.6 million Iraqi women, elderly, and children who have not been deprived of drugs, medicines, and all other humanitarian needs.  The Americans should feel the pain that has been inflicted on other peoples in the world as a result of their criminal deeds in order to understand what the correct course is and what the right treatment is.  Will wisdom seep into their minds or will the concept of unjust force continue to prevail?"


JORDAN:  "Who Will Learn The Lesson And Stand Up For Humanity?"


Semi-official influential Al-Rai maintained (9/11):  “The peoples and nations of the world stood in clear sympathy with the victims and their families, they supported the American campaign against terror, and they seemed united in realizing the ugliness of the attacks and the savagery of the political motives behind them.  But the changes in priorities of America’s war on terror, and the U.S. refusal to deal with the causes of terrorism have created disillusionment among peoples and democratic regimes in the world.  In the days that followed September 11 there emerged a state of hatred and racist incitement against all that is Arab and Muslim, which resulted in summary arrests and attacks, despite some sane voices that saw the war as being against terror not Islam.  The American moves against terror would gain credibility and respect by adopting a single standard in defining terrorism, and in acknowledging that occupation is the worst form of terrorism; so is preventing peoples from self-determination and electing the leaderships that they chose democratically.  This form of terrorism is not annulled by power or unilateralism.”


"What Happened?"


The centrist, elite English-language Jordan Times asserted (9/11):  “As the United States mourns the innocent victims of the premeditated assaults on major American landmarks one year ago, Arab countries can only wonder:  What happened?  In the aftermath of a ragtag bomb-dropping campaign, Afghanistan looks more chaotic.… with an interim president desperate for funds to rebuild, if he can stay alive long enough to do so.  Usama Bin Laden has faded from the headlines, after Pentagon officials predicted capturing him by last Christmas.  Saddam Hussein has reappeared on the scene as America’s most wanted man.  Meanwhile, as the Palestinians cope with a barrage of bullets, bombs and bulldozers, President Bush lectures their leadership on the necessity to adopt more democratic procedures and produce a constitution--a document that Israel itself lacks.  It is the alienation of America’s friends in the area that furthers the goals of extremists everywhere.  With a tacit green light of Israel’s daily oppression and a so-called axis of evil that includes two of three Arab states, it is not difficult to understand why public sympathy for the U.S. has dried up in the past year.”


MOROCCO:  "Has Washington Learned Any Lessons?"


Government coalition, French-language Al Bayane editorialized (9/10):  "Tomorrow, America will remember only its victims and certainly not the deep causes which were at the origin of those attacks.  However, on this occasion, America should be ask whether its leaders are not reinforcing anti-American feelings in various regions of the world.  Whether on Palestine or Iraq, Washington's attitude disturbs even its closest allies and thus serves the interests of extremists."


SAUDI ARABIA:  "No To Terrorism"


Representative of several introspective pieces appearing in Saudi daily supplements (9/11), Khaled Al-Maeena wrote in Jeddah's moderate, English-language  Arab News (9/11),  "The fact that those responsible for the attacks were allegedly our fellow Muslims and perhaps even our fellow Saudis should make us stop and ponder. We must ask ourselves for reasons. Who were these people? Why did they do what they did? What led them down that path? The first two questions are probably the easiest; it is the third which may take us into regions we do not want to visit and force us to ask unpopular questions which may give rise to even more unpopular answers.  But this must be done — coolly, calmly and as unemotionally as possible.....  We must confront them as honestly and sincerely as we can and then act according to the principles and directions of our great religion, Islam.


"One of the most important things we—and the rest of the world—can do is to educate our children very carefully. And I do not mean provide them with an education which produces narrow minds and self-satisfied individuals who feel themselves superior to every human being who is in the slightest way different. Our children and the children of the rest of the world must be taught to respect other religions, cultures and traditions and out of respect will come in time understanding and acceptance....  At the same time, those from outside the region, those who are neither Arab nor Muslim, must not generalize and smear all Muslims with a guilt which is not theirs....  On this day which is a very sad one, we must think and reflect....  We should not forget to reach out to those who have been most directly affected by the terrorist acts. The obvious ones are those who lost loved ones on that day but let us not forget that there are also those, much nearer to us in terms of distance than those in America, whose innocent and unsuspecting lives were torn apart by the events of that day....  I most certainly do not advocate excusing the guilty or diminishing their sins in any way; some of them have in fact already been punished and those who aided and abetted them must now be brought to justice. The world must see punishments meted out and those punishments must deter others who, for whatever reasons, might be tempted to follow the same path."


SYRIA:  "Black September 11th Remembered"


Mohamed Abo Al-Ibrahim commented in the Syria Times (9/11):  "On such a gloomy Tuesday, any human everywhere cannot escape deeply unhurt; it was a heinous terrorist attack by all accounts against fathers, mothers, employees....  The attacks indeed targeted every civilization.  The majority everywhere stood by the U.S. in this tragic catastrophe....  Such acts are never to be justified under any pretext; killing of a human being is forbidden by every religion.  However, what adds more to the feeling of sorrow and pain were the more irrationality and sweeping generalizations by some to link the attacks with to Islam and to Arabs....  It is not either 'with us or against us', it is indeed a heart-felt sincere stand in defense of the U.S. friendly people....  We are united with you in combating terrorism; but we beg to differ when it comes to injustice to be arbitrarily imposed on us. Thus, some might hate and disagree with the U.S. seemingly biased foreign policy, but never the U.S. citizens of whom, millions are Arabs and Moslems and of whom the majority did contribute to the world civilization and progress."


TUNISIA:  "Finding Good Responses To Our Problem"


An analysis by former politician and academic, Chedli Klibi, in independent French-language Le Quotidien said (9/11):  "September 11 works in nobody's interest, in particular those of Arab or Muslim countries....  But the biggest loss is the idea of human fraternity. The principles of solidarity and respect for civilization have been undermined....  We should make an effort to find good responses to the problem of our societies.  We should achieve real development and establish the international norms to which our societies have a right.  We should, by all means, continue to believe in international law, because it constitutes the only rampart against the law of the jungle.  We should also make a critical balance sheet of our past struggles before asking others to help us. Our societies should rely on themselves and establish good work values....  The only pillars on which we can base our ambitions on the international level are the good organization of our societies, the efficiency of our economies, and the opening of our cultures.  This is how our societies will overcome their weaknesses and tribal divisions... It is against these enemies that we should direct our efforts."


"The Arab World Is At Stake"


Director M'hamed ben Youssef wrote in independent French-language weekly Tunis-Hebdo (9/9);  "After September 11, America has conquered Kabul and has established a pro-American regime that facilitates access to Asia and puts Iran under surveillance from the Afghan borders.  The second victim is the Palestinian Authority, given as an offertory to Sharon....  The next victim of the Washington-London-Tel-Aviv axis will be Iraq, whatever the concessions of Saddam may be...unless Iraq gives up the diverse immense petrol wealth to the ogre of the world (America).  Whose turn is it after Iraq?  Is it Iran or Saudi Arabia?... Cutting up and reshaping geographically the Middle East in accordance with the White House and Israel's interests is a secret plan that we are witnessing the beginning of.  But who worries about the massacres that could result from this plan?  No one will worry as long as Arab blood is put at stake by the western politicians in search of black gold."




AUSTRALIA:  “Hope Shines Through The Dust Clouds”


The leading, tabloid Daily Telegraph (9/11) read:  “Today represents an anniversary many of us would prefer to forget.  It is not because of apathy or even a lack of compassion but because September 11 stole our innocence....  For the first time we realized that no one is immune from terrorism....  While innocence may have been lost, it has been replaced by a pragmatism that has better equipped us to handle the challenges that lie ahead.  This includes the need for the continued offensive against bin Laden and his murderous cadres and other military incursions in the war against terror…”


“A Failed Response To Terrorism”


The liberal Sydney Morning Herald (9/11) editorialized:  “The fear and uncertainty spawned by the September 11 terrorist attacks is not confined to the United States. One year on, it threatens the peace of the world.  That is both the awful triumph of the terrorists and the failure of America's--and the world's--response to their murderous action....  The swift and terrible response to the attacks--the bombing of Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban regime which harbored al-Qaida and its leader, Usama bin Laden--was proper, which Australia among other countries supported.  The subsequent US shift of attention to Iraq, to make war on it and to overthrow President Saddam Hussein, raises new questions, however....  Mr. Bush, too limited in his world view, has found the path of vengeance easier than the calm reassessment required to see a bigger picture--one which would include, among other things, knowing his enemy....  When the desire for vengeance overcomes a patient commitment to justice, the chance for peace is lost and conflict is inevitable.  Thus, through a failure of leadership is victory conceded to terrorism.”


CHINA:   "Supremacy Not For Sure"


Xin Benjian commented in the official English-language China Daily (9/6):  "Re-evaluating the security environment in the post-September 11 world, the U.S. Department of Defense set new policy goals for its military in its 2002 Defense Report....  The report is obviously aimed at gaining absolute military superiority and security for the United States.  Some analysts say the September 11 terrorist attacks, which took place after the United States had shown contempt for other groups in the world, illustrated in an effective way its vulnerability....  The United States can realize its national security only by abandoning its unilateralist and hegemonic practices in international affairs."


"Can The U.S. Treat The World In The Correct Way?"


Shi He noted in the official intellectual publication Guangming Daily (Guangming Ribao) (9/6):  "September 11 is a sad day to the U.S.  At present, American people should analyze themselves carefully.  The U.S. should abandon unilateralism and coercive policies and seek political means based on the relevant UN Security Council resolutions when dealing with questions like the Iraqi issue.  The U.S. should also realize that all countries, no matter how big or small, are equal, and that there should be mutual respect between people of different beliefs.  The U.S. should cooperate with all peoples in the world and strive for sustainable development.”


CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):  "A Lasting Legacy"


The independent English-language South China Morning Post commented (9/11):  "Diplomatically, the changes are immense.  The Cold War has finally been laid to rest amid new alliances and cooperation.  Still, questions remain and U.S. President George W. Bush and his administration do not seem to be addressing them. Dictatorships are being accepted and separatist and minority causes bulldozed in the name of fighting terrorism....  U.S. hegemony and insensitivity to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians are the obvious root causes, yet are being sidestepped by Mr. Bush and his advisers.  Instead, their approach to tackling the hatred and anger directed at the U.S. is to use threats and military force.  They misguidedly believe that the best way to fight violence is with more violence.  By doing so, they are avoiding the time-tested solution of diplomacy, as well as the issues.  The U.S. approach does nothing to ease the nervousness felt by people worldwide.  The consequences of its actions will be widespread; they will further damage global stability."


JAPAN:  "World Economy Continues To Fight Terrorism"


Business-oriented Nihon Keizai observed (9/11): "The negative effect of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was not as damaging to the U.S. economy as originally feared thanks in part to quick corrective actions by USG and financial officials.  But there is no guarantee that the American and world economies remain immune from terrorism-related effects, as the U.S.-led antiterrorism campaign is continuing and may expand into Iraq.  What if crude prices jump because of rising tensions in Iraq?  Recent corporate scandals, including Enron and other major firms, have made the prospects for U.S. economic recovery somewhat gloomy.  Neither Europe nor Japan is yet ready to replace the U.S. as a new economic pacesetter."         


PHILIPPINES:   "A Year After"


Liberal Today editorialized (9/11):  "In the aftermath of September 11, the world waited with bated breath to see what America would do.  It ended up seeing the United States declaring war on an ism, in this case terrorism....  The fight against terrorism, however, is flawed in that America has faltered and failed to reach the logical conclusions that should stem from its declaration of war, in large part because of political and financial constraints....  Instead of clearly defining terrorism, terrorism remains only what America says it is, in contrast to the experience of so many nations including ours.   Terrorism cannot be merely what America says it is; to do so is to deny the commonality of experience, the unit of outrage, that should unite all nations that have endured terrorism and should be united in stamping it out....  America went after al-Qaida, but not after all the nations in which al-Qaida hides.  More to the point, although it has gone after the smaller, easier targets, it has not gone after nations much bigger and more powerful who have provided the breeding ground for terrorist of the al-Qaida variety....  America is the wounded giant yet the giant that refuses to throw its weight against the targets that matter.  From an American perspective its support for Israel, odious as its tactics may be, and for Pakistan's President, reprehensible as his method and politics are, are understandable." 


"War Drums In A Time Of Reflection"


The widely-read Philippine Daily Inquirer (9/11) stated:  "America did not mourn alone after the horror of Sept. 11. America's grief was also the world's grief.  And it was not only because of our common humanity but also because the sons and daughters of many nations around the globe were incinerated and crushed into dust when the World Trade Center crumbled to the ground.  But it is doubtful now if he (President Bush) has the world behind him as he threatens to carry further his war against international terrorism.  It is not because the rest of the world doesn't recoil in horror at the wanton destruction of Sept. 11.  Neither is it because other nations want to coddle terrorists.  The problem is that only British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo seem to agree with his definition of who is a terrorist.  Even America's allies in Europe and its neighbors, like Canada, cannot agree that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is a terrorist and poses a threat to world peace."


SOUTH KOREA:  “One Year After September 11”


Pro-government Hankyoreh Shinmun editorialized (9/11):  “We cannot help but express our deep concern about U.S. unilateralism in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.  Since then, the U.S. has used military force indiscriminately, as if the terror attacks had granted it a ‘license to kill and wage war,’ and has even gone as far as to adopt a very dangerous and arrogant strategy for pre-emptive strikes against countries developing weapons of mass destruction.  Furthermore, it has increased global division and hatred by splitting the world into the U.S. side and the terrorist side.  The underlying cause of such terrorist acts as the Sept. 11 attacks or suicide bombings by Palestinians lies in extreme hatred and frustration toward erroneous U.S. foreign policies, including the pro-Israel policy.  The U.S. should reflect on its role in this tragic situation....  Unless the U.S., as the world’s sole superpower, exercises restraint in using power, there will be no genuine peace in the world.” 


TAIWAN:  "From Unilateralism To Isolationism--Change In U.S.' Role"


Conservative, pro-unification United Daily News commented (9/9): "The U.S. leading and working with the international community in fighting terrorism is morally justifiable in nature and necessary for its survival and security.  But the Bush administration's self-willed action - namely, it wants to play the world police on one hand and implement unilateralism on the other - have cornered it in utter isolation, both opposed by the masses and deserted by its followers.  Given the new international situation, we need to watch closely the impact of the changing global strategic situation on Taiwan's survival in international society. Taiwan always follows whatever the U.S. does.  It has donated over $U.S.100 million to the anti-terrorism efforts over the past year and has supported Washington's call for counterterrorism with full vigor and urgency.  But in fact, the triangular ties between Washington, Beijing and Taipei are very subtle when it comes to the anti-terrorism agenda.  Of course it is important for Taiwan to participate in the campaign against terrorism.  But if Taiwan only follows in the wake of the U.S. without paying attention to the development of isolationism, Taiwan may not find itself in a favorable position especially when it comes to its survival. This is the lesson we need to ponder on the anniversary of the 9/11 incident."


THAILAND:  “A More Positive Outlook On Sept 11”


The lead editorial in the independent, English-language Nation read (9/11):  “The liberation of Afghanistan was obviously the most notable positive outcome of the September 11 attacks.  The terrorist attacks against the U.S. have also jolted the international community into action now that many countries realize that even the mightiest nation on earth is not immune to savage attacks.  Although the global network against terrorism that the U.S. has tried to put together, comprising many friendly countries around the world, has failed to reach uniformity in the degree of commitment and approach to dealing with terrorist groups in all their guises, the heightened awareness of the danger of terrorism and increased international cooperation have made the world a safer place.  But the international community has to go beyond making this world a safer place.  September 11 is a golden opportunity for us to reflect on the past and find the courage to make world a better place, a more tolerant place where differences of opinion and ideas are respected.”




INDIA:  "September Evolution" 


In an analysis (9/8) in the centrist Asian Age, M.J. Akbar opined:  "Despite at least a dozen serious reminders America always treated terrorism as, essentially, someone else's management problem.  The insularity of America is not an accidental growth.  It is a deeply cherished thing.  There is an obvious contradiction in an insular people talking charge of the world.  But facts do not change just because they are distorted by paradox.  9/11 will have different connotations....  The message that terrorist violence is not acceptable as a means of change has traveled down to those roots in the grass from where anger tends to bubble.  If that is the central concern of Pax Americana, then terrorism can only be counterproductive to whatever cause the Kashmiri might dream of. And once terrorism, and its sponsorship is out of they way, all sides to the problems are committed to a dialogue to break the three-generation deadlock.  That will not be easy.  That dreadful lock will take time to pick open.  But a process will begin.  That is the expectation that gives this election its special energy.  This is a war in the mind.  Its most effective weapon is going to be, therefore, intelligence.  Its biggest need is going to be patience."  


PAKISTAN:  "The World After 9/11"


Karachi-based independent, national Dawn opined (9/11):  "America's experience of using fundamentalism to further its strategic objectives has been as counter-productive as our own experience in doing the same. Perhaps the one conclusion to be drawn from 9/11 is that governments and states must follow a certain minimum standard of political morality, democratic tolerance and pluralism and social justice if the

scourge of terrorism is to be exorcised."


"9/11 Revisited"


The center-right, national Nation noted (9/11):  "There is a need to initiate a 'civilization' dialogue based on mutual tolerance and respect if the planet is not to be ultimately blown to bits.  The West must address the genuine grievances of the Muslims especially, as well as of adherents of other faiths, and also correct its rapacious economic policies which have divided the world into 'haves' and 'have-nots.'  The tragic 9/11 should also be seen as an ultimate act of desperation against accumulated injustices.  A policy of 'live and let live' needs to be adopted."




COTE D'IVOIRE:  "Why The USA Cannot Change"


State-owned Fraternité Matin told readers (9/10): "Self-proclaimed world policeman, the United States gets involved in any battles it decides it needs to manage. They are at the front lines and they bloody the world...Go find out how these American leaders make their strategic decisions that influence the world, with the aim of making the US the center of the world. They do not travel, those who decide the future of the planet. One could ask oneself how many of them have ever opened a geography book to find out if the world is round or flat.... This is why the USA cannot change."


"Not All Are Americans..."


Opposition Le Jour held (9/11): "One year later, the USA are having a hard time keeping alive the flame of solidarity and support born the day after the attacks that, according to official sources, killed almost 3000.  In effect, the management of the crisis by the American executive, seems instead to have given birth to a sort of anti-Americanism....  Those who do not share the concerns of the USA are against the USA. This is the credo of George Walker Bush. But we are not all Americans. The concerns of the USA are not necessarily our concerns. And the attitude of the USA regarding large international issues shows that American interests and not those of Europe, nor those of Africa, and even less so those of Asia."


NIGERIA:  "Lessons From America"


The respected, Lagos-based, independent Guardian commented (9/11):  "Whatever happens, certain questions would not go away.  For example what really, is it that drives people to such a depressed level that they would become suicide-bombers in an event such as September 11, 2001?  Why would anyone seek self-abnegation to prove a political point?  The terrorists of September 11, 2001 thought they were on a holy mission, but what kind of holiness is inspired by hate and violence?  September 11, 2001 is a date that would forever be remembered as a landmark in human history.  It exploded the myth of America, unarguably the most powerful nation on earth, as the safest place in the world.  It has forced President George Bush Jr. to declare the fight against terrorism as the focus of his administration.  There are lessons here which our country, and its leaders can learn from America's handling of the incident and its aftermath.  The American society is built on a foundation of optimism.  The people expect the American state to work always, in pursuit of the common good.  Every American administration takes this to heart as the substance of its contract with the people." 


SOUTH AFRICA:  "Lessons Learnt From Attack On U.S."


Kuseni Dlamini wrote in balanced Business Day (9/11):  "What did September 11 teach us?  It revealed the extent to which states--even powerful ones--are increasingly vulnerable to unsophisticated attacks by determined non-state actors....  This entails fundamental rethinking of the nature of  security threats and revisiting the concept of 'the enemy'.  This in  turn requires states to pool their sovereignty in defense of the  universal principles of democracy, justice, the rule of law, peace and security for all."


TANZANIA:  "America Should Fight Causes Of Terrorism"


The independent English-language African opined (9/11), "Terrorists murdered more than 3,000 innocent people in America a year ago. It was an act of terror, pure and simple. Virtually the whole world condemned it, including Tanzania.   But how many innocent people have American forces killed since then? Certainly, much more than this figure, and still counting. For example, isn't the killing of scores of Afghan civilians at a wedding party not an act of terrorism? American forces have committed just so many military errors in Afghanistan, killing hundreds of innocent people.  These can no longer be called just 'errors.'   American must realize that there is no quick and clean military solution to the terrorism.  The only remedy is for it to change its foreign policy--not just the world order."  


UGANDA:  "War On Terrorism Sullied"


Kampala's New Vision editorialized (9/11):  "It is a natural state of affairs for different sets of people to have an axe to grind against others. But the methods of al-Qaida, who in attacking civil institutions claimed to be representing Islam, are simply not acceptable in modern civilization.  It was sheer, unadulterated terrorism.  A deeply wounded U.S. was therefore justified in taking the anti-terrorism war to Afghanistan, where al-Qaida had been given sanctuary, subsequently toppling the regime there.  In the U.S., certain liberties have been lost in the interest of greater security, and this probably is a price worth paying.  But in his otherwise steadfast approach to fighting terror, President Bush has been too linear that he has lost focus.  By unjustifiably turning his guns on Iraq, Bush is alienating many, destroying the anti-terror coalition and undermining the international support that he got in the wake of September 11, 2001."




ARGENTINA:  "A Blow That Still Hurts"


Business-financial El Cronista declared (9/11):  "The September 11 attacks on the center of US power demonstrated that a country's military superiority does not guarantee its invulnerability. The Bush administration's immediate reaction was undertaking a war on terrorism and its supporting countries. And with this purpose in mind it proposed a military budget that is higher than the combined budget of the other 25 countries having the highest expenditure in their armed forces... Nevertheless, the outcome of all this is doubtful. As pointed out by expert Moises Naim, the U.S. seeks the protection of its citizens by increasing some kinds of expenditures that were useless on September 11... This role of world gendarme assumed by the US is not having a positive echo in other countries. While after the September 11 attacks Washington obtained conclusive support for its campaign against al-Oaida in Afghanistan, now Bush is not getting enough support to overthrow Saddam Hussein... Regarding Latin America , the post-September 11 changes have also had their impact, particularly in relation to funds allotment. If before the September 11 attacks the region expected to receive more US financial aid and reach profitable trade deals, the Bush administration made clear its priority concerning security issues."


BRAZIL:  "Everything To Be Done"


According to conservative O Globo (9/11):  "The September 11 tragedy...has provoked worldwide a curious mixture of feelings.  There were those who simply saw the human side of the question--thousands killed in a brutal manner.  But there was also a surprising explosion of anti-American feelings--as if some old repressed resentment surfaced like 'now they are seeing what suffering is.'...  A government and a country mortally offended by an hallucinatory attack has been having difficulty coordinating its relation with the rest of the world....  On both sides however, the September 11 crisis continues to demand a mature vision, that makes the real tragedy a concern of the whole Mankind, not only of a group with resentments pro- or anti-American."


"September 11 Was Yesterday"


Liberal Folha de S. Paulo political columnist Clovis Rossi wrote (9/9):  "Has Sep. 11 changed the world or the U.S. or the unutterable George 'Baby' Bush's administration?  So far it seems that only bin Laden has given meaning to Bush's life and government. An administration that was tailored only to help corporations and rich people now says it is ready to make the world 'safer.' But will the U.S. remain on the same course after Bush?.... The world continues to be as confused as always, worsened after the USSR's collapse. Some commentators had the stupid illusion that Bush would put order in the scenarios of horrible massacres, such as in Palestine. But Bush seems just to fight in a disorderly manner another battle of the Islamic war started in Iran in 1979. He may set fire to the Middle East. But he can just overthrow Saddam Hussein and proceed on his course of usual horrors. We don't know yet."


CANADA:  "Charting The Ripples From Sept. 11"


The leading Globe and Mail held (9/11):  "Countries were willing to stand with the United States to fight terror. But the developing Bush Doctrine is something more: a self-imposed right to act pre-emptively against any country developing weapons of mass destruction that could be turned on Americans. Mr. Bush's description of Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an 'axis of evil' was the first step.  And that is where support started to diminish. There are signs the White House recognizes the seriousness of this. Mr. Bush gives a speech tomorrow at the United Nations, aimed at convincing the world decisive action against Iraq is needed. Americans too are regaining their voice. The upsurge in nationalism in the wake of the terrorist attacks remains, but there is a real debate over the wisdom of trying to overthrow Saddam Hussein.... The acts of megaterror one year ago stunned Americans because they believed their country was a place apart--not just a beacon of freedom but a new land where history didn't apply.... The deaths of 3,025 people, killed in attacks on some of America's core institutions, transformed that.  Sept. 11 likely marked the real end of the 1990s, an optimistic decade that began with the demise of the Cold War.  Just as 9/11 has entered the lexicon, so has 9/10, denoting a blithe, unsuspecting nature. But no one is naive any longer. And the aftermath of Sept. 11 has barely begun."


"A Dangerous Clash Of Cultures"


Richard Gwyn commented in the liberal Toronto Star (9/10):  "Somewhere between 9/11 and today, the war on terror changed course to become a war of civilizations.  Why else would the U.S. target only Islamic 'rogue' states?....  It is exactly what Bush promised would not happen when he launched his counterattack on terrorism a year ago....  But it has happened, or is very close to happening unless both sides step back from the brink and unless leaders like Bush talk out clearly against it and act decisively, and generously, to make certain it doesn't happen....  What happened in New York a year ago--that all the hijackers were Muslims and justified their acts as those of holy martyrs--explains the fear and suspicion of many ordinary Americans towards individuals of Islamic origin.  The demonization of Islam, though, has to be seen as an ideological expression of hawks and right-wingers and of the military-industrial complex.  They are seeking an enemy who can be fought for years, as once the Communists were."


ECUADOR:  "September Wounds"


An opinion column by Hernan Perez Loose in Guayaquil's (and Ecuador's) leading center-right El Universo stated (9/10):  "It is not a coincidence that the attacks of September 11 were conducted by a group of individuals from closed, autocratic societies, dominated by oligarchies, which view Western civilization, and especially Western values, as a threat to their vision of the role of religion, politics, education, and women in society.  A recent UN study prepared by a group of Arab scholars denounced the alarming deficiencies Muslim nations suffer today in the fields of science, art, and culture because of the political repression and religious fanaticism that dominate many of them.  The collapse of the Twin Towers put an end to more than a decade of U.S. complacency after the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Today the U.S. political establishment has been forced to break with one of its most cherished political traditions, that of isolationism.  But in doing so it will have to avoid, however, the temptation of going to extremes, especially in view of its power.  A leader, not a dictator, is what the world needs from the U.S. At the end of this year, it is unavoidable to wonder what those who masterminded the terrorist attacks had in mind:  to humiliate the U.S.?  To take revenge against the West?  To further their own cause?  No.  They accomplished nothing like that.  Only the death of thousands of ordinary men and women who were getting ready to start another day in their lives and will never return to their homes and their families.  It was certainly a day of indignity."


GUATEMALA:  "The Anniversary”


Leading Prensa Libre (9/6) ran the following comment by staff writer Rodrigo

Castillo del Carmen:  "While Washington debates its imminent military action against Saddam Hussein, the great nation prepares to commemorate the terrible attacks of September 11.  Following the attacks against New York and Washington, the Bush administration has prepared to face a new terrorist attack, considering not whether it will take place, but rather where it will.  All the cities in the country have been put under maximum alert....  The authorities have taken measures to the point that security is mistaken for paranoia…  Intelligence agencies have implemented new training programs to face the challenge.  It is known that the FBI has been training its people in anti-terrorist techniques as well as to read body language.  For its part, the CIA is looking to recruit people with language skills, especially those who speak Arabic."


MEXICO:  "Everything And Nothing Has Changed"


Jesus Vergara Aceves stated in nationalist El Universal (9/10):  "Bush continues an international campaign of searching for allies against Iraq because he is still looking for the perpetrators of the terrorists attacks and the nations that give them shelter.  Bush has called this offensive a pre-emptive strike.  Does he think other nations will respect him because he is tough?… The point is that terrorism is a spreading cancer that affects everyone.  The American people hardly understand the true message of terrorism: to prevent the imposition of Western models on other nations, and to renounce to the hegemony of power....  Everything has changed, and nothing has changed."


"Mexico And Sept. 11"


Luis Hernandez Navarro wrote in far-left Jornada (9/10):  "September 11 shut down democratic values and harmed civil rights almost everywhere in the world.  The attack on the WTC canceled the possibility of a new migration agreement with the United States, in addition to hardening police measures against Mexicans crossing the border, leading to serious transportation and quality of life problems from Tijuana to Matamoros. U.S. military intervention revived classic anti-imperialist views in leftist political circles.  Anti-U.S. sentiment continues to run deep among many Mexicans, even those with relatives in the United States or those who have been migrants."


VENEZUELA:  "Al-Qaida Revived"


The afternoon El Mundo, usually critical of the U.S., opined (9/6):  "Fundamentalist Islam, represented by the Talibanism of al-Qaida and supported economically by the countries of the Gulf, with Saudi Arabia at the head of the group, is the clearest diabolical representation of the evil intrinsic to human nature....  We are beginning to believe that Bush is right: either we defeat terrorism where it is housed, or civilization as we know it will disappear.  I believe, without reservation, in being at the side of the man from the White House."


Commentary from ...
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September 11, 2002 9/11: 'THE DAY THE WORLD CHANGED'

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