International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

November 25, 2003

November 25, 2003





**  "Brutal" second wave of Istanbul bombings targeted moderate Muslims as well as the West.

**  Arabs decry attacks that "only serve the enemies of the Arab nation."

**  Attacks underscore the need to "refocus" on the war against terror.  




A 'message' for Turkey...and the West--  European writers judged that the second round of bombings in Turkey "had a twin tactical purpose, which in turn is part of a concerted, ruthlessly prosecuted anti-Western strategy."  Turkey's mass-appeal Hurriyet remarked that by attacking synagogues and British institutions in Istanbul, "fundamentalists"  were "killing two birds with one stone," attacking the interests of their "target countries [e.g., Israel, UK], but also striking a blow against Turkey."  The message being delivered to Turkey, France's Catholic La Croix held, "is perfectly clear: ‘choose your side, do not serve as a bridge'" between the West and the Islamic world.  Islamists "flatly reject" the idea of Turkey as "an optimal model" of the marriage of Islam and modernity, a Russian paper stated.  Another commentator added that the wave of attacks in Muslim countries "shows that there is a war going on" against the U.S., the West and "Muslim regimes that are willing to cooperate with the West."


Arabs say terrorism 'ignites hatred' against Muslims--  Saudi papers condemned the attacks as "a measure of terrorist desperation."  The pro-government, English-language Saudi Gazette declared that "such contemptible acts enjoy no popular support and can only serve to alienate the self-appointed guardians of Islam from the overwhelming majority" of Muslims.  An Algerian daily observed that the bombings "had no other visible effects than to get Saudi Arabia to return to the bosom of America and to re-unite Turkey and Israel."  Egypt's pro-government Al Akhbar called the killing of innocent civilians "an unforgivable sin" and worried that "these terrorist acts definitely...hurt Islam and the image of Muslims."  Lebanon's pro-Syria Ash-Sharq, while calling the Istanbul bombings "totally unacceptable," blamed "American barbarism against the Islamic world" for producing "dangerous radicals" and concluded "the radical Bush administration is responsible for these operations."


The war in Iraq 'has made things even worse'--  "With every attack it is becoming more obvious that the success in the fight against terrorism has been limited," declared a center-right German paper, expressing a common sentiment.  Russia's reformist Vremya Novostey editorialized that "neither the Americans nor their allies have come up with anything effective to help fight terrorism" and that the attacks confirmed the war in Iraq is contributing to "an escalation of violence."  The "evil policies of Bush and Sharon" have caused terrorism to grow, said Turkey's Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak.  A liberal Australian broadsheet, stressing that the "surest answer to terrorism is the removal of the causes of the grievances and the hatreds on which it feeds," counseled that the terrorist attacks should not "deflect the U.S. from its purpose" of establishing a "free, strong and independent Iraq."


EDITOR:  Steven Wangsness


EDITOR'S NOTE:  This analysis is based on 75 reports from 34 countries, November 21-25, 2003.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date. 




BRITAIN:  "The Real Nature Of The Threat"


The center-left Independent editorialized (11/21):  "For once Tony Blair stepped up to the microphone after a shocking event and failed to strike the right note.  He paid his respects to those killed and injured in Istanbul and their families with suitable sympathy, and he expressed with clarity the sense of outrage that most people must feel.  But the simplicities of his analysis of the war against terrorism seemed strangely at a tangent to what had happened a few hours earlier in Turkey.  The choice of Turkey as a target underlines the extent to which the war in which al-Qaida is engaged is as much a war within Islam as one against the West.  It might have been wise for Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush to have expressed more support for the Turkish nation in its time of trial.  Even if the attacks were clearly aimed at British targets, most of those that died were Turks.”


"Age Of Terror"


The conservative Daily Telegraph maintained (11/21):  "The bombings in Istanbul yesterday had a twin tactical purpose, which in turn is part of a concerted, ruthlessly prosecuted anti-Western strategy.  Many Europeans have been astonishingly slow to understand the impact of what happened on September 11.  Yesterday's atrocities are yet another reminder that the West and its allies, and moderate Muslims throughout the world, are up against a foe, who, blasphemously, given that God is the creator of life, glorify their deaths and the innocent people they kill as a passport to Paradise.  They represent a radically new and ever-present danger. And the sooner we wake up to it, the better.”


FRANCE:  "Al-Qaida:  A Mythic Enemy"


Richard Labeviere argued in right-of-center Le Figaro (11/24):  “An erroneous analysis will necessarily lead to the wrong response.… The world war against terrorism has not improved worldwide security, on the contrary....  The misunderstanding stems from the interpretation of the 9/11 attacks...and the demonization of al-Qaida....  Al-Qaida is nowhere and everywhere....  The fantasy of a worldwide organization...serves to justify America’s growing military and strategic deployment....  The war against terrorism has supplanted the war against communism....  For the American empire it is important that the myth of al-Qaida live.  To survive, the empire needs a worthy enemy against whom to wage war, a war without end.”


"Carnage And Messages"


Bruno Frappat wrote in Catholic La Croix (11/21):  “Terrorism is madness, but it is cold-headed madness....  The choice of targets is the message. The perpetrators have carefully chosen the different levels on which to read the message....  The attacks in Istanbul--anti-Semitic last week and anti-British yesterday--carry portentous significance. The targets, the country and the moment all carry a meaning....  The message to Turkey is perfectly clear: ‘choose your side, do not serve as a bridge'....  The moment chosen is also significant, just as President Bush and Tony Blair were about to seal their alliance....  But the terrorists’ new challenge will help to strengthen even further the British-American relationship.”




Patrick Sabatier noted in left-of-center Liberation (11/27):  “The attacks on Istanbul were aimed against Europe....  By hitting Turkey the terrorists are hitting a secular democracy, our NATO ally, who wants to become part of Europe.  It is a nation that shares our values and which fanatic Islamic radicals abhor all the more so because it welcomes its Jewish population and recognizes Israel’s right to exist....  Whatever our differences with America’s strategy in Iraq it would be a mistake to believe that we are not a prime target.  Bin Laden’s infernal machine will one day be launched against Berlin and Paris, as it was against New York and Istanbul....  In this war, neutrality is not an option.”


GERMANY:  "Turkish Extremists"


Center-right Maerkische Oderzeitung of Frankfurt on the Oder held (11/25):  "It is clear that extremist forces in Turkey by no means like Erdogan's planned rapprochement to the West.  They want to reverse Kemal Ataturk's life's work and strive for a re-Islamization of the Muslim nation.  But this fact should be strictly separated from the debate over Turkey's EU accession, which Erdogan always has in mind.  In this respect, the EU Commission in Brussels must make a decision that is strictly based on criteria and its own possibilities and goals.  Considerations that have nothing to do with such a decision like to stabilize Europe's periphery, to do the United States a favor, or to lure German-born Turks to vote for one's own party, have nothing to do in this decision-making process."


"Bombings And The EU"


Right-of-center Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten judged (11/25):  "Turkey finally needs a clearly understandable and chronological timetable for an accession to the EU.  The decisive argument has now been supplied by those who pulled the strings in the Istanbul bombings.  Turkey has now come in the crosshairs of Islamists because of its secular principles and the European orientation of a large part Turkey's elite.  It has turned into a threat for their crass imaginations of a Turkish religious state.  To give in to them means to give up Turkey.  This should never happen and is in Europe's well-understood self-interest....  In addition to the necessary logistical support in the fight against the Islamic danger, government leader Erdogan needs the reassurance of European integration; the more concrete, the better."


"Punishment For Western Orientation?"


Center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine concluded (11/24):  "Are the terrorist attacks in Istanbul the punishment for Turkey's links to the West and openness to western interests?  Do the perpetrators and the ones who pulled the strings aim at shaking up the state, breaking these links and undermine the people's sense of security?  This would at least be an explanation that is as plausible as the related one that strikes are carried out in Istanbul and Riyadh, but that Washington and London are the real targets.  From a western point of view, there can only be one answer:  This attempt to create trouble and to stir up unrest should not succeed.  If the civilized world wants to stand the fight against the forces of global terrorism, it must stand together."


"No More Pithy Words"


Center-right Westdeutsche Zeitung of Duesseldorf declared (11/22):  "Regardless of whether it was in Casablanca, Mombasa, Bali, or Jerba, we hear pithy words following every attack.  From Bush to Schroeder, from Interior Minister Schily to Turkey's PM Erdogan, the politicians responsible repeat their determination to continue their fight against terrorism.  But this does as little to reassure as the global situation after 9/11 does.  With every attack it is becoming more obvious that the success in the fight against terrorism has been limited, while terrorism itself no longer knows any borders.  And it seems that the concern that the war in Iraq is contributing to an escalation of confirmed more and more.  One thing is certain:  there cannot be 100% security, either in Turkey or elsewhere."


"Fight On Two Fronts"


Markus Ziener opined in business-oriented Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf (11/21):  "Intelligence services say that the attacks had their own language. And their message is:  following a period of weakness that followed the war in Afghanistan, al-Qaida is again capable of acting.  Al-Qaida has a good chance to win the fight for the minds of the people.  In the long run, the controversy between violent fundamentalists and democratic societies will not be won on the battlefield but in the minds.  And in this respect, the West is threatened with a real defeat."


"Sick Minds"


Guenter Nonnenmacher judged in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (11/21):  "Even sick minds produce a logic, even if it is very perverse.  We must try to understand this logic in order to take effective measures to prevent attacks and to effectively fight terrorism.  Nevertheless, there is no clear answer but only a number of speculation to the question why Turkey, why Istanbul has turned for the second time to a site of devastating terrorist attacks....  The fact that British institutions were targets of the terrorists could be an indication that it was a kind of substitute activity:  a crime that is almost ruled out in London where Prime Minister Blair and President Bush meet under high security conditions has now been transferred to Istanbul.  Over the past few months, the terrorists proved that they are able to strike all over the world.  Now the community of civilized nations must prove that it is able to react to this challenge in a resolute way."


ITALY:  "The Axis Of Chaos"


Alberto Ronchey commented in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (11/21):  "After the latest bombs in Istanbul, it seems apparent that Saddam Hussein and Usama bin Laden are pursuing coordinated or parallel strategies. The Iraqi post-war, the continuation of the war 'with other means' has set off hostilities.  For the last few months, Islamic international terrorism was gathered on the Tigris River for the 'holy war'....  The 'holy war' or the Jihad, at this point, is on the offensive on a number of fronts.  In Iraq, without sparing Iraqi civilians, it tends to make the ungovernable situation chronic.  Outside of Iraq, also using Saudis against Saudis and Turks against Turks, it tends to destabilize moderate Islamic governments.  'We will not give in to terrorism,' announced Erdogan for Ankara's government, which is close to the Westerners.  Bush and Blair assure:  'We will remain until necessary.'  It's clear that a retreat from Iraq, more or less in the short term, could give rise to disastrous chain reactions from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean....  Therefore, Bush and Blair's announcement 'we will stay until necessary,' is an inevitable conclusion, rather it is uncontestable even by those in Europe who had raised strong objections against the thesis that the war was necessary or against the misconceived and badly conducted handling of the post war."


"Double Target"


Robert Fox held in leading business-oriented Il Sole-24 Ore (11/21):  "In the recent wave of terrorist attacks carried out by al-Qaida and its affiliates, those in Istanbul yesterday were the most complex and the best coordinated....  The timing is just as important as the targets:  and it goes to show once again that al-Qaida and its friends are the organization that pays the most attention to publicity and the media on the story of international terrorism.  The bombs exploded...while President Bush was about to begin the second day of his official visit to London with the most solemn moment--by paying homage to the tomb of the unknown soldier at Westminster Abbey, and followed by the important joint press conference with his great friend Prime Minister Tony Blair.  These bombs make a clear statement.  They are telling the entire world that whoever planned the attacks sees Blair as an enemy, alongside Bush.  The bomb at the Carabinieri headquarters in Nassiriya sent Italy the same message.  The terror squads affiliated with al-Qaida...are showing a new audacity and precision, and a clear strategy."


RUSSIA:  "After Turkey, No Country Can Feel Safe"


Aleksandr Samokhotkin and Yelena Suponina commented in reformist Vremya Novostey (11/21):  "The number of suicide attacks and other terrorist acts in the world has grown alarmingly.  One may dispute the opinion about World War III going on, but realities reflect radical changes in global politics and in regions that are more open to attack than others.  Clearly, Turkey is one of the countries with a high risk to life.  The list of terrorist targets includes the United States, Britain, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Morocco and many other countries.  In fact, there is a threat to the whole world....  Explosions and gunfights are common in U.S.-occupied Iraq.  The U.S. invasion, it will be admitted, has infuriated the Islamists....  Radio Ankara yesterday compared the Istanbul bombings to the 9/11 tragedy in the United States.  Regrettably, since then neither the Americans nor their allies have come up with anything effective to help fight terrorism.  The war in Iraq has made things even worse."Vremya Novostey




Sergey Strokan opined in business-oriented Kommersant (11/21):  "Yesterday's events in Turkey bring back to mind the memory of September 11, 2001.  Even though terrorist acts are almost a daily occurrence and probably surprise no one, what happened in Turkey, for a number of reasons, stands in a group by itself....  What happened on September 11, 2001, and November 20, 2003, was shockingly unexpected, stunning, and hard to perceive at once.  It is symbolic, too.  Besides killing and intimidating, terrorists in Istanbul were after a new symbol.  The global war on terror is also a war of symbols.  Picking Turkey as a new target attests to a new phase of the war.  Now what is Turkey?  It is a showcase of the West in the Islamic world, an optimal model, so the West believes, for many countries from former Muslim republics of the USSR to Pakistan.  Islamists flatly reject that idea of Turkey, convinced that Turkey is theirs.  The antiterrorist coalition suffering a defeat in Turkey would strengthen the Terrorist International on a global scale.  Conversely, Turkey standing its ground would be a major defeat for the world's terrorists."


AUSTRIA:  "Turkish Society"


Senior editor Hans Rauscher wrote in liberal daily Der Standard (11/25):  “After the recent terror attacks, there are arguments for including Turkey in the EU, most of which are based on the assumption that the country should join the EU all the sooner precisely because it is backward in many ways, but at least displays a clear willingness to belong to the West....  The question remains whether Turkish society is sufficiently European not to upset the structure of the European Union when the country joins the EU in 2012, the year that was suggested.  True, the moderate Islamist government under Erdogan is at least trying to modernize the laws of the country--but their implementation is a different matter altogether.”


"An Outpost Against Terror"


Deputy chief editor Viktor Herrmann maintained in independent Salzburger Nachrichten (11/22):  “The decision on whether Turkey is part of Europe or not has already been made, because the country is now included in the list of al-Qaida’s terror targets.  It is futile to debate on how closely the EU and Turkey really are related--the reality of terrorism has settled that issue once and for all.  During the Cold War, Turkey was the most important NATO bulwark in southeastern Europe against the Soviet Union.  Today, the country is forced to take over the role of a European outpost against terrorism at the borders to the Middle East.  Europe needs this outpost, both on a military and a political level.” 


"Stuck In The War Against Terror"


Markus Bernath observed in liberal Der Standard (11/21):  “Turkey seems to be the logical new target for al-Qaida: a NATO country with a moderately Islamic leadership, a political and military partner of both the US and Israel....  Al-Qaida and its henchmen have now hit an ‘icon:’  as a secular Islamic country, Turkey is considered to be the model for future Iraq....  Terror is terror and is never justifiable, but terror sometimes needs different answers, depending on its regional origins.  Nothing would go more against al-Qaida’s grain.  As a kind of franchise of international terrorism, Usama bin Laden’s organization works with ideological simplifications, and thus gains more and more support in more and more countries.  Turning the conflict between Israel and Palestine into a war of all Muslims against the U.S. and its allies is one example for such simplification; using occupied Iraq as a new arena for jihad is another.  The war against terror, which was declared by the U.S. and its allies, is stuck in a dead end.  This is the true symbolism behind the overturn of the Bush statue in Trafalgar Square by opponents of the Iraq war.”


BELGIUM:  "Istanbul Suicide Attacks"


Erik Ziarczyk wrote in financial-oriented De Tijd (11/22):  "The cooperation between al-Qaida and small terrorist groups has advantages for both parties.  Al-Qaida can continue its program: the war against the U.S., Israel and the other ‘enemies of Islam.’  Furthermore, the risks for the terrorist network are relatively limited.  For instance, in the case of a terrorist attack in Indonesia, the authorities focus on the local radical movements.  Local terrorist groups also profit from their cooperation with al-Qaida.  It is an excellent means for them to acquire international recognition.  In a certain way, al-Qaida has become a brand name for modern international terrorism.  In other words:  al-Qaida is more and more operating as an employment agency for terrorists.  It is in a position to act like that because it continues to have a lot of money at its disposal--as was leaked by a UN report last week.  According to the UN, the struggle against the financing of terrorism has been a failure--because only few countries had the political will to stop the floods of money to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.  And, unanimous international cooperation was not a success either.”




Mia Doornaert stated in independent Christian-Democrat De Standaard (11/21):  "The wave of bloody attacks in Muslim countries shows that there is a war going on:  against America, against the West and against Muslim regimes that are willing to cooperate with the West.  That war was going on for quite some time, but it burst into our living rooms on September 11, 2001.  Osama bin Laden and his followers hate less what the West does than what the West is:  democracy, tolerance, ‘infidelity’ and the equality of women--an abomination in bin Laden’s eyes....  It would be an absolute mistake to regard Islam as the enemy.  That is why the Americans and their allies must do their utmost to support the Muslims who strive for modernity and democratization.  That means that the U.S. president must give much more priority to peace between Israel and the Palestinians and demonstrate to the Arabs that he is not using double standards.  As long as the conflict remains a wound, it will be difficult for the Arabs to be our friends.  And, it will be easy for our enemies to spark hatred and violence.  Those who want peace and reconciliation must also hope that the Americans and their allies can find an honorable solution in Iraq.  A modern Iraq with an efficient government could be a beacon in the entire Middle East--but that is exactly what many terrorists and many reactionary regimes in that area do not want.”


BULGARIA:  "Iraq Unleashed A Wave Of Terrorist Attacks"


Center-left Sega opined (11/24):  "The U.S. is drowning in the Iraqi quagmire, no one can find Saddam's WMD, and a wave of terrorist attacks have been unleashed in recent months.  All of these are tough questions for the officials in Washington and their allies around the world.  What is happening at the moment is exactly what the anti-war protesters were afraid would happen.  Iraq is yet another very bloody reminder that you can't fight terrorism with war, because this only exacerbates the situation.  It's like chasing wasps with a baseball bats.  Even if you hit one, you will break everything in the house, while the rest of the wasps keep stinging you.  It's better to keep your house in such order as to keep the wasps out."


"Attacks At The Crossroads"


Center-right Dnevnik editorialized (11/21):  "It is quite telling that the terrorists are targeting Turkey--a country which is an example of a relatively successful reconciliation of political Islam and democracy....  The bombs in Istanbul are a warning to all countries, in which even authoritarian regimes find it easier to ban political parties than to close down mosques.  The Islamic world is facing two options--either to find its way towards the 21st century or to be drawn back into the middle ages by bloody Islamic revolutions.  Al-Qaida and its offshoots in Istanbul are heading backwards in history.  Turkey will change more by integrating into the EU than by desperate suicide bombers.  The worst thing to do now would be to abandon this country in a difficult moment, because if Turkey fails, the next buffer zone between Islam and Europe is Bulgaria."


CZECH REPUBLIC:  "The Enemy Is Here"


Emanuel Mandler wrote in mainstream daily MF Dnes (11/25):  "The attacks in Turkey partially suggested the strategy of Islamic terrorists.  In connection with their previous actions, we know:  A. Apart from states that are at war with terrorism, countries supporting the fight against terrorists will also be dragged into the war.  B. Jews will be pursued all over the world.  C. An Islamic country cannot cooperate with the U.S. or Great Britain, or else it will be punished.  D. Terrorism will advance territorially as well....  The only thing that is clear now is that there is a way to avoid terrorist attacks in the foreseeable future:  to refuse antiterrorist cooperation with the U.S. and Great Britain and to take a hostile attitude towards Israel....  Leading forces of terrorism thus set the lure of peace as an important part of preparations for their attacks on the entire Euro-American civilization.   It is about to split the West.  Of course, the West can win only with a strong antiterrorist alliance.  There is no need to emphasize how important the U.S. is including its ability to make and keep alliances with other countries not only European ones.  But in order to make such a strong alliance feasible, even big states (France) must not stipulate the same conditions as the superpower or work against it."


"Attacks In Istanbul Demonstrated Importance Of Turkey"


Petr Pesek wrote in center-right Lidove noviny (11/21):  "Yesterday’s bloody attacks at British targets in Istanbul...are exceptional in the choice of the site.  Turkey is situated on the boundary of two continents, not only geographically, but also culturally, politically and militarily.  Inciting instability in Turkey and its extraction from the European sphere of interest would certainly come in handy [for Islamist fundamentalists]....  The attacks should be a warning to all those who doubt the importance of including Turkey in [the European Union]....  A helpful hand from the European continent will definitely pay off.  Turkey is the gateway to the turbulent Asian world, and the stronger the gate, the better for the safety of Europe."


GREECE:  "The Vicious Circle"


The lead editorial in popular, pro-government, anti-American Eleftherotypia read (11/20):  "The increase of the suicidal attacks, both inside and outside Iraq, proves that Bush and Blair's tenacity on the doctrine of the irrational 'war on terrorism,' waged through illegal raids in tandem with occupation of countries that sink into hell, does not strike terrorism, it merely feeds it."


HUNGARY:  "Istanbul"


Leading Hungarian-language Nepszabadsag declared (11/21):  "The terrorists have chosen a soft target (not an obvious target).  It has been proven again that the terrorists enjoy killing without preference.  More Turkish than British people died yesterday.  As regards the Turkish government, though it has Islamic roots, it is prominently a friend of the West.  And this is especially true of the Turkish army.  Turkey’s political orientation is Europe, a fact that is simply unbearable and unacceptable to the Islam fundamentalism that drives al-Qaida.  There is, in addition, a key card (not yet played) in the Turkish  government’s hands:  it can send its soldiers to Iraq any time.  The terrorist bombings in Istanbul yesterday revealed a new dimension of al-Qaida’s activities.  Only the ‘British component’ of the (forced) ‘United States-Great Britain-Israel’ axis had remained untouched so far.  The terrorists have done their best to make sure to all involved that it won’t be the same again.  So they waited until U.S. President George Bush began his ‘demonstrative’ official visit to the faithful ally Great Britain and hit only then.  Their message therefore is indeed the timing [of their attack].”


NETHERLANDS:  "Help Turkey"


Left-of-center Trouw maintained (11/21):  "The events in Turkey are reason for great concern.  The fact that al-Qaida could once again carry out attacks after the attack in Saudi Arabia and earlier this week on the European continent, shows that the war on terrorism is far from over.  This is what British PM Blair and President Bush emphasized yesterday at a joint press conference.  The attacks strengthened the two leaders in their conviction that the war in Iraq was necessary and has not yet been completed....  The series of attacks are a serious setback for Turkey....  The Turkish government deserves full support from Europe, particularly now that it seems prepared to implement the necessary reform in order to qualify for EU membership....  It is possible that Turkey became a target of Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization because of its pursuit of western values and, of course, also because of its close military relations with the United States and Israel.  The attacks could have drastic economic implications and therefore also threaten to destabilize Turkey....  This, too, is reason for Europe to fully support the government in Ankara, and not just politically."


POLAND:  "It’s Not Bush"


Marcin Bosacki opined in liberal Gazeta Wyborcza (11/21):  “On Thursday night, a few hours after the attacks on the British targets in Istanbul, one hundred thousand people took to the streets to protest--no, not against terror, but against the policy of the U.S. president.  Many shouted that Bush is a threat to peace, that his attack on Iraq provoked the acts of terror.  I strongly disagree.  It’s an open question whether the war with Saddam was reasonable, or whether it brought more good or evil.  But when during a demonstration against the U.S. on such a day no one loudly opposes al-Qaida, not only the foundations of common sense but also decency are shaken....  One could debate how to fight with bin Laden, or whether Bush is doing it properly.  Above all, however, we must understand that not Bush (as they shouted in London) or Israel (as Europeans responded in the well-known poll), but fanatical terrorism is a threat today.”


ROMANIA:  "At The Gates"


Foreign policy analyst Gabriela Anghel commented in opposition daily Romania Libera (11/24):  “Turkey is now at the center of the Muslim fundamentalism terrorist strategy, because it is situated at the gates of Europe, and has American military bases on its territory....  Turkey was targeted because of its ‘way’ of successfully linking Islam and modernity.”


SPAIN:  "Multiple Terror"


Left-of-center El País said (11/21):  "Putting Turkey up against the ropes...excellently serves al-Qaida's interests:  the more repression of Islamic fundamentalism, the more weapons of global victimization for bin Laden and his ilk....  The answer is made more difficult by the diffuse nature of armed Islamic fundamentalism, its organizational multiplicity, and the lack of clear economic and organic links between the assassins and their leaders....  But the maintenance of the very foundations of the international order we know depends on the efficient pursuit of this opaque and scattered world."  


TURKEY:  "Turkey's 9/11"


Sedat Ergin wrote in mass-appeal Hurriyet (11/21):  "There seems to be a close relationship between the spiritual mood of the suicide bombers and their preference to choose Turkey as an operations area.  This fact is related to the vision of the terrorist organization behind the bombings and its peculiar interpretation of Islam.  Let's be clear and bold:  the gist of the issue stems from an interpretation of Islam which legitimizes bloody terror acts in the name of Allah.  This interpretation has supporters in the vast Islamic geography, including in Turkey....  It does not come as a surprise that these fundamentalists have chosen Turkey for their terror attacks.  They have attacked synagogues and British interests in Turkey, and by doing so they are killing two birds with one stone.  They are not only sending a message to their target countries, but also striking a blow against Turkey, which stands as the complete antithesis of this fundamentalist approach to Islam."mass-appeal Hurriyet


"A Brutal Message, And We Know What It Means"


Mehmet Ocaktan argued in Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak (11/21):  "There is a clear message to read in these events.  This is a vicious plot against Turkey.  It does not matter any more whether al-Qaida or some other terrorist organization actually carried it out.  It has almost been two years that we are dealing with bin Laden and al-Qaida, which is an organization designed by the U.S.  We see neither the capture of bin Laden nor anything happening against al-Qaida.  It is very likely that it will continue like this.  Yet we are aware of the fact that America is occupying countries, killing women and children, and stealing others' democratic ideals on the pretext of a war against terrorism.  The gang which is turning the world into a hell is now free.  The evil policies of Bush and Sharon have caused terrorism to grow and to spread."


"The Istanbul Bombings"


Sami Kohen remarked in mass-appeal Milliyet (11/21):  "The attacks yesterday in Istanbul indicate the fact that Turkey is facing a terror campaign which has many international dimensions.  This is a very critical situation.  Turkey must act as quickly as possible to respond.  One response is through more solid security measures, efficient intelligence and better coordination.  The second response is to make an objective analysis of the reasons behind these events and to make necessary fine-tunings in both foreign and domestic policies.  Results in the fight against terrorism can only be achieved by following these two channels simultaneously."


"Why Turkey?"


Rusen Cakir contended in mass-appeal Vatan (11/21):  "Immediately after asking the question, 'Why Turkey?' it is also necessary to ask, 'Why Istanbul?'  If al-Qaida had targeted only Turkey's foreign policy establishment, then probably it would have chosen Ankara.  But by striking Istanbul, it also targeted to a great extent the culture and civilization of the Islamic world, and all of the values created by the Islamic world throughout history.  It is necessary for Turks, as the subjects of these values, to stand up and be counted in the fight against global terrorism.  The society--not the state--can be the catalyst for this response."




ISRAEL:  "Living By The Sword"


Arab affairs correspondent Jackie Hoogie wrote in popular, pluralist Maariv (11/24):  "The Islamic world is presently learning the hard way that terror is a malignant growth that sends out errant offshoots, and he who lives by the sword--suffers its blade....  What we have already forgotten is well inscribed on the walls of the ops rooms and presidential chambers of the Arab states.  Since May 2003, when the mass terror attack in Saudi Arabia took place, more Muslims have been killed in terror attacks than Israelis.  In all cases, the murderers were Muslims who slaughtered members of their own nation....  The Arab and Islamic states are now paying the price of their hesitant silence over nine years of horrific sights on the streets of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Netanya, Hadera, Afula and other cities, since the Hamas and Islamic Jihad suicide bombings began.  The intellectuals and leaders of the Arab world were not there to shout that the Palestinians were also guilty of crimes against humanity.  Slowly but surely, mass terror attacks against civilians were received as a reasonable and proper means of struggle....  It would be an error to say that bin Ladenism's sources of inspiration stem from Hamas alone.  It would be naive to think that the Arab states have the power to completely put a stop to the ideology of the 'human bomb.'  But if these regimes had mobilized in the first place, and waged a comprehensive public campaign against killing innocent people, perhaps the prevalent question among Arab League states today would not be--who's next?"


"Let Turkey In"


The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (11/23):  "Fortunately, the Turkey that emerges from the trauma it has just been dealt appears to have no misconceptions about the challenge it faces, and is eager to tackle it with resolve.  Its leaders' pro-Western statements sound genuine, and contain the unequivocal tone some had previously failed to detect in their pronouncements and actions.  Hopefully, Europe, too--in the spirit of Chancellor Schroeder's recommendation last week--will now understand this is no time to nitpick about Ankara's location in the atlas.  The free world is under attack, its enemy is Islamist fundamentalism, and its major ally is the Muslim world's only solid democracy--Turkey.  If Brussels and Ankara do not immediately get down to the business of not only mending, but expanding the East-West bridge that Turkey has so painstakingly built and shouldered, a new dark age in the history of mankind will emerge from its debris."


"Wake Up"      


Editor-in-Chief Amnon Dankner declared in popular, pluralist Maariv (11/21):  "The majority of the western world hasn't internalized the fact that it is in the midst of a bitter, long lasting war.  President Bush keeps saying it again and again since the twin towers disaster but only few listen and understand.  Others, drenched with fear, stupidity and ignorance object to this war, blame the West, Israel and everyone who understand that something historical is happening here....  Since Adolf Hitler's days the world hasn't been witness to such a great, scary flood of hateful propaganda coming from the Muslim world....  Exactly as in Hitler's days the one who won't read and listen, the one who won't find interest and search, the one who will ignore and underestimate will not understand where he lives and what the future holds for him....  This outburst of fear, hatred and feelings of inferiority won't end in several terror attacks a few times a year.  Istanbul is only a station on the way....  What is needed, and still unfortunately hasn't happened, is a total understanding of the danger and aside from that the understanding that this monster cannot be satisfied by throwing to its mouth selected pieces like the elimination of Israel.  The whole West...must understand that this time it stands before a great appetite of hatred that only the destruction of the West would satisfy."


"Al-Qaida Is Winning"


Ronnen Bergman opined in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (11/21):  "The September 11 terror attacks were only the beginning....  Isolated attacks...became a huge wave of terror attacks, which the world has never known before....  From terror to terror it becomes clear that it is about a world jihad, about an all-out war.  And meanwhile, despite the U.S. and other countries' manages to carry out again and again deadly terror attacks....  The attacks in Istanbul are mainly a challenge over the country's government.  This country symbolizes exactly the opposite of al-Qaida:  Turkey proves that a country can be both Muslim and Western, liberal, secular and democratic....  Regarding the West--it stands without a worthy answer to the dreadful paradox: of all things, the war on terror, declared by President Bush after September 11, has brought an increase in the level and amount of terror attacks."


EGYPT:  "We, The Ambassador, And Conspiracy"


Magdy Saran wrote in opposition Al Wafd (11/24):  "What U.S. Ambassador David Welch said about the Egyptian press is mostly true....  It is stupid to fail to realize that the entire world and we have become prisoners of a conspiracy plotted by international Zionist gangs...and their neo-conservative supporters at the White House....  All the wars and tensions reveal this truth about the conspiracy....  Terrorism suddenly moving to Muslim Turkey....  The terrorist explosions in Saudi Arabia...and the bombed cars in Iraq...all want to give a message that Muslims are terrorists....  The conspirators are exposed when a bomb was diffused near Ottoman monuments....  Who would believe that a Muslim could commit such impossible acts?...  The ambassador accuses us of ignorance because we speak about conspiracy, while he forgot the history of the successive administrations in conspiracy and igniting strife.  Do not throw stones at us if your house is made of glass."


"Who Is Al-Qaida Serving?"


Mohamed Wagdy Qandil argued in aggressive pro-government Al Akhbar (11/23):  "Undoubtedly, killing innocent civilians is an unforgivable sin, especially if it is conducted in the holy lands [of Saudi Arabia]....  These terrorist acts definitely...hurt Islam and the image of Muslims, and only serve the enemies of the Arab nation....  Apparently, al-Qaida has transferred its operations to Saudi Arabia and is using gullible elements in the name of religion....  Is there an Israeli penetration of al-Qaida?....  Are foreign intelligence authorities, including Mossad, enlisting trained elements to penetrate it to achieve certain plots?"


"They Are Destroying Muslim Interests"


Pro-government Al Ahram's unsigned editorial declared (11/22):  "If those who killed innocent people with car bombs understood the true teachings of Islam...the bloody explosions in Istanbul, Riyadh, Baghdad and New York would not have occurred.  What has an innocent person done to be killed in this horrible way merely because his government is pursuing a different policy, doing injustice to a nation, or supporting Israel?...  Killing and murder [in Saudi Arabia or Turkey] against a country that has never usurped Muslim rights hurts Islam and Muslims and ignites hatred against them, as was the case with September 11....  These acts never achieved their purposes:  the U.S. did not abandon its support for Israel, nor was Palestine liberated....  The U.S., Britain and Israel should reconsider their policies toward Arab and Islamic issues and be persuaded that terrorism will never stop as long as injustice prevails."


SAUDI ARABIA:   "Terror's Demise"


Jeddah's English-language pro-government Saudi Gazette noted (11/23):  "There can be no doubt that the indiscriminate bombing of civilian 'soft targets' in which the majority of victims must inevitably be Muslims is a measure of terrorist desperation.  Such contemptible acts enjoy no popular support and can only serve to alienate the self-appointed guardians of Islam from the overwhelming majority of Muslim people....  The bombing in Istanbul, far from advancing the terrorists' cause, can only hasten its eventual demise."


"We Need Serious International Initiatives To Eliminate Terrorism"


Riyadh's moderate Al-Jazira editorialized (11/22):  "Within less than a week, Istanbul was subjected to four terrorists attacks...a matter that requires all states of the world to take additional steps to confront all aspects of terrorism, in order to eliminate it completely.  These efforts should not be limited only to condemnations but, as the Kingdom has demanded, they should include serious initiatives aimed at putting an end to this global evil."


"One Message, Two Deliveries"


Abha's moderate Al-Watan opined (11/22):  "If the explosions in Istanbul were supposedly a message of protest aimed at Bush and Blair, one cannot help but compare them to the civilized message sent by the tens of thousands of protesters who marched in the streets of London.  The same message was delivered in two different ways....  To reach honorable goals, such as the liberation of Jerusalem and Baghdad, no Muslim blood should be shed and no innocent people should pay the price with their lives.  The means of delivery of this message should be compatible with these sacred goals."


"The World's Resolved Is Tested" 


Jeddah's English language Arab News declared (11/22):  "The massacre in Istanbul is the latest test of the civilized world's resolve.  The civilized world must pass it.  Surely, these Istanbul butchers and their ilk are the worst humanity has to offer--among the worst it has ever had.  We must not allow them to rob the rest of the world of conviction....  The reaction to the bombing in Istanbul and any similar act must be to increase tenfold the commitment to defeat those who perform such acts." 


ALGERIA:  "Gulf Countries Are Now Targets Of Fundamentalism"


Influential, journalist-owned French-language El Watan stated (11/22):  "Who would have thought that Arab countries would one day condemn terrorism?  Since 9/11, Gulf countries turned their back on Islamism because it hit the U.S.  Now they have turned into eradicators of this phenomenon after becoming targets of fundamentalist violence." 


"The Interest Of Israel, The Dementia Of Al-Qaida"


Largest-circulation French-language daily Le Quotidien d'Oran observed (11/22):  "The recent bombings had no other visible effects than to get Saudi Arabia to return to the bosom of America and to re-unite Turkey and Israel.  So, a fundamentalist country (Saudi Arabia) and an Islamist-oriented country (Turkey) have become tied to the U.S.-Israeli alliance in the name of the anti-terrorist fight.  If it is clear that this situation does not augur well for Syria and Iran, which are exposed to Tel Aviv and Washington's hostility, it does not augur well for Europe either.  At the least, and supposing that UBL's organization remains a reality, the fact is that Israel's interest and al-Qaida insanity are dovetailing."  


LEBANON:  "Terrorism Produces Terrorism"


Aouni Al-Kaaki held in pro-Syria Ash-Sharq (11/21):  "Obviously, we denounce the explosion in Istanbul.  What happened is totally unacceptable....  This explosion killed Muslim Turks much more than British...and confirmed the saying that violence only produces violence and counter-terrorism does not produce anything but more terrorism....  The American barbarism against the Islamic world is producing dangerous radicals....  We can conclude that the radical Bush administration is responsible for these operations."


MOROCCO:  "Roots of Harm"


Ahmed Zaki editorialized in Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS) Al Bayane (11/23):  "The wave of terrorist actions that have been going on in Arab and Muslim countries since the American-British intervention in Iraq constitutes a worrisome phenomenon that, in addition to killing innocent victims, threatens regional stability....  It seems that this is a new way to struggle against the U.S. and its allies, taking into account the difficulty of reaching American territory since September 11.  We need to take the threat seriously and not minimize the danger of the new terrorist attacks....  This implies political struggle against obscurantism and its terrorist and totalitarian drift, as well as the struggle against imperialism that opposes...the peoples' interests and supports extremists."




AUSTRALIA:  "Britons Are Targets Of Al-Qaida Now"


The liberal Sydney Morning Herald observed (11/22):  “The latest terrorist bomb attacks have shaken Istanbul, but not Turkey's resolve to resist the demands of those behind them.  Nor should they deflect the U.S. from its purpose in Iraq:  to rebuild and strengthen it with democratic institutions and restore its independence....  The surest answer to terrorism is the removal of the causes of the grievances and the hatreds on which it feeds.  In that sense the war in Iraq--to establish a free, strong and independent country--is indeed the main battleground.  Unfortunately, there are many more, and this war will be very long.”


CHINA:  "Why Turkey Has Become a Target of Terror"


Li Zhanjun observed in official intellectual publication Guangming Daily (Guangming Ribao) (11/25):  "First, besides Iraq, Turkey is the place in the Middle East in which the U.S., UK and their allied countries have the most offices.  Terrorists can easily get to targets there....  Second, most Turks have been disgusted with U.S. hegemonic behavior in the Middle East for a long time, and the Iraq war initiated by the U.S. augmented their hatred....  In addition, the Iraq war has caused severe economic difficulties in Turkey, which neighbors Iraq....  Turkey is located at the convergence of three continents:  Asia, Africa and Europe....  Its special geographical position is not only convenient for terror organizations to transport arms to for attacks, but also for them to retreat to and hide in after launching the attack."


"Terror Running Rampant"


Huang Qing commented in Communist Party-run Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao) (11/24):  "The first question: what changes has al-Qaida made in regard to its attack targets?...   Al-Qaida's early targets were so-called 'traitors'...then they changed to 'infidels' and plotted 9/11.  Now they have changed back to 'traitors.'...  The second question is: why has al-Qaida still been able to run rampant even though the world has been severely striking at terror?...  Experts believe that since the Afghan war...about 20,000 persons from 47 countries have been trained by al-Qaida.  Now these members have been spreading into every country, using their radical ideology and other resources to create and activate many regional terror organizations....  It should be pointed out that a connection exists between the U.S. and the globalization of al-Qaida.  The al-Qaida network was developed during the Afghan war against the Soviets, and at the time that bin Laden was recruiting supporters from around the world, the U.S. was complicit in bin Laden's behavior.  The third question is:  can the international community deter these wild attacks from al-Qaida?....  It is said that al-Qaida is not only an organization but also an ideology.  The al-Qaida phenomenon carries the rich color of cultural conflict....  It represents the contradiction and conflict between tradition and modernization, religion and global civilization."


CHINA (HONG KONG AND MACAU SARS):  "Terrorist Attacks May Spread"


Pro-PRC Chinese-language Macau Daily News remarked (11/22):  "Terrorist groups continue to expand the scope of their attacks.  Their goals are to upset U.S. deployments in the Middle East, create heavy casualties, give the U.S. a hard time, trigger domestic grievances and finally force the American forces to leave.  Now, the situation in Iraq is getting harsher and harsher.  It is like the Vietnam War....  Al-Qaida has issued a threat that it will launch a large-scale attack that will kill 100,000 Americans.  From the series of terrorist attacks recently, the scale seems to get bigger each time--the threat may not be an empty show of strength....  The people that get hurt in terrorist attacks are innocent.  Such attacks should be strongly condemned.  Now is the time for the international community to look for ways to prevent further terrorist attacks."


"Muslim Nations Key To Winning War On Terror"


The independent English-language South China Morning Post stated (11/22):  "Thursday's blasts, as well as many others on Islamic soil that have been attributed to the al-Qaida terrorist group in recent years, bring into the open the conflict between this radical group and the moderate majority of the Muslim world.  In attacks taking place in Pakistan, Indonesia, Tunisia, Yemen, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and now Turkey, most of those killed have been Muslims.  As much as anything else, the success of the war on terror will now depend on what direction their governments and citizens choose:  will they turn away from doing business with the West or will they renounce the extremists in their midst?...  In London, Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush vowed not to be cowed by the violence, but with little indication that the response to terrorism will become more sophisticated."


"Don't Let Up In Efforts To Prevent Terrorism"


Pro-PRC Chinese-language Wen Wei Po observed (11/21):  "Terrorism contaminates human society.  Any terrorist attack that takes the lives of innocent people should be strongly condemned and resolutely combated.  In the meantime, the international community should reexamine why more and more terrorist attacks are occurring, despite stepped-up counter-terrorism efforts since the September 11 attacks.  Why are the regions that are involved are becoming larger and larger?  Why do people feel that the world is even more insecure?....  Power and hegemony are two of the major reasons that provoke an endless stream of terrorist activities.  The U.S. should conduct a thorough self-examination.  It is worrying that during President Bush's UK visit, he still emphasized 'replacing one tyranny with another.'  He simply does not have any intention to adopt new ways, and terrorist attacks may possibly spread further.  People should be psychologically prepared."  


"Winning The Counter-Terrorism War But Not Terrorism"


Independent Chinese-language Hong Kong Economic Journal editorialized (11/21):  "Turkey's capital Istanbul suffered two devastating bombings yesterday, causing heavy casualties.  Representatives from al-Qaida and a radical Turkish group claimed responsibility for the attacks.  The U.S. and coalition forces may have won the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but they did not defeat terrorism....  The targets have turned from organizations symbolizing western power to civilian organizations and businesses....  The U.S. was able to overthrow the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the Hussien regime in Iraq in just a few months.  However, it is quite helpless in dealing with al-Qaida.  It is obvious that al-Qaida may no longer be a well-organized group...but it continues to maintain a terrorist network that is spread around the world.  In the past, mainly the U.S. and some European countries were worried about their presence.  Now, there is no paradise on the earth.  Terrorist attacks in the name of al-Qaida may be anti-U.S., anti-Jewish, against sending troops to Iraq or against U.S. allies--all these have become excuses to launch attacks."


INDONESIA:  "Bombing In Istanbul Shows The Difficulty In Confronting Terrorism"


Independent Kompas commented (11/22):  “The U.S. was really extremely humiliated and insulted when it was attacked in September 11, collapsing the World Trade Center in New York that was the symbol of the economic excellence and damaging part of Pentagon in Washington that is the symbol of the U.S. military supremacy as a superpower.  The effort to suppress terrorism activities by some people is not yet effective.  The campaign against terrorism that was launched after 9/11...has not yet brought a satisfactory result....  With advanced technology, the global community knows of the terrorist attack in Istanbul at once.  The psychological impact and fear aren't confined to Turkey, but soon grip the entire world.  The impact of terrorist threats also surpasses its actual power by using the mass media publication effect.”


PHILIPPINES:  "Istanbul Blasts"


Max V. Soliven wrote in the independent Philippine Star (11/23):  "The Istanbul blasts, if anything, were favorable to Dubya Bush.  He had begun to sound shrill in his speeches, despite the logic and courage of their content, when he sought to explain why the U.S. was intent on fighting terrorism so furiously that it carried this war to Baghdad.  The Istanbul attacks have served to remind everyone that terrorism is the most cruel form of blackmail, and if we yield to blackmail there will be no end to our travails.  The blackmailers will constantly demand more and more."


THAILAND:  "Questions That Need Answers"


Rachan Husen maintained in conservative, Thai-language Siam Rath (11/22):  “There are several interesting questions that should be pondered.  For example, does al-Qaida have the capability to stage terrorist attacks whenever and wherever it pleases?...  Why wasn’t the U.S. the victim in recent attacks?  The U.S. Department of State issued earlier warnings of terrorist attacks here and there and when it happened, it was the U.S. who could draw a conclusion even before the host country could.  It could even identify the perpetrators.  Why?  Besides being a NATO member and a host of a U.S. military base, Turkey is the country with closest ties to the U.S., Israel and western nations in the region.  Is it possible that no intelligence agencies of allied countries exist in Turkey that could have prevented those attacks?...  News reports are now attempting to highlight the fact that Turkey is a Muslim country and the accused organization is also Muslim and that assaults between Muslims are forbidden, especially when it is carried out during the Ramadan month.  Could it be that there are ongoing attempts to ‘stamp out’ Muslim organizations and paint a vicious image of Muslims the world over?  Why is there no mention of the Kurd separatist movement currently rankled by Turkey’s troop commitment to Iraq?”




INDIA:  "New Bearings For Terror"


The nationalist Hindustan Times editorialized (11/22):  "After the latest suicide bombing in Istanbul, some kind of a pattern can be discerned.  The terrorists are now choosing western targets in non-western countries, presumably because the security measures have become much more stringent in the West.  In contrast, they may have found Asian and African countries far easier to enter for the purpose of conducting their deadly operations.  Bali was followed by Casablanca and Riyadh.  Istanbul has now seen two successive attacks....  Except for Saudi Arabia, against whose royal family al-Qaida bears a special grudge, in all the other attacks the country wasn't really the target.  Only the western offices and personnel were....  The latest outrage may have prompted George W. Bush and Tony Blair to reiterate their determination to fight terrorism, but they cannot deny that, at the moment, the western powers are groping in the dark.  Iraq remains a festering sore and the Palestinian issue a breeding ground of anti-Jewish and anti-U.S. sentiments.  Clearly, the war against terrorism is far from being won."


"Turkish Nightmares"


The centrist Indian Express judged (11/22):  "Istanbul has once again been firmly placed at the crossroads....  Certainly, the attacks, most probably by the al-Qaida and a fraternal organization, are aimed at extending the terrain of the America-led war against terror....  The attacks seek to spur Turkey into making choices it has always tried to banish--between political Islam and secular democracy, between Western and West Asian alliances.  Many of these tensions came to the surface since the run-up to the war in Iraq, when Turkish territory was requested for an U.S.-led invasion into northern Iraq and recently when domestic outrage made the government rethink its offer to contribute to the stabilization force in post-Saddam Iraq.  Intelligence agencies speak of fresh terror alerts.  It's a threat that must be countered, both strategically and ideologically."


"Terror In Turkey" 


The centrist Asian Age editorialized (11/22):  "By virtue of being a key member of the western alliance and for long perceived to be quite unabashedly pro-American in its policy orientation, Turkey has always been vulnerable to attacks from Islamic terror groups.  Turkey has systematically refused to allow Islamic fundamentalists to develop roots on its soil, and it is equipped with a highly sophisticated intelligence network.  In spite of that, al-Qaida, riding on the shoulders of the hitherto unknown Islamic Great Eastern Raiders Front, has managed to strike hard at soft targets....  The attack comes at a time when Tony Blair has been hosting George Bush, discussing how ineffective the war against terror has turned out to be over the last several months....  Significantly from the early clues that the Turkish police have picked up, there are some that point to Pakistan's links in the suicide bombings....  If the Hezbollah turns out to be the immediate outfit behind the attack, it will signify how al-Qaida has succeeded at roping in several disparate groups under its wings.  The war against terror must take a qualitatively new form....  George Bush and his advisers need to internalize the changed nature of the fundamentalist challenge.  For long, the 'noble and necessary' mission led by Bush and endorsed by Blair has failed to impress huge section of the two leaders' domestic constituents.  The attack in Turkey is bound to make further inroads into the road map charted out by Bush and company."


"War Without Frontiers" 


The centrist Times of India declared (11/22):  "George Bush's global war against terrorism met with a savage rejoinder in Istanbul....  The terrorists' message was chillingly clear:  we don't have to attack you on your home turf, we can hit you where you least expect us.  The latest outrage cast a pall over Bush's show of solidarity with his most trusted ally, Tony Blair....  The terrorists showed that their war knows no boundaries.  This really is the Achilles' heel of Bush's 'global war against terror':  while terrorism is indeed a global phenomenon, the U.S.-led battle against it has unfortunately acquired the look of an all-American operation.  It would have been much better strategy for the U.S. to have built a global consensus on the way to fight terrorism by eliciting support from all parts of the world.  Instead, Washington's 'you are with us or against us' rhetoric put an American stamp on what should have been a coordinated international effort.  Indeed, thanks to Washington's ill-judged vocabulary, terrorism came to be seen as fundamentally associated with Islam, thus creating a grievous civilizational schism....  By putting the imprimatur of itself and its allies on the anti-terrorism war, the U.S. in fact has put itself and its friends at grave risk....  Though late, it is still not too late for Washington to enlist the help of the international community through the all-too willing offices of the UN.  This and this alone is the way to make for a truly global war against the global threat of terrorism."


"Al-Qaida Again"


The pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer held (11/21):  "The report that the recent incidents of suicide bombings in several conflicts indicate that al-Qaida has switched into a new form of functioning, is hardly surprising. Islamist fundamentalism has been growing in many parts of the world since the late 1970s....  What al-Qaida did was to take advantage of the doctrinal climate and integrate the Islamist organizational infrastructure that existed in many parts of the world into one global terrorist network functioning on the cellular pattern.  Interestingly, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is widely regarded as second only to Osama bin Laden in the al-Qaida hierarchy, was a leading light of the violent fundamentalist Islamist movement in his own country, Egypt....  Osama bin Laden, and his second-in-command, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, remain at large.  By all indications they are under the ISI's protection in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas bordering Afghanistan.  So much for the U.S.'s stalwart ally in its war against terrorism!"




SOUTH AFRICA:  "A New World War"


The liberal Witness commented (11/24):  "Last Thursday's terrorist bombings in Istanbul...may have had several motives, but one must surely have been to cause doubt and fear in the UK and the other countries that have conspicuously assisted the U.S. in Iraq....  There is uncertainty about how close the connections are between terrorist acts such as these in Istanbul, the Bali atrocity, the recent bombings in Saudi Arabia, al-Qaida, the guerrilla war in Iraq and extremist Palestinian groups like Hamas....  The only discernible that the targets are generally American, or perceived as pro-American, or even international organizations with considerable Western involvement.  The messages may vary from one atrocity to another...but the threat to world peace and security is the same....  Hardly any country in the world can consider itself safe."


"World War Three"


Balanced Business Day held (11/24):  "Fourteen years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and more than two years after the attack on the World Trade Center, World War III is being fought against terrorism, notably the al-Qaida network.  And...SA is involved....  All of Africa is on the frontline of this war as much as the U.S., UK or Turkey.  Attacks in Kenya and Tanzania prove this....  Effective international cooperation alone is a necessary, albeit not a sufficient, condition for success in this war....  The widespread perception that U.S. acted unilaterally in Iraq and is prepared to do so again must undermine international support for the U.S.-led war against terrorism....  It is too much to expect the UN to have an overarching role in fighting terrorism, but it is certain that there is a role for an international body with a more neutral coordinating role."




CANADA:  "What Turkey Can Do To Fight Back"


The leading Globe and Mail editorialized (11/22):  "Why Turkey?  The terrorists who detonated two suicide bombs in Istanbul this week chose the Turkish capital for a reason.  As the only Muslim country to belong to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Turkey is an ally of the West.  It has been a stalwart member of NATO for decades.  Last year it led the peacekeeping force in post-Taliban Afghanistan.  It is also an ally of Israel.  It was the first Islamic country to recognize the Jewish state, and the two countries maintain close economic and military ties.  All this makes Turkey an enemy of al-Qaida and other anti-Western extremist groups....  What can Turkey do to fight back?  First, avoid flinching.  If the Turkish government gives any sign that it is intimidated, if it makes any move to shrink back from its Western ties or draw back from the war on terrorism, the extremists will take heart and strike again.  Turkey would be wiser to strengthen its alliances and increase its involvement in the struggle against terrorism.  One way to do that would be to send troops to neighboring Iraq--a step the Turkish government nearly took this year, before getting cold feet.  In return, other countries need to help Turkey face the terrorist threat.  One way would be to speed its entry into the European Union, binding it closer to the Western world....  What a message that would send to the killers of al-Qaida."


"Refocus War On Terror"


The liberal Toronto Star observed (11/21):  "The 9/11 war on terrorism is nowhere near over.  And it will not be won by President Bush's military adventures in Iraq.  That's the brutal message in yesterday's terror bombings in Turkey....  Above all, the bombs served notice that al-Qaida and friends remain a potent threat more than two years after Bush vowed to 'smoke out' the 9/11 killers and bring them to justice.  This is serious, more so than Bush will admit, obsessed as he is with Iraq....  But it misses the point.  After 9/11 the main thing was to put al-Qaida out of business.  That didn't happen.  Instead, Bush invested vast resources into hammering Saddam Hussein's regime, which, while criminally brutal, was not a terrorist threat.  Terror had not taken root in Iraq, before the invasion.  It has now. Meanwhile, bin Laden remains free to preach murder, and to bankroll it as his adherents stage a deadly comeback.  Yet Bush is poorly placed to counter the threat to America and its allies, so bogged down is he in Iraq.  This is tragic.  Bush has no priority more important than running bin Laden to ground and putting his crew out of business.  It's past time to refocus the war on terror."


ARGENTINA:  "Terrorism Places The Turkish Government At A Crossroads"


Elisabetta Pique commented from Istanbul for daily-of-record La Nacion (11/24):  "While many believe here that the attacks...were the price of maintaining a strategic alliance with the U.S., there are also those who think it was a clear message to Erdogan's Islamic administration.  We should not forget that out of all the countries having an Islamic majority, Turkey, a bridge country between the West and the East, is the only lay country and, from the political viewpoint, is the only Islamic country that is a West's ally, a NATO member, and has a strategic-military relationship with Israel.  Something considered 'real treason' by a good number of Islamic fundamentalists....  Erdogan has demonstrated he has a firm pro-European and pro-West line....  However, this line confronts him with the crossroads of dexterously handling an alliance with the U.S. that public opinion looks at with suspicion, while finding a balanced serenity in a lay and Western society, on one hand, and religious and Islamic on the other hand."




Marcelo Cantelmi contended in leading Clarin (11/21):  "In view of the tragedy in Turkey, it is clear security is today jeopardized...but also assurance about the truthfulness of political leaders' statements is endangered.  This is due to the prevailing chaos and lack of control.  Iraq is completely out of control, no matter what is being said against this.  There is an ongoing national rebellion in Iraq, no matter how much it is denied.  But Iraq is also an argument that has been used by terrorism after the controversial allied military action in the Persian Gulf.  Blair and Bush are promising more of the same.  And they relate Iraq and organized terror.  They choose a simple way of looking at it: everything is done by al-Qaida and its chief bin Laden from some hidden cave in the Afghan desert."


BRAZIL:   "Terrorism In Turkey"


Liberal Folha de S. Paulo political analyst Boris Fausto asserted (11/24):  "The macabre sequence of recent terrorist actions has demonstrated not only al-Qaida's capacity to carry them out but also a logic that is far from being one of despair....  Turkey differs very much from the other Islamic nations in the region....  However, none of this means that tensions have evaporated, especially between Islamic sectors and the Army....  But the scenario is in general positive and constitutes an example of coexistence between groups with conflicting views.  To destroy such coexistence by sowing uncertainty and panic with consequences in all areas, including the economic one, is a basic goal of terrorist fanaticism.  To hit Turkey, Jews and the British at the same time was another calculated action whose escalation must be stopped."


"Pandora's Box"


Political columnist Clovis Rossi remarked in liberal Folha de S. Paulo (11/23):  "The U.S. occupation in Iraq was aimed at taking the war on terrorism to one of its supposed epicenters, and therefore making the world safer.  What has happened is exactly the opposite.  Terrorism has taken its war to the hearts of the Italians, British and Turks....  There is no safeguard possible against this type of crime....  It has been said that Turkey became the most recent target of violence because it is a Muslim nation that cooperates with the West....  Well, there are several nations with Muslim majorities that cooperate with the West, beginning with the largest one, Indonesia....  How many banks or other British, Spanish or American symbols exist in those nations to serve as targets, such as those in Istanbul?  It is impossible to keep watch over all of them.  What terrorism has done is to disseminate insecurity.  It is no longer possible to proclaim victory and withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan with the expectation that terrorism will end.  It will not be easy to close this Pandora's box."


"The Result Of Bush's Mistakes"


Center-right O Estado de S. Paulo judged (11/22):  "The suicidal attacks in Istanbul last Thursday once again demonstrated the failure of U.S. policy to combat terrorism.  In addition, they exposed even further the emptiness of Bush's rhetoric that the U.S. is winning the war against terror....  The contrast between the president's bombastic statements and the very real bombs with which the terrorists mock them [Bush's words] is shocking....  The U.S. began to lose the confrontation that has galvanized it since Sept. 11 when it failed to identify the enemy and opted for subordinating this fight to a supremacist plan to redesign the Middle East's geopolitical map."


"Unstoppable Terror"


Liberal Folha de S. Paulo editorialized (11/21):  "President Bush has certainly been making mistakes in several areas, but he is right to be indignant with the barbarism that is terror.  It is unthinkable that the international community would just fold its arms when faced with such a tragedy.  But it is ever growing the feeling that the way the U.S chose to fight [terror] is inefficient.  Specialists say that al-Qaida has restructured itself....  It is close to impossible to defeat the intentions of a suicide terrorist.  Acknowledging so does not mean one will give up fighting [terror], but it means one understands that military actions are not enough." 


COLOMBIA:   "Bush:  Under The Shadow Of Terror"


Top national El Tiempo stated (11/21):  "The suicidal attacks, the daily explosions of car-bombs, and the ambushes by organizations like al-Qaida show how far away the day is when the U.S. and its allies can proclaim victory in the war against terrorism....  It would be a tragedy for the West, if terrorism turns a victory that increased the pride of the American people into a humiliating defeat.”


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