International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

May 19, 2003

May 19, 2003





** The Casablanca bombings reveal Islamic terrorism is by "no means contained" and may be a harbinger of a more "dangerous phase" that includes targeting Arab "traitor" countries.


** Critics, mainly on the left, say the attacks indicate the Iraq war may have enabled a "second generation" of al-Qaida; conservatives claim "soft targets" reflect a "weakened" terror network.


** While official Arab papers denounce the "criminal guerrillas" for "slandering" Islam, other Muslim outlets claim the U.S. makes "no effort" to understand causes of deep resentment.


** Fighting terrorism requires a "unified West" and "democratization" of Muslim civil society.  




A new wave of terrorism, 'nobody is safe anymore'-- On the heels of Riyadh, the Casablanca attacks demonstrated how al-Qaida and other groups, although "decentralized,"  were united in their "common hatred of the West" and have the "cruelty and resolve" to attack Arab regimes in the "Western orbit."  Moscow's reformist Vremyna Novostey noted that the terrorists have resorted to "killing their Muslim brethren" to "undermine the authority of the pro-Western monarch."  Similarly, Jordan's mass-appeal Al-Arab judged the fact that al-Qaida moved its "war against the U.S. into Arab countries" showed the "seriousness" of this terrorism, but added, it will serve only the "warmongers" and "the Zionist lobby" in Washington.


The fight against terrorism is 'by no means' won-- Editorials attributed the attacks to the "failure" of the U.S. and its allies in the global war on terrorism, emphasizing the West must work together against a common threat.  Critics, mainly on the left, claimed the attacks "confirmed" fears that the Iraq war would "inflame" Islamic fundamentalists and spawn terrorist reprisals.  They "vindicated" those who warned that "U.S. policy was creating new centers of hatred."  Writers agreed with Germany's business Handelsblatt that rather than diminishing the threat by eliminating Saddam Hussein, the Iraq war "drove many new supporters into the hands of the extremists."  By contrast, conservative Western papers shared the Australian Financial Review's reasoning that the incidents were actually a "perverse" reminder of the "substantial progress" made in the war on terrorism, which had forced al-Qaida to choose "softer targets."


Muslim outlets decry 'crime against humanity,' but say U.S. must reduce threat--

Arab and Muslim outlets denounced the bombers as "criminal guerrillas" who belong neither to Islam "nor even to humanity."  Capturing the typical reaction in Saudi editorials, Abha's moderate Al-Watan accused the terrorists of having "no real cause," and using "a religious cover to lure...those with weak faith" into suicide missions.  Just as European papers urged Arab regimes to "change the way they govern,"  Algeria's French-language La Tribune held that "the absence of democracy will eventually nurture all forms of terrorism."  Others blamed the U.S. for Arab resentment, with Pakistan's centrist News insisting the U.S. must "assuage the Arab anger for the grievous harm," posed by the "western act of imposing Israel in their midst."


EDITORS:  Irene Marr


EDITOR'S NOTE:  This analysis is based on 49 reports from 28 countries, May 17-19.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:  "Al-Qaida's Soft-Target Strategy Could Eventually Be Its Downfall"


The left-of-center Guardian commented (5/19):  "There's no command and control system to disrupt: just loose groupings of the desperate and the deluded with lorries full of explosive or grenades strapped to their waists, ready to die from Casablanca to Riyadh.  Blood brothers of the Israeli bus bombers.  You can't cut off the head, because the manic heart still beats on regardless....  Worse there is no shortage of recruits, human fodder for annihilation....  Who really suffer the most after Casablanca, for instance?  Moroccans....  Authority under challenge cracks down automatically....  Morocco needs to be more free, not less.  The Saudi princelings...are the problem, not the solution....  The Arab street has to have something better than death to look forward to."


"A Tidal Wave Of Hatred Is Sweeping"


A commentator for the center-left Independent (Internet Version) held (5/19):  "There is today a huge divide between people who see the universe through the eyes of neo-con America and its right-wing European devotees and satellites, and the rest of the world that feels disempowered and caught between all these New World barbarians, who are seeking to dominate and destroy, to bully, threaten, humiliate and crush the will and spirit of populations the world over....  What is truly scary is that the powerful in the wild west coalition do not begin to understand (nor do they want to) just how much dormant suspicion and hatred is now spreading to all countries....


"Most of the victims of this latest spate of terrorism are Arab or Muslim, the terrorists' own brothers, sisters and children - that is, if they really believe in the umma, the bond that unites diverse Muslims....  Talk to East Africans and Moroccans and they will tell you that they are traumatised by the bombs and threats thrown into their fragile countries by the suicide bombers.   But they will add that they can understand why Al-Qa'ida is attracting recruits and why this evil will not be beaten by Bush and Blair with all their weapons and hubris....  The inhabitants of beautiful places that are terrorist targets are the collateral damage in this war and their deaths hardly ever count in this clash of the pitiless. And all we have to console us is George Bush with a silly smile on his face saying: "These guys are on the run, we are going to get them."


FRANCE: “The Islamic Challenge”


Renaud Girard wrote in right-of-center Le Figaro (5/19):  “Political Islam is at war with the West, ‘the Jews and their crusaders.’  Al-Qaida has managed to put together a second generation of terrorists.… Its strength lies in its heterogeneous nature and its decentralized organization.  Its strategy is clear: to punish the ‘impious’ regimes of Muslim nations who rely on tourism.… It would be a mistake to underestimate these new soldiers of Islam who are ready to die for their ideology.… What should the West’s answer be?  First and foremost it must be united against this Islamic threat.  The transatlantic relationship is essential. The Americans have their courage working for them.  But they are lacking in method.  The Europeans know the Arab-Muslim world better than the Americans.  But the Europeans seem to be paralyzed by the threat: it is high time they woke up.”


“Fragile Morocco”


Left-of-center Le Monde editorialized (5/19):  “Saudi Arabia and Morocco are considered to be friends of the U.S. by the Islamic extremists.… Al-Qaida is a decentralized movement with growing regional groups taking root locally.… This is today’s new source of concern. There are major differences between the regimes in Riyadh and Rabat, but also great similarities.… Islamic movements in both countries feed on economic difficulties which the regimes do not know how to handle… Al-Qaida can easily find new members to recruit among these groups.… Democratization is the only answer to stop this new violence. It is up to Morocco’s King to understand the message.”


“A Warning to the Regimes”


Dominique Bromberger stated on government-run France Inter radio (5/19):  “It is probably correct to say that al-Qaida served as the inspiration for the perpetrators of Casablanca’s attacks.  But these could not have happened if the country's regime did not trigger so much exasperation and create such fertile grounds in part of Morocco’s population....  The attacks in Riyadh and Casablanca carry disturbing similarities.  We can see where an international terrorist group, such as al-Qaida, and certain frustrated elements of society found a meeting ground.  In both instances the message to the local regimes is clear: they need to change how they govern.”




Patrick Sabatier in left-of-center Liberation (5/19): “The attacks in Riyadh and Casablanca prove to what extent President Bush was wrong to declare that America’s victory in Iraq ‘was a turning point in the war against terrorism.’ The Islamic war on the West is not about to end. Whether Bin Laden is behind these attacks or not, he is clearly the inspiration behind them.… His group may have suffered reversals in Afghanistan, but his network has spawned metastases, which are creating a more decentralized, transnational and clandestine movement. By hitting ‘weak’ targets the terrorists are hoping to break the economic and human ties between the West and Muslim nations, and to eradicate a certain model of society, where certain values, such as political democracy and freedom have progressed.  Morocco is a case in point. In the face of such a challenge, the war against Iraq is nothing more than a temporary and ineffective diversion.  It has probably even made things worse, by reviving resentment.”


GERMANY:  “Wave Of Terrorism”


Guenter Nonnenmacher editorialized in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (5/19): “The wave of terrorist attacks, ranging from the Arab peninsula via the Middle East to the Western an indicator of the willingness of radical Islamists to use violence and of the impossibility to guarantee protection from suicide attackers....  The attacks may have been planned and executed by local groups for local reasons, but their common origin is the hatred against the unfaithful, the West, whose representative and bastion in the Islamic world is considered to be the state of Israel.  That is why it is no coincidence that such atrocious terrorist attacks happen always when all sides involved try to organize better relations between the Jews and Arabs in the Holy Land.”


“Fighting A Losing Battle”


Andreas Foerster held in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung (5/19): “The devastating balance sheet of the terrorist attacks after 9/11 shows the cruelty and resolve with which fanatics are fighting the 'unfaithful’ and Islamic states collaborating with the West.  But the figures also document the failure of the U.S. and its allies in the fight against international terrorism.  Even the successful U.S. campaigns against the regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq cannot obscure the fact that the West is fighting a losing battle in the war against the jihadis.  The strategy dictated by the Bush administration to use solely military means and to establish dubious power alliances to fight the widespread hatred against the West and the Jews in the Islamic sphere of influence has failed.  Not only this.  The reckless way in which the Bush administration asserts its political interests, the open striving of the U.S. for global rule are driving an increasing number of fanatics into the arms of holy warriors.”




Business Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf stated (5/19):  “Those who felt safe after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, have now been brought back to reality.  The Al Qaida hydra is active, even if some heads have been cut off.  The fight against terrorism has by no means been won.  During the Iraq war, Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaida network was able to restructure itself and is now systematically striking.  This is the bitter message following the attacks in Riyadh and Casablanca. The threat has not let up after Saddam Hussein’s ouster.  On the contrary, the Iraq war drove many new supporters into the hands of the extremists.  That is why the self-satisfaction that spread in Washington after the first successes against the organization is not justified.... Irrespective of whether there has been a rift among G-8 members on Iraq...terrorism belongs on the top of the agenda of the G-8 summit in Evian.”


"Terrorism Continues"


Center-right Leipziger Volkszeitung commented (5/19): “Since the latest bloody attacks in Casablanca it should be clear that the international, Islamic terrorism has by no means been contained.  Statements from Washington that were presented with grandiloquence wanted to make us believe the opposite in view of the military victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, but in view of reality, they only demonstrate the failure of the intelligence services and of politics.  It is true that the world was spared from immediate attacks after 9/11, but the people killed in Jerba, Bali, Karachi, Riyadh and Casablanca speak a clear language:  terrorism continues, not exclusively against the West, but also against brothers in faith, who do not follow Osama bin Laden’s inhumane doctrine of salvation.”


ITALY: “Nobody Is Safe Any More”


Marcella Emiliani commented in Rome's center-left Il Messaggero (5/19): “If the U.S. and Great Britain, as well as Russia in Chechnya, resorted to the use of military force to impose their New Order, well, Islamic terrorism is capable to respond by spreading death and instability everywhere.  This is the message sent out in particular to the U.S. superpower, even though suicide killers have carefully selected the countries that would be the target of their violence, since they wanted to attack in particular the Arab regimes that have always been in the Western orbit: Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and obviously their eternal enemy, Israel....  Terrorism is capable of influencing political developments in the entire Middle East and the decisional process in the West.  In order to be able to avoid this blackmail, that is only the harbinger of more catastrophes, it would be necessary, at least, to rebuild the dialogue between the two sides of the Atlantic, within the UN and in all regional cooperation forums.  Nobody, in fact, can think of winning this kind of battle alone.”


“Where Terrorism Is Born”


Boris Biancheri opined on the front page of centrist, influential La Stampa (5/19): “It is not legitimate to link the terrorist attacks and the war in Iraq, almost to say that the former would not have taken place if the latter had not occurred.  We may like it or not, but terrorism the way it is now involves the entire Western world and it would be dangerous to limit its causes to a single episode or a single political decision....  We may hold personal opinions about the war in Iraq...but let’s not blame ourselves or the U.S. for the hundreds of dead caused by the latest terrorist attacks or for those that will be caused by the dozens of attacks that we will unfortunately see in the future.”


RUSSIA: "Moroccan Bombings"


Aleksandr Samokhotkin said on page one of reformist Vremya Novostey (5/19): "To undermine the authority of the pro-Western monarch, terrorists killed their Muslim brethren.  That bears out the words that letting up in the war on international terrorism (President Bush did this for the time of the Iraqcampaign) will revive its deadly power."


"Any Terrorist Act To Be Associated With War In Iraq"


Gennadiy Sysoyev held in reformist business-oriented Kommersant (5/19):  "Of course, it would be wrong or at least simplistic to say that the war in Iraq has provoked a wave of terrorist acts...but there is certainly a link between the operation Shock and Awe and the latest acts by terrorists.  If only because the U.S. efforts to knock together a worldwide antiterrorist front have prompted international terrorists to close their ranks and become more active.  That, objectively, is the price of the U.S. victory in Iraq.   It could be that terrorist acts in Morocco and Israel would have happened anyway.  After all, there had been terrorist acts even before the first U.S. Tomahawks hit Basra and Baghdad.  But now wherever a terrorist strikes, people will tend to link it to the war in Iraq in retaliation for the capture of Baghdad."


AUSTRIA:  "Second-Generation Al-Qaida"


Deputy chief editor Victor Hermann stated in independent provincial Salzburger Nachrichten (5/19): "The arrest of about a third of al-Qaida’s leadership in Afghanistan was not the decapitation the U.S. hoped it was.  Worse: intelligence services worldwide are speculating that the terrorist network is now under the command of a second-generation group of leaders...whose names are unknown to the U.S....  Apparently, Washington has been relying far too much on its track record of success in fighting global terrorism.  Important anti-terror resources were diverted to fight the war in Iraq, giving al-Qaida sufficient breathing space.  Saudi Arabia, Morocco and other countries will pay the price.”


CZECH REPUBLIC: "Limited Success"


Petr Pesek opined in center-right Lidove Noviny (5/19): "The logical assumption after the recent terrorist attacks might be that the campaign against terrorism is not successful.... The reality is, however, different.  After 9/11 in Europe and the U.S., terrorist cells have been crushed and their network disrupted.  Thus, the Western world has been spared so far another big attack....  Al-Qaida has limited its attacks to the Arab world, which is a much easier target due to the intentional sluggishness of its governments.  This should be a warning to us."


GREECE:  "Dead End"


The lead editorial in top-circulation influential pro-government Ta Nea (5/19) stated: “Americans are supposed to have been at war on terrorism for two years.… But terrorism re-emerges vindicating those who warned that U.S. policy was creating new centers of hatred....  The U.S. chose blunt violence which can't and won't distinguish aggressors from victims.  Today, the U.S. and all humanity  risk suffering the consequences.”


"The Worse"


The lead editorial in popular, pro-government and anti-American Eleftherotypia stated (5/19):  “The ‘war against terrorism’ declared by emperor George Bush achieved everything that those who opposed military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq had predicted, i.e. recycling and reproduction of violence…The problem of terrorism is clearly political and has been dealt with by political means in the past, after the oppressing colonial powers had tried all other means.  Unless the causes that create, nourish and reproduce terrorism are sought, the phenomenon will expand and intensify.”


HUNGARY:  "The Reorganized Al-Qaida Is More Threatening"


Paris correspondent Andras Desi pointed out in leading Nepszabadsag (5/19)  “Al-Qaida now considers even those Arab ‘traitor’ countries that have entered into (secret) pacts with Washington  potential targets.  The war with Iraq has brought about such a turn that the inhabitants of the ‘traitor’ Arab countries have become as much a target as the ‘infidel Western invader’ countries.”


POLAND: “Gloomy Surprises”


Stanislaw Lem opined in leftist weekly Przeglad (5/19): “In the wake of attacks directed against Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the Arab world is entering a new chapter in its history.  The entire Middle East will certainly plunge into destabilization, and the outcome is unpredictable. Actually, terrorism is a new kind of a disease that affects societies not much differently than new mutations of viruses.... The destructive mean terrorists have adopted were in fact created by highly advanced Western civilization.”


SPAIN:  "Five Countries Against Terrorism"


Conservative La Razon asserted (5/19):  "For...Bin Laden, the whole West, with the U.S. at the one battlefield.  Those who think a strict policy of neutrality can keep them out of the fight are mistaken.  [This fight] has much to do with the concept of 'globalization', where the whole 'First World' is, in the eyes of the disadvantaged, and with a overwhelming logic, guilty of weighing down the countries of the 'Third World.'...  Armoring our borders and reinforcing internal surveillance is not enough.  Above all, it is necessary to help those Muslim countries that, like Algeria and Morocco...have bet on the path of progress."




EGYPT: "Fighting Terrorism is an International Responsibility"


Leading pro-government Al Ahram warned (5/19): “Some may say that lack of justice and equality in weak nations are the reasons for the rise of terrorism.  This could be partly true for many...see superpowers adopt double standards, use their armies to achieve their self-interests--regardless of the interests of other nations--and destroy international legitimacy.  As a result, these people, especially the youth become angry and frustrated and so commit foolish acts...  Everyone can now buy arms and use them to pursue terrorists or to occupy countries.  But this will not prevent angry, desperate youth from putting an explosive belt around their bodies and killing innocent people.”




The pro-government Al Ahram’s editor-in-chief, Ibrahim Nafie, observed (5/19):  “Those who committed the Riyadh and Casablanca terrorist operations have adopted the model of heroic resistance operations of Palestine and Beirut.  But this time, it is not against occupation, but against the stability of Arabs and Muslims....  Clearly, these acts are instigated by some who do not want Arabs to be liberated in Iraq and Palestine....  As the goal of these acts is suspect, Arabs and Muslems should be on highest alert and use an iron fist to combat it.”



SAUDI ARABIA: "What Cause Justifies This Migratory Terrorism?


Abha’s moderate Al-Watan editorialized (5/19): "Here it is again; terrorism claimed another victim in Morocco. And once again terrorists proved that they are nothing but blind hateful groups, without any real religious identity. As a matter of fact, religion and these groups are mutually exclusive. This type of black dirty terrorism aims only at inflicting pain on innocent civilians, and disturbing the stability.   Those who sneak around at night like bats, hiding behind fake beliefs have no real cause. They use a religious cover to lure naive people and those with weak faith into suicide missions. They target innocent citizens, unarmed and peaceful victims. They kill for the sake of killing. Those who say that these people are fighting in the name of God are speaking like infidels. God never said to kill the innocent elderly, women, and children. God forbid.... What kind of jihad gives you the right to murder your own people and to take the lives of innocents in your own homeland? Terrorism is migrating from one country to another, and we do not know where it is going to hit next? But this dark long tunnel must have an end. We must all work together to uproot this beast from our countries and inflict the highest punishment upon those who commit crimes against us."


"Casablanca’s Explosions"


Mecca’s conservative Al Nadwa editorialized (5/18):  "Not even four days after Riyadh’s explosions, terrorism hits once again. This time in Casablanca, the Moroccan city. In exactly the same method, same planning and the same terrifying scenes of wounded and murdered innocent people as in Riyadh.  Many people paid a high price for the impetuousness of some lunatics.  What did these innocent people do to deserve this fate?  Did the terrorists ask themselves this question before they committed their crime?  No, because they deactivated their minds while executing this horrible act. They are nothing but dummies in the hands of criminal guerrillas who have convinced them that their attacks were part of the jihad, and that they will be rewarded in paradise for these crimes.  This, of course, is a serious deviation from the truth and the right path.  Killing oneself suicide, and it will send the soul to hell forever, not to heaven.  Despite the clarity of our ideologies, those criminals found someone to brainwash their minds, and fill them with radical ideas, encouraging them to participate in actions that our faith does not approve.  For Muslims to clear themselves, and for Islam to be cleared from all these crimes committed in its name, Muslims must establish a new unified strategy to seize and destroy these dangerous phenomena."


"Islam Has Been Slandered"


Abha’s moderate Al-Watan editorialized (5/17):  "We have heard recently about new terrorist al- Qaida cells being awakened to perform terrorist actions in many countries in the world. From Asia to Africa, these cells, aided by extremist organizations have one goal in mind, the disturbance of peace and stability. What kind of a cause can justify the killing of innocent people and the mutilation of bodies? Who are those people who pretend to be defending a cause and hiding behind religious motives? God has forbidden the killing of the soul, and especially the murder of innocent men, women, and children. Islam is a religion of peace and love. The dirty war that these terrorists are initiating is a war against Islam and Muslims wherever they were. What has been the result of all these terrorist actions that have been falsely executed in the name of Islam? They have only brought about calamities for Arabs and Muslims and put them in confrontation with the whole world. Islam has been slandered. Islam, the religion of peace became synonymous with terrorism. Muslims have been blacklisted all over the world, whereas lists of real Zionist criminals have been ignored. We were portrayed as criminals, beasts that should be avoided and feared. We have become outlaws because of a foreign history. We can no longer be quiet... everyone has a religious and human obligation to destroy those who have put our future on the verge of destruction."


ALGERIA:  "Catastrophic Domino Theory"


The principal French-language independent Le Quotidien d'Oran commented (5/18): “The whole Arab world is toppling into fragility and security exclusion, along with their accompanying economic consequences....  Algeria didn't emerge unscathed by its ten years of nurtured terrorism, even though it is said that it is now over.  The country still has orange-light status.”


"From Riyadh To Casablanca"


French-language independent La Tribune editorialized (5/18): “After the 1994 attack in Marrakech, which was at that time like a warning, Morocco hastened to accuse the Algerian security services of being the instigators of the attack. With this blow to the heart of the kingdom, terrorism shows once again that it spares no state. From Riyadh to Casablanca through Djakarta and Manila, no country can pretend to be safe from terrorism. But, the sole difference consists in the national policies to fight against this curse. Although in the Western countries civil society constitutes a secure rampart, in the Arab countries the deficiency - can we say absence? - of democracy will eventually nurture all forms of extremism.”


"A Poor Student"


El-Bilad, close to Islamist MSP, editorialized (5/18):  “The bombings in Morocco...point to signs of the beginning of a new confrontation between ‘terrorism’ and the U.S.  If Washington's claims are true that al-Qa’ida is behind both the Morocco and the Saudi Arabia strikes, this indicates that the capabilities of ‘Bin Ladin’ and those with him are far from receding, and that the American invasion of Afghanistan was without effect....  Naturally ‘Islam’ will be thrown into the confusion of this recent confrontation, with no effort to understand the true causes of the deep resentment that many Muslims feel towards the U.S., resentment sprouting from the tragedies of Palestine, nourished by the tragedy of Afghanistan, and developing within the Iraqi disaster.  The U.S. has engaged in its global war against what it calls ‘terrorism’ and has so far refused to see its enemy or understand him.  What grade would you give this student?"


JORDAN: “Events And Mysteries”


Daily columnist Rakan Majali wrote on the back page of center-left, influential Al-Dustour (5/19):  “The world embarked on a new era after the 9/11 attacks.  It did have something to do with America wanting to take advantage of this terrorist crime to launch new strategies and new policies and implement its plans for the Arab world and the Muslim world in order to affect its hegemony over the world.  Worse than achieving these objectives by military force and aggression is this mystery, the sneakiness and all this mystery that envelops the events that started with the 9/11 attacks and continues until today....  Mysteries continue, including the bombings in Riyadh and Casablanca.  The bombings in Saudi occurred a few days after Saudi’s agreement with the United States to get the latter’s troops out of Saudi.  The bombings in Morocco occurred after the successful of the democratic experience there.  We must also note that these bombings occurred in two big countries, one in the east and one in the west.  The purpose is to weaken and confuse everyone....  We must therefore ask this legitimate question:  is what is happening in the Arab world now another form of and just another part of the war and pressures that aim to weaken and confuse everyone to pave the way for what the U.S. Secretary of State spoke of regarding a comprehensive change in the region within ten years, or is just pure coincidence?”


“The Arab World Between Two Fires”


Chief Editor Taher Udwan writes on the back page of independent, mass-appeal Al-Arab Al-Yawm (5/18):  “The fact that Al-Qa’eda moved its war against the Americans into Arab countries is an indication of the seriousness of this terrorism that is sending tens of young Arab people to blow themselves up in operations that, at the end of the day, serve only the warmongers within the U.S. administration and the policies of the Zionist Lobby that is trying to drag the American nation into a state of constant battle with the Arabs.  The Arab world is now caught between two fires: the fire of blind terrorism that wants to turn the domestic scene of Arab countries into arenas for destruction and sabotage, and the fire of Bush’s war against the terrorism, the person who does not want to understand the reasons that serve terrorism and does not want to resolve the issues, without which terrorism cannot be eliminated....  The Arab world is destined to pay for the mistakes and sins of American policies in the form of blind terrorism destroying the security, stability and economy of Arab countries.  As much as the Bali bombings destroyed tourism in Indonesia in favor of tourism in Australia--an ally of the United States and took part in the Iraq war, the bombings in Casablanca will destroy tourism in Morocco in favor of tourism in Spain--one of the allies in the war on Iraq.”


LEBANON: "Ending Terror Needs Action From Police And Politicians"


The English-language Daily Star editorialized (5/17):  "The continuing incidents of terror...demand a more effective response than higher security fences, harsher military assaults, mass detentions, and more frequent travel warnings....  Terror is a man-made phenomenon....  Some terrorists have no legitimate grievances, and they must be dealt with through police action.  But other kinds of terror reflect a complex combination of causes....  The current wave demands that we work together to acknowledge that all terror is unacceptable criminality, but also that it springs from a variety of causes that should be carefully and rationally analyzed, identified, and addressed in the appropriate manner."


"'War On Terror' Is About Results, Not Revenge"


An unsigned editorial in English language The Daily Star (5/19):  "Following on the heels of attacks in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the weekend suicide bombings in Morocco underscore a clear need for the United States and other countries to reassess the direction of the 'war on terrorism.' The events of recent days seem to demonstrate that while Al-Qaeda and its allies have been weakened by the U.S.-led effort, the manner in which it has been pursued is supplying extremist elements with the fodder they need to attract new recruits....  There is no excuse for what happened to the people of the United States on September 11, but the primary responsibility of George W. Bush and his administration is not to seek revenge:  It is to guard against similar acts in the future  ...Overall, the U.S. approach has been judged by many to be too unilateralist and militarist...Attempts to achieve a purely military solution...can only backfire.  The key is to ensure that the terrorists become isolated ideologically, to diminish and eventually eradicate their ability to attract new adherents."


MOROCCO: "People From Casablanca See That Bush's Policy Is The Cause"


Government coalition, Istiqal Party Al Alam asserted (4/19): "Many people from Casablanca think that the aggressive policy and the threat to stability that the U.S. is leading was the cause behind Casablanca explosions last Friday.... Mohamed Baadi, specialist of Political Sciences stated that since September 11, Americans have led aggressions and threats against the whole world. America's unacceptable aggression against Afghanistan and then against Iraq, when both countries cannot match the U.S. in terms of military power, all this is behind what happened last Friday in Casablanca...there are times when we must say 'NO' to America and not agree with it. As Morocco has not done so, its Muslim citizens know that their Palestinian brothers suffer daily in Palestine from Israel that is supported by the U.S....  Recently Moroccans have seen their Iraqi brothers were killed by U.S. bombs and this cannot go on. Anger will break out one day!"

“No Compromising With Terrorism”

Government coalition,PPS Party French-language Al Bayane editorialized (5/19): “The responsibility lies in the hands of patriotic forces that will have to mobilize prevent our country from drifting to extremism and obscurantism.”


UNITED ARAB EMIRATES:  "War On Terrorism Asks For Changes In The Gulf"


Shamlan Al Eissa wrote in Abu Dhabi's semi-government Al Ittihad (5/18):  "It's a big mistake to concentrate on the security aspect to solve this problem.  The issue of extremism and terrorism against the innocent is a social phenomenon that needs research regarding its reasons, first culturally, socially, and religiously.  Were the Gulf governments really surprised with these operations?!  What we want to say is that the war on terrorism in the Gulf region asks for changes in the methods of its governmenance.  Regional and international changes call for popular participation in the government."




AUSTRALIA: "War On Terror Is Being Won"


The business-oriented Australian Financial Review (5/19) stated:  “Last weeks’ bombings in Saudi Arabia and Morocco were a chilling reminder that the war on terrorism is going to take the U.S. and its allies a lot longer to prosecute than the relatively swift war in Iraq.  But they were also, perversely, a timely reminder that substantial progress has been made in that war, and that Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network in particular has been weakened and is being forced to choose softer targets as security is cranked up across the rich Western world....  It is  pretty clear there will be further terrorist attacks.  None of this should be cause for any great surprise....  The war on terrorism is surely being won, but slowly....  It is a war the West cannot afford to lose, because the liberation and tolerance that define its institutions and way of life are at stake.”


"War On Terror Is Being Won"


An editorial in the business-oriented Australian Financial Review stated (5/19): “Last weeks’ bombings in Saudi Arabia and Morocco were a chilling reminder that the war on terrorism is going to take the United States and its allies a lot longer to prosecute than the relatively swift war in Iraq. But they were also, perversely, a timely reminder that substantial progress has been made in that war, and that Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network in particular has been weakened and is being forced to chose softer targets as security is cranked up across the rich Western world.... It is  pretty clear there will be further terrorist attacks.  But none of this should be cause for any great surprise.... The coalition against terrorism has made real progress.… The war on terrorism is surely being won, but slowly....  It will take patience, courage and persistence to subdue terrorism and its causes.  It is a war the West cannot afford to lose, because the liberation and tolerance that define its institutions and way of life are at stake.”


CHINA:  “Casablanca Blasted Badly"


Ren Yujun commented in the official Communist Party Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao, 5/19): "Although no Americans died in the Casablanca blasts, it is undoubtedly a severe strike to Bush, the U.S. president, who worked for ‘anti-terrorism.’...  A series of severe terrorist activities aimed at Americans will cause more doubts among (U.S.) voters on Bush’s measures on anti-terrorism.”


SOUTH KOREA: “The World Has Become More Dangerous”


Nationalist, left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun editorialized (5/19):  “The recent series of suicide bombings in the Arab world show that the world has become more dangerous following the Iraq war, as opposed to the U.S. assertion that the world would be safer should the U.S., in collaboration with the international community, democratize Iraq, a nation developing WMD and supporting terrorist organizations.  The U.S. is failing to win the hearts of Arab people because many perceive the Iraq war as ‘a war for the U.S.’ and the U.S.-led war on terror as part of a U.S. strategy to strengthen its hegemony and expand American national interests....  If the U.S. wants a safer world, it must abandon its power-based approach to waging the anti-terror war.”


INDONESIA: “Suicide Methods Increasingly Used by Terrorists”


Leading independent Kompas (5/19) commented: “Regardless of who the perpetrators were, the targets of the [Riyadh and Casablance] attacks were generally Western countries’ interests.  The anti-Western sentiment [there] remains strong, which must have roots in the colonial era....  However, the use of terrorism is not solving the problems, especially because it is a crime against humanity.  In fact, every terrorist attack not only causes fear and damage in the West, but also the world community as a whole.”


PHILIPPINES: "Blurred Lines"


Columnist Belinda Olivares-Cunanan noted in the widely read Philippine Daily Inquirer (5/19):  "For those who have been closely monitoring the terrorism front even before 9/11, these recent bombings are quite confusing as the lines are blurring.  It should be noted that Riyadh and Casablanca are situated in Muslim countries whose citizens are now getting hurt themselves, because of the terrorism ascribed in the past as handiwork of Arabs.  Al-Qaida is being eyed in Riyadh and yet, in the 9/11 attacks,15 of the 19 terrorists involved were Saudis."


THAILAND: "No Time To Relax The War On Terror"


The lead editorial in top-circulation, moderately conservative, English language Bangkok Post read (5/19): “There are those who feel it is possible to alleviate the violence of al-Qaeda, perhaps to deal rationally with the Osama bin Laden group through some sort of negotiations.  They are wrong.…The terrorist network has no quid pro quo bargaining position.  The presence or removal of U.S. troops is a red herring, as is the plight of the Palestinians.  The expressed goal of the terrorist network in Southeast Asia, for example, is to establish a single stretching across borders from the Philippines to Bangladesh, under a single, Taliban-type regime of perverted Islamic law.  Never mind that an infinitesimal number of residents in our region share that goal.  Al-Qaida leaders believe any amount of violence is justifiable to try to achieve it.  Appeasement is not a choice.”




INDIA: "Fear Factor"


The nationalist Hindustan Times held (5/19):  The fears expressed at the time of the Iraq war that the conflict would inflame Muslim public opinion and enable Islamic fundamentalists to find easy recruits have been largely confirmed by the suicide attacks in Riyadh and Casablanca....  Al-Qaida, has obtained a new lease of life, posing a grave threat mainly to Westerners, but also to those who get caught in its murderous offensive.  What seems to have helped al-Qaida is the inability of the Americans to nab Osama bin Laden.  As a result, he is probably able to provide inspiration to the jihadis for their deadly enterprise along with financial help and organizational direction....  Clearly, the intelligence agencies of virtually all the countries will have to act with far greater determination to fight this resurgent menace."


"The Spreading Tentacles"


An editorial in the centrist Hindu stated (5/19):  "The series of terrorist strikes in the past week, all carrying the imprint of the Al-Qaeda network in terms of their degree of sophistication and required level of coordination, have shaken the Western world, prompting precautionary measures on an unprecedented scale....  After remaining dormant for a while waiting for the dust to settle in a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, Al-Qaeda is letting the world know that it might have been wounded by the operations of the U.S in Afghanistan but it is far from defeated.  With Osama bin Laden alive and free, the terrorist organization is thought to have begun recruiting new adherents and reorganizing bases of operation in many countries, including Sudan and the Chechen province. The Saudi operation perhaps signaled the inescapable reality is that the celebrations in the U.S. and the U.K. to mark the 'victory' in Iraq may be premature.  As Washington prepares to install a friendly regime in Baghdad, it is receiving awesome reminders of its incomplete work in Afghanistan and Iraq. Clearly, as it draws up the balance sheet in the 30-month-old war on terror, the U.S. will find as many entries on the debit side as on the credit."


PAKISTAN:  "Attack On Morocco"


An editorial in the centrist national News (5/19):  "But while the Muslim states will need to be on highest security preparedness, the ultimate responsibility rests on America to reduce the threat. It must pursue a policy that will assuage the Arab anger for grievous harm caused by the western act of imposing Israel in their midst.  The Zionist entity has since been protected and nurtured by its western patrons at the cost of the neighboring Arab states. In recent time U.S. has even adopted a position that virtually makes it a partner of Israel in the pogrom it has unleashed at the Palestinians. Every effort to seek UN's intervention was shot down by an American veto which gave Israel a carte blanche to deal with the Arabs. One of the factors that led to the creation of what Americans call "Islamic" terrorists is its overt support for Israel in its anti-Arab policy.  The terrorist attacks on Saudi Arabia and Morocco were criminal acts, but the culpability rests on the United States for having caused them."




TANZANIA:  "East African Governments Should Be Prepared For These Attacks"


The Kiswahili anti-government Majira editorialized (5/16):  “After a quiet phase, the issue of terrorism has emerged again and instilled fear in many people. There are reports that terrorists are planning new attacks in this region. Terrorist attacks are not new in East Africa. The 1998 Embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya and the recent one in Mombasa came unexpectedly. But now we have been warned, and should therefore prepare ourselves....  It is very possible that the reports might only be empty threats, but it is better to be prepared. Terrorism is now a worldwide problem and there is no way of predicting when it might strike again. Our governments must remain vigilant at all times.... We the people of East Africa must also be alert and report all suspicious people and things to the relevant authorities, in an effort to confront terrorism."




ARGENTINA: "Extent Of an Escalation"


Claudio Uriarte, left-of-center Pagina 12's international analyst, wrote (5/18): "Does last week's wave of terrorist attacks mean that al-Qaida is increasing its power, or that the U.S., far from winning the war on terrorism, is losing it, perhaps precisely due to its same victory in the campaign against Saddam Hussein?... While al-Qaida's operating ability is more or less stable, this does not mean that the war on Afghanistan has left it intact... The outcome of the war on Iraq is indistinct and has not changed the military balance, among other things because Iraq was not a sanctuary-country or a supporting base of al-Qaida....  Osama bin Laden's organization has decided to activate its multiple dormant groups to send an unequivocal message: 'We are alive and will continue attacking'....  They have not impaired Bush because the panic installed after the September 11 attacks and Bush's proclamation of the antiterrorist war have left him, at least for now, in a win-or-win situation: if terrorist attacks lower, the president can always claim it is a fruit of his policy; if they increase, they show how necessary the intensification of his policy is."


"The Bloody Return Of al-Qaida And Suicide Terrorism"


Alejandra Pataro, international columnist of leading Clarin stated (5/18): "George W. Bush's triumphant statements made fifteen days ago...were destroyed last week.  Between last Monday and Friday 150 to 200 people died in a wave of attacks from Morocco to Chechnya by such brutal terrorist attacks that they wasted the life of 30 militants turned into human bombs. The most disturbing peace of information is that, behind this massacres is al-Qaida, an organization presented by the White House 'as seriously beheaded'....  Where is the positive outcome of war on terrorism?...  According to some analysts, the somber reminder that al-Qaida has not lost its sting can be for the U.S. much more concerning in the framework of its failure to trap Saddam and its inability to restore order in chaotic Baghdad. Iraq's instability, Israel's reluctance to accept the Road Map supported by Washington, the Middle East spread poverty, and the non-existent reconstruction of Afghanistan conspire against the efforts to combat terrorism. On the contrary, they seem to foster the appearance of extremists willing to kill while dying, without anything to lose... The truth is that Bush has just launched his reelection and he will do whatever is necessary to avoid what happened to his father, who won the 1991 Gulf War with 90 per cent of popularity and lost his reelection due to a slight recession."



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