International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

August 22, 2003

August 22, 2003





**  The roadmap has hit a major "road block"; skeptics diagnose it as "clinically dead."


**  Unable to rein in terror, Abbas' "final days in office have begun."


**  Arabs charge that "Palestinians were forced to respond" to Sharon's "extremist government." 

**  Only "direct and increased" U.S. pressure can keep the roadmap on track.




The 'horrendous' attack 'destroyed hope' for the roadmap--  Israeli, South American and European commentators assailed the bus bombing as an act of "inconceivable barbarism."  Israeli journals labeled the attack a "turning point" and argued that the roadmap is now "back at zero."  In contrast to the prevailing Arab view, Saudi, Syrian, and Qatari outlets condemned the bombing as "not at all intelligent," for it will only prolong the "occupation" of Palestine.


'The earth is shaking under the feet' of Abbas and the PA--  Tuesday's bombing put Palestinian PM Abbas in an "extremely difficult situation."  Faced with "his last chance," global analysts doubted Abbas' ability to crack down on terror and remain in office.  Abbas lacks the means to "neutralize the armed groups," wrote Italy's centrist Corriere della Sera, and even if he did "it's unlikely he would accept the risk of a Palestinian civil war."  However, Israel's mass-circulation Yediot Aharonot reiterated its support for Abbas, stressing that "sustaining the existence of the current PA" was in the nation's interest.


The Palestinian 'resistance operation' was a reaction to an Israeli 'booby-trap'--  In typical fashion, Arab journals defended the suicide bombing as a legitimate response to Israeli "killing and assassination operations."  Egypt's leading Al-Ahram lauded the Palestinian "resistance" for fighting "courageously" for their "right to life."  While blasting the U.S.' "double standard" for Israelis and Palestinians, West Bank papers concluded that "the Sharon government does not want peace."  Likewise, India's nationalist Hindustan Times observed it "clear from the start" that Sharon "was not at all keen on an honorable settlement" with the PA.


'The bombers want to blast America out of the picture'--  European writers judged the bombing a test of Bush's "mettle and resolution" to forge a peace settlement.  Noting that failure would represent a "serious reversal" for Washington, partisans of both sides pressed Washington to remain committed to the roadmap.  Israel's popular, pluralist Maariv called on the U.S. to "gird up its loins" and press the PA to arrest militants.  Saudi Arabia's conservative Al-Madina demanded that the U.S. "force" Israel to comply with the roadmap "unconditionally."  Worldwide opinion held that "American pressure" is needed "as never before" for the roadmap to survive.


EDITOR: Andrew Borda

EDITOR'S NOTE: This analysis is based on 59 reports from 21 countries, August 19 - 22, 2003.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:  “Abu Mazen Needs Everyone’s Help To Keep Peace Alive”


The centrist Independent stated (8/22): "The end of the Palestinian cease-fire in a bloody orgy of a bombed bus and retaliatory assassination can have surprised no one in the Middle East.  Neither side has ever shown the kind of trust in the other that might have made it work and neither side showed any sign of believing that an acceptance of the road-map required them to rise above the need to match an eye for an eye, a life for a life.  Yet the road-map remains the only path to peace.  However rough the going, it is still right for Washington to try to pressure the parties to keep to it.”


"Unholy Terror"


The conservative Daily Telegraph opined (8/21):  "The near-simultaneous suicide bombings in Baghdad and Jerusalem ought to give the lie to the fashionable idea that Palestinian terrorism is somehow in a category apart--still dreadful, but somehow worthy of greater "understanding'' because of the plight of the Arab population of the Holy Land.  Consider, for a moment, what happened. Both acts were perpetrated by Islamist terror groups that are part of the same global network. The methods used in each of these atrocities were the same.  The funding for the groups that launched them often comes from the same Saudi or Iranian sources. The malefactors often train together in the same 'schools of revolution' across the region. And their inspiration comes from the same well-spring, namely the dominant Saudi creed of Wahhabism. Even when European governments acknowledge these connections--and our own Government is more honest about this than most--they rarely draw any radical conclusions. Instead, their solution is more of the same.  Tony Blair played a key role in persuading the Bush Administration--indebted to him because of Iraq--that if only the Israelis went easy on the Palestinians (a pull-out from West Bank towns, the release of prisoners, etc), then the Palestinian 'moderates'' such as Abu Mazen would be strengthened and nasty, corrupt old Yasser Arafat would gradually be marginalized.  These 'moderates' would then be afforded the space to clamp down on the 'extreme' Islamists and the peace process could resume. This would drain the seething pool of Palestinian discontent and alleviate anger across the Arab world.  The horror in Jerusalem grimly highlights the superficiality of such thinking....  For so long as they treat the Palestinian Authority as an interlocuteur valable, the rest of the world will as well, thus undermining the moral clarity of the war on terror."


"Shattered Plans:  The Terrorists In The Middle East Must Be Defeated"


The conservative Times declared (8/21):  "To maim and kill civilians in a terrorist bomb attack is a monstrous crime. But there is something peculiarly vile about the bombing of a Jerusalem bus yesterday that was packed with children and families returning from a visit to the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest shrine....  Mr Sharon’s comparative restraint was matched by the actions of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Prime Minister, who immediately broke off talks with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and announced that he would have no further contacts with these militant groups....  On both sides, there is clear recognition of the abyss into which the region is being pushed by the terrorists....  Mr Sharon, as much as Mr Abbas, has an interest in keeping the American-backed roadmap alive....  The ultimate target of the bombers, in both capitals and in Afghanistan, is America. What is being tested is the mettle and resolution of President Bush....  The bombers want to blast America out of the picture thus destroying any prospect that the peace process will deliver progress. Mr Bush, to his credit, is proving hard to move."


FRANCE:  “A Broken Truce”


Right-of-center Les Echos editorialized (8/22): “The truce has been broken and Washington’s peace initiative, its ‘roadmap,’ is in shreds....  Everyone is wondering if the cycle of violence has started once again or whether international pressure--essentially from the U.S.--can help restore enough calm so that negotiations can resume.  The stakes are high: Abbas’s political future is in the balance.  Meanwhile the international community needs to face reality.  This is what Secretary Powell did yesterday when he turned to Yasser Arafat for help.  Failure in the Middle East would be a serious reversal for President Bush, whose troops were intended to bring democracy to Iraq to serve as an example and who, after four months, are still unable to establish control.”


“In The Middle East, The Lords Of Chaos”


Baudoin Bollaert observed in right-of-center Le Figaro (8/21):  “A truck loaded with explosives in Baghdad, a suicide attack in Jerusalem: in a single swoop the lords of chaos have impacted on the ambitious U.S. plan to remodel the Middle East. America’s plan to turn the region into an example of democracy, peace and progress is now seen in a different light: at best it becomes a risky wager; at worst a diabolical utopia. President Bush and his advisors are often accused of arrogance and clumsiness. The same goes for Prime Minister Sharon. Much of the criticism is well-founded. But what of this blind terrorism that aims to destroy every glimmer of hope that rises in the Middle East?....  In spite of everything, things were progressing in Iraq...and a dialogue was established between Sharon and Abbas via Washington. Today, that dialogue is broken and the ‘roadmap’ could well end up in the heap with so many other plans. The lords of chaos can be proud of their achievement: wasted effort in Iraq and a step backward for the ‘roadmap'....  Nevertheless the solutions are known: Iraq must be placed under a legitimate international mandate, diplomatic relations must be re-instated between the U.S. and Iran and Israel’s security must be guaranteed while forcing Israel to fully withdraw from the occupied territories. To that list we must today add recognizing the full authority of the UN and its values.”


GERMANY: "Darkened Chance"


Center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine argued (8/22): "Following the killing of 18 Israelis, hopes that the political process leading to peace still has a chance were darkened on Thursday....  But even if there were no general decision on the return to violence, the Israeli decision-makers, according to previous experience, would have had to count on an individual retaliatory act.  Israel thus accepted giving Hamas activists another reason for an attack by killing the Hamas leader.  We must fear now that the mutual war of attrition, that speculates on the enemy giving in sooner or later, will fully flare up again.  In this situation, eyes are on the U.S.  Maybe the Bush administration, which is in trouble with its main project in Iraq, can still demonstrate enough attention, will and ideas for its parallel project 'peace in Palestine' that this project will not end up in a crash.  We can hope for no more."


"Abbas At His End"


Center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich stated (8/22): "Palestinian PM Abbas is in a dilemma.  He is not allowed to criticize the massacre in Jerusalem too strongly, in order to avoid forfeiting the support of Palestinian terrorist groups.  That is why he condemns with great outrage…the liquidation of a Hamas leader.  By doing so, Abbas is trying to create a power basis from which he plans to attack the terror groups some time in the future.  But it is too late for such a move.  Israel's Premier Sharon is not giving Abbas a second chance to disarm the terrorist groups, let alone to dissolve them.  With Shanab's liquidation, Abbas's final days in office have begun. It is also an appeal to the U.S. administration, which has really taken a rest on the limited cease-fire and had reduced its mediation activities to a minimum after the pompously orchestrated summit in Jordan.  If the region is not to go down in a maelstrom of violence and counter violence, the U.S. must immediately send protection and observation forces to the Mideast to reactivate the roadmap to peace."


"Policy Is Getting More Obvious"


Centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin judged (8/22): "The cease-fire in Israel is over, the roadmap at its end.  That's it....  The bomb attack in Jerusalem will have made clear to PM Abbas that the extremists are unable to keep to a cease-fire.  For him, the situation has become more obvious after this attack.  He must continue to isolate Hamas and imprison those who will otherwise be attacked by the Israelis.  Abbas cannot expect any assistance from Arafat; only from the Israelis, for whom the initial situation has not really changed after the attack.  They must withdraw from Palestinian territory, thus offering the Palestinian premier arguments for his struggle if they have an interest in the situation changing."


"Clear Hit"


Charles Landsmann remarked in centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (8/21):  "The bloodshed among religious children and their parents in a bus in Jerusalem has destroyed hopes among Israelis and Palestinians, prevented an indispensable progress for the peace process, or delayed it considerably....  The U.S. president can say as much as he wants, the Israeli prime minister express as many threats as he wants, and his Palestinian colleague make as many promises as he wants:  It is the extremists who set the tone and determine with their crimes the policy in the Middle East....  This crime did not only have the inhuman goal to kill as many young people as possible. The tactical targets were Mahmoud Abbas and Mohammed Dahlan, whose ouster would bring the extremists closer to their strategic goal of preventing peace.  The Palestinian prime minister and his security minister knew right from the start of their job that they were sitting on an ejector's seat.  They will soon have to use these seats if their internal enemies continue to commit such atrocious crimes, thus proving the helplessness of the Abbas/Dahlan duo....  But no further progress for the pacification of the region is possible with these two.  A situation is which, after a phase of détente, an indefinite period of new fighting, bloodshed, and retaliatory strikes will begin."


"Abbas In Trouble"


Erik-Michael Bader noted in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (8/21):  "Following the latest horrible suicide attack…many people fear that the new peace process, which had hardly been set in motion, is over again. But one thing is sure: this attack has put the Palestinian prime minister in an extremely difficult situation.  Thus far, Abbas had rejected demands for a dissolution of the radical Palestinian groups, arguing that this would cause a civil war.  Instead he tried to persuade them to renounce violence for the time being....  But Abbas cannot continue this policy now, even though the attack from Tuesday may be considered a retaliatory strike for the killing of a Jihad leader by Israel....  The fact that the victims, many children and ultra-orthodox Jews, do not serve in the military and often have an anti-Zionist view, will force Abbas to pursue a tougher course against the extremists."


ITALY:  “Abu Mazen And The Traitors”


Centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera argued (8/22): “The problem is that every time Abu Mazen wants to obtain something from his people...he is forced to threaten to resign.  And every time he gets some result, even a tiny result, a new obstacle (such as the killing of Abu Shanab by Israel) frustrates it.  But Abu Mazen will not resign, because he knows that nobody would accept his resignation....  Indeed, Abu Mazen has the courage, but not the power to act effectively. Sharon has the power to impose on his government the roadmap, but he does not have the determination to meet all of his commitments. The American President exposed himself personally, but it seems that his pressures are not enough. Indeed, only a collective and synchronized act of courage might avoid a catastrophe.”


“The Rediscovery Of Arafat”


Left-leaning, influential La Repubblica commented (8/22): “The fact that Bush’s America turns to the old, rejected and rebuked Arafat to help save the roadmap tells us a lot about how much Washington has lost after the recent resumption of bloody clashes between Israel and the Palestinians.... They now realize that Abu Mazen does not have any power and any support from the people, who see him as an American pawn....  If Abu Mazen leaves, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad might be satisfied and might be convinced to reach a new cease-fire.  Arafat, recognized again as the real leader, should choose another PM, whom both Bush and Sharon could get along with as well. Indeed, the complicated Middle East should be dealt with using simple proposals.”


"An Earthquake For America"


Bernardo Valli commented in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (8/21):  “The terrible explosions in Baghdad and Jerusalem made Bush’s policy in the ME vacillate....  The American weakness in Iraq is felt in Palestine too. The heads of the fundamentalist movements see that Bush is far away from the announced victory. If he is not able to control the Iraqi situation, he cannot oversee the whole ME alone. Hence, the conflict goes on. And with it, terrorism. The Iraqi crisis feeds the Israel-Palestine one. And vice versa.”


“Forced Not To Give In”


Centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera argued (8/20): “Sharon cannot make concessions if he does not get a credible increase in domestic security, as many Israeli people are already criticizing him of having been pushed himself too far ahead in order to please the Americans.  Abu Mazen has not the means to neutralize the armed groups, and even if he had them…it is unlikely he would accept the risk of a Palestinians civil war.  Once again, in order to keep hope alive, we have to rely on American pressure.”


“The Terrorists’ Strategy: An ‘On-Off Truce’ To Weaken Abu Mazen”


Pro-government, leading center-right Il Giornale opined (8/20): “The attack took place just when, at the political level, they were trying to resume talks….  Indeed, among the instigators of the new terrorist wave, the Israelis include Yasser Arafat.”


RUSSIA:  "Roadmap Buried Under Bus Debris"


Mikhail Bolotovskiy noted in reformist Vremya Novostey (8/21):  "Besides taking the lives of 20 peaceful Israelis, the blast in northern Jerusalem on Tuesday night dashed the last hopes that the Palestinian authorities will check the militants and that the leaders of extremist organizations will honor their commitments....  Throughout the talks on the Roadmap, Israel demanded that the Palestinian partners should start acting on their oft-repeated promise to fight terrorist organizations. That they have not done so puts Abu Mazen in an awkward position vis-à-vis the four international sponsors--the United States, the EU, Russia and the UN, which know the Palestinian Prime Minister to have made similar assurances more than once."


BELGIUM: "Sharon Sabotaged The roadmap"


Conservative Christian-Democrat Het Belang van Limburg editorialized (8/22): “President Bush allowed Israeli PM Sharon to sabotage the U.S. roadmap to peace.  It is true that Sharon has set a handful of Palestinian prisoners free, but he continued to liquidate Palestinian political and military leaders, expanded the Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, destroyed dozens of Palestinian houses and built the ‘wall of apartheid’ between Israeli and Palestinian territory....  That is terror, too.  As a result of the lack of American firmness and neutrality, the truce was hollowed out and finally exploded.  The most horrible things are happening again, like on Tuesday in Jerusalem.  How large is the despair--or is it hate?--of a Palestinian father of two children who blows himself up in a bus full of Jewish children and mothers?  Does Sharon never wonder why people do such terrible things?  Or is he still thinking that Palestinians are no human beings?”


DENMARK:  "Mazen's Last Chance"


Lene Frøslev declared in center-right Berlingske Tidende (8/21):  “The bomb in Jerusalem has rocked hopes of peace in the Middle East....  Abu Mazen must take his last chance to arrest the guilty parties.”


IRELAND:  “Deadly Attacks And Retaliations”


The center-left Irish Times argued (8/21):  "Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, has condemned the attack and vowed to pursue those responsible for it....  Abdel-Hamid Mask...said he acted in retaliation for the death of a relative, Mohammed Seder, an Islamic Jihad militant and community leader, in a shoot-out with Israeli troops last week in Hebron. After his death a leader of the organization said it was ‘a big violation of the cease-fire, but our commitment to the cease-fire does not mean we will not answer this attack’....  This pattern of attack and retaliation has become so ingrained in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that an Israeli cabinet which genuinely wants to see the roadmap succeed must ensure its armed forces also adhere to the cease-fire in place for nearly two months....  There are suspicions that the Israeli army opposes the roadmap and uses such security raids as a means to undermine it. Palestinian spokesmen say it is quite unrealistic for them to control and disarm Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups when they do not control cities such as Hebron. To make this point is in no way to excuse Tuesday's dreadful suicide bombing atrocity in Jerusalem, nor to underestimate the need for Mr Abbas to move against those responsible. The roadmap sets out a series of mutual steps to be taken towards more substantive negotiations and as a way to build trust between the two sides. It relies on international pressure from the U.S., the EU, the UN and Russia to encourage them. That will now be needed as never before if the roadmap is to survive.” 


SPAIN: "Iraq And Palestine, Terrorist Challenge"


Conservative ABC expressed (8/22):  "The normalization of Iraq and opening of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians requires the defeat of terrorism as a previous condition, and for that to happen international collaboration in all fields, not only in the fields of security and intelligence is essential....  Terrorism has decided to wage war in the entire region and it is not a coincidence that the attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad has occurred at the same time as an Islamic attack in the center of Jerusalem... The fight for normalization in Iraq has taken the role of the front line in the global war against terrorism and these groups, aware that democracy in Iraq and peace in Palestine will be the end of their dreams, have decided to take on the fight with as much force as possible.... This is the situation in which the international community finds itself now."


"Beginning Again"


Left-of-center El Pais noted (8/22): "The events in the Middle East challenge the plans of the arbitrators, always for the worst....  Abu Mazen, pursued by Bush and Sharon, boycotted by President Arafat, might represent the desire for peace of most Palestinians, but those who hold the capacity to dynamite it are those who do not recognize him as their leader....  Not Hamas nor the Jihad or martyrs of Al Aqsa have the least interest in a cease fire or a diplomatic compromise.... The unsurpassable lack of confidence between the two groups is seen aggravated by the manipulation of the confrontation of their leaders and their respective international allies.  A tremendous propaganda machinery is taking hold in the Middle East and is distorting every movement, initiative or statement in order to create a new argument of hate and revenge."




ISRAEL:  "Terror Madness"


Senior columnist Hemmi Shalev wrote in popular, pluralist Maariv (8/22): "This is an unequivocal, unidirectional path that leads to a real hell.  No matter how awful this week's Jerusalem bus bombing was, the true atrocity is that somewhere, someone is planning an even more terrible, monstrous and shocking attack.  This is the reason why the Americans are investing dozens of billions of dollars on the 'home front,' because they know that, as incredible as it seems, 9/11 could be topped....  On the other hand, as a ray of hope, the terror madness could bear the seeds of its own destruction.... Because of its ruthless monstrosity, the dreadful blast in...Jerusalem might retrospectively be considered as the turning point before the end [of violence]."


"Victory Is the Only Option"


The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post held (8/22): "What, really, was this hudna?  The hudna was a plan that was concocted by Egypt, the EU, the PA, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad.  Its declared purpose was to allow terrorist organizations to flourish, operate, and grow unmolested by IDF counter-terror operations.  The hudna was also geared toward enabling Abbas to continue to exact concessions from Israel, including statehood, without its ever lifting a finger against terrorist groups....  There is no contradiction between attacks like the bus bombing and the hudna.  The only side whose actions are constrained by the hudna is Israel....  The only way to win a war is to identify who the enemy is....  Hamas and Islamic Jihad could never operate if it weren't for the PA and Arafat and his new straw men Abbas and Dahlan.  The longer our leaders dither and deceive us, the longer our army officers will believe that their work is meaningless and the longer our lives will be at the mercy of our enemies.  Our future lies in the hands of our leaders.  Victory is the only option.  What will it take for them to find the will to lead us to it?"


 "Now or Never"


Ben Caspit wrote in popular, pluralist Maariv (8/21):  "The earth is shaking under the feet of Abu Mazen and Muhammad Dahlan....  The roadmap is turning into a wrinkled, blood-soaked rag.  The Palestinians heard Wednesday--loudly and clearly--that they have no choice.  There are no more postponements, no more promises.  The plans are gone.  It's now or never.  It may even be too late....  The question is how to go overboard without breaking everything, or how to throw the baby with the bathwater, but without breaking his bones."


"No Going Overboard"


Alex Fishman commented in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (8/21):  "Israel has an interest in sustaining the existence of the current PA.  Therefore, contrary to the past, [Israel's] military activity won't be directed at the PA and its institutions.  Likewise, the scope of that activity, which has been dictated to the army, is not supposed to cause the collapse of the Abu Mazen.  This presents a certain risk.  The moment a return to intensive military activity is decided upon, it becomes impossible to know what factor could topple the Abu Mazen government."


"For A Palestinian Civil War"


Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (8/21): "It is perhaps understandable that Palestinian leaders are loath to destroy the unity they had built.  But the Palestinian Authority, whatever that now means, must choose.  It cannot have unity based on terror and found a Palestinian state....  There will be no Palestinian state unless there is first a Palestinian leadership that proves not only that it has broken decisively with terrorism, but with the idea that the only purpose of a state is to continue the war against Israel.  We see no signs that Abbas and Dahlan are capable of proving either proposition.  Their failure will spell the end of their leadership role, of the PA, and of any Palestinian, Israeli, and American hopes that this is the 'new leadership, not compromised by terror' that President George W. Bush spoke of in June of last year....  We will know that a Palestinian leadership has arisen that truly wishes to live by Israel's side when that leadership forcibly confronts those who do not.  The idea that people who are willing to die to kill Israeli children can be sweetly talked out of their beliefs is not credible."


"Rules of the Game Have Changed"


Mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot contended (8/20): "The terror attack yesterday in Jerusalem was not another revenge attack by Hamas.  The slaughter on the bus comes under the definition of a strategic terror attack, a turning point attack.  From here on things must be done differently.  It is possible to continue with the roadmap, it is possible to continue with the cease-fire, but the rules of the game have changed.  No more mutual maneuvers to buy time.  No more Israeli-Palestinian group dynamics intended to placate the Americans.  The need to continue the peace process is vital, because the alternative is a return to an unending cycle of blood.  But both sides have to decide, now, how it will actually be done.  If the PA did not begin, last night, to arrest and disarm dozens of Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives, then the other side has not yet realized the turnabout....  The question being considered by [Israel's] security establishment is the scope of response: this should be a response that does not go overboard and cause the elimination of the alternative, in the form of Abu Mazen and Dahlan.  The hudna put the Americans to sleep.  But after Tuesday, the U.S. Administration can no longer close its eyes.  In the reports submitted by the head of the monitors, John Wolf, in recent days, great disappointment was expressed at the fact that the Palestinians have been doing a bare minimum in the area of combating terror.  It is believed in Jerusalem that the U.S. Administration will return to intensive involvement in events in the region, in an attempt to preserve the notable achievement in its foreign policy: the roadmap.  This means direct and increased pressure on the PA--another reason not to go completely overboard at the present stage."


"The Nightmare Returns"


Popular, pluralist Maariv held (8/20): "After seven weeks of calm, and even that relative, this morning the Israeli public awakens with horror once more to a familiar dawn, ugly and full of bad news.  This is not a 'tactical attack' of the kind that took place in Ariel and Rosh Ha'ayin last week, but a strategic one, at least in potential, approaching a 'mega-attack'....  The force of the blast, the large number of victims, the scope of the atrocity--and especially the massive harm to children--make the terror attack last night in Jerusalem into a hudna-breaker, one that changes the prevailing order....  Attention will be given now, naturally, to Israel's expected response....  But much still depends on the behavior of Palestinian PM Abu Mazen and his deputy, Muhammad Dahlan, during the hours and days to come....  The Palestinian response depends on the force of the pressure put upon it by the U.S.  American officials have been saying quietly for a few weeks already that only a large terror attack, regrettably, can bring about a dramatic transformation in the way Abu Mazen and Dahlan view the fight against terrorism.  But in order for that change to take place, the U.S. Administration will have to gird up its loins, overcome the apathy that has plagued it lately, and let the Palestinians know clearly that things cannot continue this way.  The Americans must say: 'If you want to survive, shoot, don't talk.'"


"After the Response, a New Basis For Talks"


Independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz remarked (8/20): "Last night's terror attack in Jerusalem was a blow to the morale of the Israeli public, which had basked in the quiet of a few weeks of relative calm thanks to the hudna, and was exposed once again to the government's impotence when dealing with Palestinian terrorism, Israel will not be able to avoid a harsh response in light of the large number of casualties.  The fragile Aqaba process, which in recent days had gone through a resuscitation, is now back at zero.  The attack was expected....  But the leaders on both sides, like the American mediators, displayed a lack of concern....  After the Israeli response, talks will resume--but on a different basis."


"Wanted: A Miracle"


Popular, pluralist Maariv expressed (8/20): "After Tuesday night's terror attack in Jerusalem, the cease-fire is no longer in critical condition, as the [IDF] intelligence chief said last weekend.  It is clinically dead.  Only a miracle can save it now, and even then it may only be artificial resuscitation....  Since Israel did not adopt an unequivocal policy on the question of whether there was or was not a cease-fire, the result is that the terrorist infrastructure was rebuilt and that the Palestinians also received justification, at least in world opinion, to cast some of the blame on Israel."


"Baghdad and Jerusalem"


Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (8/20): "There are two simple lessons from the suicide bombings yesterday in Baghdad and Jerusalem: no one is safe and there is no turning back.  Suicide terrorism is the plague of this century.  It cannot be escaped, denied, or appeased.  It must be defeated.  So far, the terrorists have successfully played divide and conquer. They have first succeeded in convincing the world that terrorism against Israel, while condemnable, is somehow understandable, and that it can be addressed by delivering on supposed 'root causes,' such as the call for a Palestinian state.  They have also lulled the world into thinking that only those who stand up to them, such as the U.S. and Israel, will be attacked, while those who are willing to resist the war against terrorism will be spared.  Terrorism will be beaten when these twin myths are dispelled.... All it takes is three, perhaps four countries -- the U.S., Britain, France, and Germany -- to agree for the war against terrorism to finally become effectively universal and serious....  Now is a time for unity and determination.  The UN must prove that it cannot be bowed or beaten."


"Victims of the Hudna"


Nationalist Hatzofe editorialized (8/20): "The massacre that was committed last night in the heart of Jerusalem is a Palestinian expression of inconceivable barbarism, devoid of any shred of humanity and murderous beyond any limit.  There can be no forgiving or absolution for this kind of genocide massacre, for this kind of crime against humanity.  The people responsible for this massacre and others of its like must not be negotiated with.  They need to be eradicated and sent to Hell.  Without negotiations, without restraint.  The massacre last night occurred just hours after the terror attack against American soldiers [sic] in Baghdad.  In Jerusalem children were massacred, not soldiers.  But the American response to any attack on their personnel is resolute and unequivocal....  [Conversely], the [Israeli] government's policy is a miserable failure insofar as it pertains to the most fundamental duty of any government toward its citizens--to protect their lives....  A new policy is needed, one that is diametrically opposed to the one that Ariel Sharon has pursued.  The person who showed restraint in the face of acts of murder a week ago and whose sole response was to delay the release of terrorists by two days, now has some explaining to do.  We cannot continue this way."


WEST BANK:  "Tension Rises Another Notch”


Ashraf Ajrami opined in independent Al-Ayyam (8/22): “In reality, all indicators show that the political process, especially the roadmap, is undergoing real difficulties, making any progress or implementation of agreements impossible....  This should not mean, however, that we neglect the ‘truce.’  It is still too early to jump to conclusions, despite the bombing committed by Hamas in Jerusalem...and the subsequent Israeli retaliation....  It was obvious that Israel has never been interested in the truce.  It repeatedly claimed that it was an entirely internal Palestinian agreement that Israel had nothing to do with, insisting instead that militant Palestinian groups be totally dismantled....  Palestinians are in a very bad situation.  They continue to be subject to [Israeli] threats and attacks; thus they cannot really be blamed for the consequences of their reactions....  It is true that the Israelis are violating their commitments in a systematic manner; however our conflict with them cannot be resolved in a day....  Given the fact that the truce was agreed upon unanimously, despite the reservations or lack of commitment to it by some individuals, it is of extreme importance that an internal national dialogue is set up on this particular issue before embarking on any action.”


"Tit-For-Tat Has Reached Its Peak"


Independent Al-Quds editorialized (8/22): “...The escalation exchanged between Israel and the Palestinian opposition groups, mainly Hamas and Islamic Jihad, seems to have reached a climax....  The one redline crossed by the Israeli government was the assassination of political leaders of the Palestinian opposition.  It was not merely Palestinians who warned against this, but numerous European and international parties also have repeatedly urged Israel not to even get close to that redline....  The catastrophic reality is that the Sharon government does not seem willing to give the PA any opportunity to exercise its authority and fulfill its commitments.  Every time an act of violence against Israeli targets takes place, Israel insists on stepping in to retaliate, inciting more bloodshed and violent Palestinian reactions.”


"Tearing Up The Map"


Hafez Barghouti remarked in official Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (8/21):  “The U.S. mediator seems to always apply soft pressure on the Israeli side and harsh pressure on the Palestinian side....  It is high time that the Americans reconsidered their mediation and demand in public, not in secret, that both sides assume their responsibilities.  We continue to witness a fearful U.S. adopting Israel’s views, especially concerning the so-called dismantling of the infrastructure of terrorism....  This process of dismantling would suggest that there are militias and stocks of advanced weapons.  However, what we have here is nothing more than a few men who decided to die by blowing themselves up or who use light weapons, neither of which requires great mobilization.  Perhaps providing tangible achievements on the ground is enough to convince the Palestinian people of the seriousness of the roadmap and, consequently, to obviate the need for resistance.  Also, dismantling the racial suffocation wall is the criterion of Israeli seriousness about peace.  Without this, reciprocal reactions will persist, and the cycle of bloodshed will continue to overshadow the roadmap, which may be forgotten altogether in a few months.”


"Escaping The Cycle Of Violence"


Independent Al-Quds stated (8/21):  "When the conflict crosses the limits of tolerance and recognition of the other, ending it becomes an almost impossible mission.  Such a mission becomes even more impossible when each side wants to appear before the other, as well as before its own people, as a winner.  This would only provoke the opponent’s pride and dignity, bringing back bloody disputes, making both sides losers....  If the peace process is to succeed and calm to prevail, both sides must put aside their weapons and abandon the option of violence.  It is not just the Palestinians who are required to exercise self-restraint.  The Israeli forces, which continue to launch military attacks under the pretext that the Palestinian Authority could not crack down on the so-called ‘Palestinian terrorist organizations,’ have to also do the same thing.  This double-standard logic concerning the cease-fire has caused stepped-up violence during the past few weeks, as a retaliatory Palestinian attack is committed for every violent attack or assassination committed by the Israeli forces....  Both sides desperately need to overcome the past, open a new chapter in relations based on mutual understanding and respect, and move beyond the idea of achieving political gains through the use of force and weapons.”


"Rehabilitating The Popular Resistance"


Hani al-Masri declared in independent Al-Ayyam (8/19):  “Four months after the roadmap was proposed, it has become clear that the Sharon government does not want peace.  It only wants to imply that there is peace and to impose a fait accompli on the ground that achieves its goals and interests unilaterally and by force.  It has also become certain during this period that the Bush administration does not plan to apply serious pressure on Israel.  The maximum pressure it could apply is the light pressure we saw when it objected to the construction of the racially-motivated separation wall....  The Palestinian national movement’s big that it has not taken advantage of the precious time provided by the truce to conduct a profound and critical review of the Palestinian people’s draw conclusions and form a strategy for the next stage.  Instead of relying on the outcome of the Palestinian-Israeli meetings and the roadmap, it is necessary to rely on ourselves by tapping the energies and resources of the Palestinian people and making them go in a single direction....  We can make up for lost time by using the remainder of the truce and working to extend it so as to start a profound and comprehensive dialogue, in which not only the national and Islamic factions take part, but to which all personalities and representatives of civil society contribute.”


“Walking At The Edge Of Disaster”


Talal Okal opined in independent Al-Ayyam (8/21):  “The operation [suicide bombing] has generated the usual massive Israeli and international reactions.  Most significantly though, the Palestinian official reaction was extraordinarily to the level that it was received negatively [by the Palestinians].  We sounded like someone who swallowed a ‘knife’ then forced himself not move in order to prevent deepening of the wound.  Following the two bombings in Ariel and Rosh Ha’ayin on August 12, Israel’s reaction was one of deception.  While Sharon claimed that he would not retaliate, despite the American administration’s support of Israel’s right to self-defense, Sharon decided to freeze the political process and halt further withdrawals from Palestinian cities.  Since then, Israel never stopped its offensive campaign against Palestinians, including assassinations, arrests and home demolitions.  Furthermore, Israel and the U.S. have presented Sharon to the media as a wise, forgiving and peace-loving man....  Unfortunately, the two operations [bombings] have provided justifications to Sharon and the U.S. to exert more pressure on the Palestinian government to dismantle the infrastructure of the resistance.”


EGYPT: “Roadmap Is In Real Danger”


Leading, pro-government Al Ahram declared (8/21):  “There is no doubt the roadmap is in real danger.  It is not enough to ask the Palestinian and Israeli sides to exert self-restraint...or to warn them about the enemies of peace on both sides....  Developments do not call for much optimism.  There is an urgent requirement to hold a serious of meetings at the highest level among the Palestinian, Israeli, and American sides and the Quartet and Arab coordination countries: Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt.  They need to decide whether there is true political will for achieving peace....  Some may think dramatic developments in Iraq might divert Washington’s attention from the peace issue.  This would be a mistake [on the part of Washington].  Any positive development on the Palestinian-Israeli side has a strong and positive impact on the situation in Iraq.”


“Dangers Of Explosion”


Leading, pro-government Al Ahram contended (8/21):  “Even though the Palestinian resistance operation in Jerusalem was a response to Israeli killing and assassination operations committed by Israeli occupying troops against Palestinian factions...this operation has put the Palestinian territories on the brink of a very dangerous stage, the extent of which no one can predict.  The Palestinian truce opened a good opportunity for negotiations about Israeli withdrawal and release of prisoners....  However, Israel was the main party responsible for violating this truce and the Palestinian factions were forced to respond....  This is an end to the roadmap and the region is driven to explosion once again.”


“Israel Has Succeeded In Dividing The Palestinian Ranks”


Small-circulation pro-government Al Gomhuriya wrote (8/21): “Everyone knows about the differences among the Palestinian factions and with the Palestinian Authority but matters had never reached the point that the government threatens to boycott the factions.  A boycott occurs between two parties with opposing aims.  But both the Palestinian government and the factions seek one, unified aim: to liberate usurped land... Israel has succeeded in achieving one of its dearest wishes: to divide the Palestinian ranks.”


"The Cycle Of Blood From Palestine To Iraq"


Leading pro-government Al Ahram wrote (8/20): “Matters have grown more complicated in Palestine and Iraqi than those responsible for the shedding of Arab blood realize.  Obviously the widening deterioration approaches and the cycle of blood is broadening for clear reasons.  Americans, with all their military power, could not tighten their iron grip on Iraq as is demonstrated by the growing resistance....  Similarly, Israelis, led by their extremist government, driven in a stupidly military way, are facing the same situation against a nation fighting courageously for their honor and right to life....  Americans and Israelis exchanged bellicose expertise...after Israeli hawks convinced American hawks that they are fighting the same battle: namely, Arab-Islamic terrorism....  Some naïve people thought Sharon’s decision to freeze the roadmap defiance of Bush’s will...but, the truth is, Bush understood Sharon’s hand in the entire process and gave him a ‘green light’ to implement what he sees as best for Israel’s security....  The reason is the upcoming presidential elections....  Bush wants to avoid his father’s mistake in antagonizing Jewish voters and the Zionist lobby....  Just like Israel in Palestine, America employs all the practices of occupying troops in Iraq....  American tries to run the hellish wheel of blood in Iraq with the same viciousness as Israel in Palestine.  Americans may also succeed in deceiving the world and in tempting several countries to support them under the pretext of reconstructing Iraq just as Israel deceives the world about [its] destroying the terrorist Palestinian structure....  America, the greatest superpower in the world and the strongest military power in history, will never succeeded in subduing the Iraqi people and in imposing the occupation....  This may be a single, exceptional instance when America does not benefit from the experience of its ally, Israel.”


SAUDI ARABIA:  "Circle Of Blood"


Riyadh’s conservative Al-Riyadh held (8/21):  "The fear is that the Israelis will take advantage of the Jerusalem bombing to put pressure on the Palestinian Prime Minister Abu-Mazen to control the Hamas and Jihad movements.  The fear is also that the result of the movements may result in inter-Palestinian fighting, which the Israelis will watch with great enjoyment since they are not concerned with who wins because they will certainly be the winners in such a confrontation."


"Operations In Baghdad And Jerusalem"


Jeddah’s conservative Al-Madina declared (8/21):  "These random killing operations that targeted civilians and innocent bystanders cannot be justified, regardless of who the executioners are and what their motives were.  These latest attacks in Baghdad and Jerusalem will negatively affect the cause of the resistance in Iraq and Palestine alike....  Ending the occupation of both countries (Iraq and Palestine) and giving both nations the right of self-government and self-determination under an international cover is sufficient to break this cycle of violence and make the dream of peace and security in the Middle East come true."


"Booby-trapping the Roadmap"


Jeddah's conservative Al-Madina editorialized (8/20): The American preoccupation in Iraq is distracting Washington and distancing it from resolving the Middle East conflicts.  This is giving a chance to Sharon and his gang to booby-trap the roadmap and then blow it up and bury it alive.  If the Bush administration is honest in its promises, it better force Israel to comply unconditionally with the roadmap's terms and without any procrastination....  Israel's policies of racial discrimination, segregation, suppression and killing of Palestinians will undermine any spark of hope for peace; because violence will only breed violence and resistance against the oppressors.  The U.S. call to hold onto the truce will go to waste, unless American's reconsiders the issues of the regions from a just and fair perspective."  


LEBANON: “The Last Stop”


Arab nationalist As-Safir professed (8/21): “The timing of bombing in Jerusalem was not at all intelligent, not only because it revived debate over targeting Israeli civilians, but also because it coincided with the bombing of UN headquarters in Baghdad.  We are not suggesting that the two operations were linked in any way...however, the international media linked the two operations in one way or another and several appeared to hint or conclude that the Muslim Arabs kill with savagery the civilian foreigners who live among them and who want to help in developing their world.”


“A Palestinian Dilemma”


Centrist Al-Anwar opined (8/21): "The hour of truth has arrived.  It is time to leave slogans behind and try to reach an understanding for a real national political program.  Everyone knows that the choices are limited: either resistance or negotiations.  It is no longer possible to use the two options together particularly if resistance will continue to be in the form of suicide operations which are enfeebling the Palestinian Authority and its status.”


“Abu-Mazen’s Options In Confronting The Resistance”


Pro-Syria Ash-Sharq commented (8/21): “For the first time since Oslo, the Palestinian arena witnesses a sharp change which threatens to ignite a Palestinian-Palestinian conflict....  The bombing operation in Jerusalem...led Abu-Mazen to take the decision to strike Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.  The Palestinian Government decided to deter the resistance and dismantle it....  The Palestinians are facing now one of their toughest choices and are threatened with an internal strife that will serve Israel only.  Instead of deciding to attack Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, Abu-Mazen should have held Israel responsible for the Jerusalem bombing because Israel was not committed to the truce.”


QATAR:  “The Chaos Of The Intifida”


Faisal Batout wrote in semi-independent Arabic-language Al-Watan (8/21):  "Who is benefiting from the bus attack in Jerusalem?  Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad agreed on the cease-fire, which actually gave the Palestinians a window of opportunity to breathe! But there are people who do not want the Israelis to leave because they benefit from their presence. The timing of the attack was studied very carefully. The attack took place while Mofaz was declaring their withdrawal from Palestinian cities and while Abu-Mazen was meeting with Palestinian faction leaders to extend the ceasefire. Hamas and Islamic Jihad both have given Sharon the justification to attack the Palestinians and to freeze all channels of communications with the Palestinian Authority. It seems that the military wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad operate independently of their political leadership. This will lead to a new era of destruction, blood and chaos.”


SYRIA: "Two Blasts: Living on the Edge"


The government-owned Syria Times editorialized (8/21):  "Though completely different in aims, the two devastating blasts in Baghdad and Jerusalem on Tuesday were powerful in more than the grievously destructive sense.  An area that has experienced insecurity, injustice and occupation is once against living on the edge....  The international community erupted in outrage at the Baghdad attack that killed the top UN official in Iraq de Mello and 24 others; while the Jerusalem explosion drew criticism by only Israel and the U.S.  Yet both explosions were the natural product of occupation of both Iraq and Palestine.  President Bush's policy for dealing with the region's issues and his war against 'international terrorism' are abysmal failures."


"Have Any Of The U.S. Promises Been Fulfilled?"


Government-owned Tisrheen said (8/20) "About two years ago, before the international Quartet prepared the Roadmap, the U.S. Administration spoke through President George Bush of the possibility of resolving the conflict in the region and setting up a Palestinian state.   Also, the Administration undertook to exert efforts in this regard, saying that Israel seeks a resolution and only wants its security concerns to be addressed....  If the roadmap is to be used as a benchmark for the Sharon government's stands and deceptive policy, it is enough to point out that the Israelis have not accepted it to date....  The bottom line is that the Palestinian situation is going from bad to worse while the Sharon government continues its aggression by killing the Palestinians, building settlements on their land, and undermining every move leading to peace.  At the same time, this government does not forget to mislead and perhaps blackmail the U.S. Administration while it maintains its intransigent and defiant stand.  With this situation prevailing, how can the promised Palestinian state be established by the year 2005?"




AUSTRALIA:  “A Bloody Day For Peace In Iraq And Israel”


The conservative Australian observed (8/21):  “On a day that may come to be known as "Bloody Tuesday", terrorists derailed both the progress towards an Israeli-Palestinian settlement, and the progress of Iraq towards self-determination....  Significantly, the two attacks come just as major milestones were being passed on both the roadmap to peace and Iraq's road to recovery....  Driven by their insane millenarian fantasies in which Americans and Jews shall be wiped from the earth, the last thing the terrorists can abide is a measured progress towards peace and understanding....  It also illustrates that, contrary to the argument of some of those who opposed the war in Iraq, the recovery process would likely be just as difficult and obstacle-strewn if the UN, rather than the U.S., were in charge. “




INDIA:  "Resentment Boils Over"


The nationalist Hindustan Times stated (8/21):  "Tuesday was one of the blackest days in West Asia. As a devastating car bomb killed the UN's special envoy and at least 19 other employees of the organization in Baghdad, there were chilling signs of a return to the days of suicide attacks in Israel when nearly 20 people were killed when a bus was blown up in Jerusalem....  The return of the Palestinian suicide bomber also means that the other plank (apart from the Iraqi 'reconstruction') of the American plan for West Asia...has also hit a roadblock. This setback is not surprising since it had been clear from the start that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was not all that keen on an honorable settlement with the Palestinians.  The grim prospect...of a deteriorating situation in the region now stares everyone in the face."


PAKISTAN:  "Suicide Attacks"


The center-right national English-language Nation maintained (8/21):  "The suicide attacks in Baghdad and Al-Quds have shocked the world and governments have issued countless condemnatory statements....  People having no means to fight a conventional war against a superior occupier have inevitably resorted to low intensity warfare....  The attacks should make the international community, the U.S. and Israel, reappraise their overall view of the phenomenon of militancy and the way it can be eliminated....  To end the wars of liberation the West indiscriminately lumps together with terrorism, the grievances of communities subjected to foreign occupation must be redressed.  The Palestinians must be given back their territories to comprise a sovereign contiguous Palestinian state with Al-Quds as its capital.  U.S. forces should withdraw from Iraq, handing over to a government chosen by the Iraqis in free and fair elections where all parties are provided a level playing field.  Other foreign forces must withdraw from forcibly occupied territories, like Indian Held Kashmir.  This alone will ensure that people do not resort to violent means for achieving political ends."


"Positive Steps Required To Stop Suicidal Attacks"


Leading mass circulation Urdu-language Jang editorialized (8/21):  "Terrorism in any form must be condemned.  But the other aspect of this situation is that when suppressed people see all the doors closed for them they adopt such measures.  The only way to stop suicidal attacks is to remove the hidden causes behind and give legitimate rights to the people.  The policy of making people slaves by force must be stopped."




CANADA: "Bombings Rattle Bush's Middle East Strategy"


The leading Globe and Mail opined (8/20): "Yesterday's bombings, which killed at least 40 people and injured more than 100, have raised troubling new questions about the administration's Middle East strategy, particularly in Iraq....  So far, the U.S. people have remained strongly supportive of U.S. polices.  Polls show that Americans overwhelmingly support the Bush administration's policies in Iraq and in the war on terrorism, in spite of considerable skepticism elsewhere in the world.  But the danger of support eroding at home increases if the situation in the Middle East continues to deteriorate.  It's becoming increasingly clear to many analysts that Mr. Bush's ambitious Middle East goals won't come easily."


"Another Reason To Build The Fence"


The conservative National Post commented (8/20): "...The real reason Israel is building the fence is to prevent acts of terrorism--such as yesterday's brutal suicide-bomb attack on a Jerusalem bus.  Every nation in the world has the right--and, in fact, duty--to protect its citizens, and Israel is correctly asserting that right....  Almost all of the attacks have originated in the West Bank--none from Gaza, though its residents bristle equally at the Israeli presence.  The reason is simple: Unlike the West Bank, Gaza is already separated from Israel proper by a fence.  This fact provides grounds for optimism that the new fence, once complete, may cut terrorism dramatically.  This helps explain why Palestinian supporters condemn the fence.  Many falsely believe that terrorism--or the threat thereof--will force Israel to make dramatic concessions to the Palestinians, and perhaps might even lead to the destruction of Israel entirely.  And so they naturally oppose any security measure that will impede the violence.  It is only because expressing support for terrorism openly would be outré that fence opponents instead give us cynical claims about 'apartheid.' All this said, Israel should proceed cautiously with the fence....  As far as is consistent with Israel's security needs, Mr. Sharon must also ensure the security fence does not penetrate unduly into Palestinian areas in a manner that suggests a land grab....  Moreover, wherever the fence is ultimately located, Mr. Sharon must ensure that the Palestinians whose lands lie in its path are treated fairly--and, where necessary, compensated financially for their hardship....  Ultimately, the fence will not bring peace: That won't come until Palestinians--and Arabs generally--accept the existence of a Jewish state in their midst.  But the fence will at least reduce the human toll wrought by Palestinian extremism. In the meantime, it is not Israel's security measures that should be the target of condemnation, but the terrorism that necessitates them."


"Mideast Carnage Tests Our Resolve"


The liberal Toronto Star noted (8/20): "The limits of American power were on raw display yesterday in the smoking rubble of the United Nations headquarters in Iraq, and in the mangled wreckage of a bus in Jerusalem.  After easily shattering Saddam Hussein's regime, U.S. President George Bush is finding it hard to win the peace in Iraq and restore order.  And his drive for Mideast peace is faltering.  The heavy-handed American occupation in Iraq is fast becoming the tragic shambles the critics predicted....  Whatever the rights or wrongs of American policy in Iraq, the UN is there to restore civilian rule after Saddam's criminal rule, and to rebuild....  The terrorists' crimes must reinforce our resolve to rebuild a democratic Iraq and a peaceful region.  In Iraq, Bush should recognize that American military rule cannot stretch out indefinitely.  He should begin to extricate the U.S. by seeking a new Security Council resolution putting the UN in charge of a truly empowered Iraqi interim regime, replacing the Pentagon's fumbling provisional authority.  The U.S./British occupation must give way to a broader international peacekeeping and rebuilding effort, underwritten by U.S. military muscle but drawing on Turkey, India, France and others....  There is no accommodating terror.  It marches to a perverse logic all its own.  But offering Iraqis a speedier return to self-rule and normalcy, and offering Palestinians and Israelis hope, are the surest ways to subvert terror's murderous appeal."


BRAZIL: "Terror Again"


Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo held (8/20): "The two brutal terrorist acts in the Middle East yesterday represent a severe blow to U.S. interests in the region.  Washington's plans for a short occupation in Iraq have been seriously affected by the attack against the UN in Baghdad.  As a result of the attack against a bus in Jerusalem, the U.S.-sponsored peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians has suffered a dangerous setback....  Brazil, a nation that is usually spared major terrorist acts, now has lost an illustrious diplomat....  Nothing justifies terrorism.  The two attacks serve once again to remind us that this is a grave international problem whose solution is still far off.  Although necessary, military combat against terrorist organizations does not seem sufficient.  It is necessary above all to deal with the political conditions that encourage and enhance terrorism. Without this, the battle will be lost."



Commentary from ...
Middle East
East Asia
South Asia
Western Hemisphere

This site is produced and maintained by the U.S. Department of State. Links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.

Back To Top

blue rule
IIP Home  |  Issue Focus Home