UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY FOREIGN MEDIA REACTION--DAILY DIGEST For further information: Anne Chermak, Chief Media Reaction Staff (P/M), Tele. No. (202) 619-6511 Monday, April 12, 1993 TERRORISM AND WORLD INSECURITY In recent editorials, Iran was universally recognized as the source of the double threat of state-sponsored terrorism and Islamic extremism. But beyond this fear and condemnation, journalists found little common ground that would compel both North and South, and Arab and non-Arab nations to work together to combat the global threat of terrorism. For example, Egyptian and Algerian papers were in the forefront in charging U.S. complicity in the current instability in the Middle East. Those commentators asserted that the United States had promoted Islamic fundamentalism during the Afghanistan War and had further added to regional instability by alternately encouraging Iraq and Iran. India's papers weighed the pros and cons of helping the West to identify Pakistan's role in promoting terrorism, noting on the one hand that doing so could "bring ruination to Islamabad's Kashmir cause" but, on the other, could also bring India's security apparatus uncomfortably close to the CIA and the Mossad. Arab papers continued to portray Iraq and Libya as being unfairly treated by the UN while Israel remains unpunished for resolutions which it has violated. Concerning Northern Ireland, President Clinton's message of consolation to the victims of the Warrington bombing was seen in British tabloids as signalling a tougher stance by the American government against violence by the IRA. This survey is based on 32 reports from 10 countries, April 1-12. EDITOR: Gail H. Burke MIDDLE EAST ALGERIA: "Middle East Equation Has Changed" A back-page commentary by Hamid Boudoumi in independent, Arabic-language El-Khabar observed (4/11), "The Middle East equation has changed, and old alliances are on their way to modification.... "Iran, which was a temporary ally for the United States and Egypt during the Gulf War, is now the top enemy for both. Iraq will switch from being an enemy to being the indispensable and historic ally of Egypt, and the United States as well, to face Iran.... Eight years of war with Iran did not save Iraq from paying the price of Egyptian ambitions, nor of the American pragmatism that now leads the world." "Injustice Will Not Defeat Dignity" Fadila Deffous wrote this commentary for public-sector Arabic-language Achaab (4/4): "Washington, London and Paris are concerned not so much with finding out the truth and solving the Lockerbie crisis, as with humiliating Libya.... For this reason they are turning their back on all Arab attempts at dialogue.... Washington will take the next step in this humiliation by imposing an oil embargo.... And this won't be the last step." "After the Neglect...Wake Up, Washington!" In an inside-page commentary, Mouloud Morshedi contended in government-published El Massa (4/4): "American and European neglect of Iranian ambitions, and the West's focus on Iraq and Saddam Hussein, have greatly helped Iran's return to the regional scene.... It is obvious by Secretary Christopher's latest statement that Washington realizes the danger in further neglecting Iran's regional ambitions.... In order to save American interests...the American administration may need to shift its Middle East policy, particularly toward Iraq which used to be an important factor in maintaining regional stability." "U.S. Did Not Make the Best Choice" Hamid Boudoumi judged in independent Arabic El Khabar (4/2-3): "It is now difficult for Iran to deny accusations that it supports terrorism.... Tehran is moving toward a new isolation from the West and the Arabs.... Americans who distinguish between Islam and Islamic groups are now afraid of the spread of extremist ideology and think they are targeted by extremist groups.... Americans feel that what they encouraged in the past was in fact not the best choice.... The goal of ending communism has been attained, only to bring another enemy: Iran and extremist Islamic movements." "Change of Tone" This commentary by Kheira Kadi-Hanifi was carried by the public-sector French-language Horizons (4/1): "The White House's new occupant...has conditioned lifting the embargo on Iraq's respecting UN resolutions. This slight shift in U.S. policy may be linked to new relationships developing in the Gulf.... What is most worrisome now in the Gulf is the Iranian policy of overarming and Tehran's territorial demands. The abandoning of what was called at the UN the 'Saddam Hussein clause' is in itself a victory for the Iraqi president, whom George Bush's policies could not destabilize. Nonetheless, the American administration still contains some nostalgia for Bush's policy toward Iraq.... Thus, even if Bill Clinton has officially depersonalized the conflict with Iraq, attempts to dethrone Saddam Hussein persist." EGYPT: "West Will Not Let Go Of Libya" Salama Ahmed Salama, senior columnist for top-circulation, pro-government Al-Ahram wrote (4/12), "President Mubarak has convinced the three Western states...to postpone...further sanctions against Libya.... Still, the West will not stop trying to tighten its clutch on Libya's neck. This grace period is intended to benefit other Western states...which rely heavily on Libyan oil imports.... The fact that U.S. protection lets Israel violate UN resolutions, and that France and Britain ignore economic sanctions against Serbia...places Arab governments in an embarrassing position...over the issue of Libyan sanctions." "Can Anybody Explain U.S. Contradictory Posture Regarding Iran?" This editorial appeared in influential, pro-government Al-Akhbar (4/11), "Two news article reported that, first, the United States...is considering...selling arms to Iran and, second, supports the international move to impose trade sanctions against the Iranian regime.... Can anybody explain the blatant contradiction between two statements issued on the same day by the world's superpower, concerning its policy toward one country?" "Who Will Anti-Terrorism Front Target?" Editor-in-chief Adel Hussein wrote in labor opposition party weekly Al-Shaab (4/10), "The most serious element in President Mubarak's statements (during his last foreign tour) is his urgent call to create a unified international front to combat terrorism.... We would like to know who this front will target?... While we will endorse a front which opposes all kinds of international terrorism, including that of the Serbs and the Israelis, we do not believe that President Mubarak's (Western) audience will be receptive to such an idea." "Puzzling Approach To Abdel Rahman's Stay In U.S." Al-Ahram's editorial (4/10) pointed out, "In the past, we did not really understand how Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman was granted residency in the United States and was allowed complete freedom to attend to his own 'affairs.' Our non-comprehension was transformed into real puzzlement as (American officials) explained this as a bureaucratic mistake.... The fact that Egypt has not requested Abdel Rahman's extradition does not justify keeping him loose, to propagate his terrorist (ideas).... This whole affair is either very suspicious or is the result of the belief that keeping him under control in the United States is better than allowing him to be deported somewhere else." "An Insult To Egyptian People, Leadership" This piece by Ibrahim Saada, board chairman and editor-in-chief of government-owned, establishment weekly Akhbar Al-Yom (4/10), declared, "I am still...frustrated in attempting to interpret the (official) American reaction to the desperate terrorist attacks which have recently occurred in Egypt.... During my recent U.S. visit with President Mubarak, I was bewildered by the apparent contradiction between the American administration's statements (to the Egyptian side) and its actions against us, which extend over a long time and continue until now.... The mere existence of the terrorist Omar Abdel Rahman on American soil and the fact that the United States is allowing him freedom to move, communicate and hold meetings to insult the Egyptian people and leadership (proves my previous statement). This is the horrible face of the United States, and it is funny how it is disguised under labels of democracy and human rights." "Islamic Extremism Threat Has Links To Afghanistan War" Salama Ahmed Salama, senior columnist wrote (4/8) in Al Ahram, "The links between extremist groups in Egypt and groups of Arab volunteers...who participated in the Afghanistan War are very real. Until recently, the United States has continued to supervise these [Peshawar-based groups], assisting them through financial and organizational [means]. No American official has denied reports that the CIA continues to control these elements in Peshawar, an area which has become a nursery for exporting terrorism.... Uncovering the reasons behind U.S. assistance to these elements is urgently required. Effort should also be exerted to stop [further American support for these groups]." JORDAN: "Call For Arab Unity" Center-left Sawt Al-Sha'b (4/12) carried this commentary by weekly columnist Dr. Samir Qtami: "The conspiracy against brotherly Iraq is infuriating. But what is more heartbreaking are remarks by some Arab officials...who pretend concern for Iraq by asking it to adhere to international resolutions.... Don't these Arab leaders know that these international resolutions do not acknowledge Iraq's existence as a unified state, rather as divided and separate states? Do they want Iraq to approve resolutions that call for its division? Do these Arab leaders need to to be reminded that international resolutions are applied forcefully and violently only against the Arabs?" "Clinton Administration Should Start A New Page with Iraq" Sawt Al-Sha'B (4/12) also printed this commentary by daily columnist Salamen Ukour: "Each time the international inspection teams declare Iraq cooperative and serious about the implementation of UNSC resolutions, the United States creates a new crisis and provokes Iraq with actions and unfair media campaigns.... The Clinton administration should turn over a new page with Iraq. It should respond to Iraq's call for normal relations based on mutual trust. The Clinton administration should think about regaining the U.S. credibility that was lost by the Bush administration." "Arabs Should Not Support The U.S. Against Iran" Pro-establishment Al-Ra'y (4/12) advised its readers in this editorial not to support the United States against Iran: "Despite the many faults of the Iranian regime, especially its stand with the 'Great Satan' against its brother in Iraq, we cannot betray Islam and support the United States against Iran. Those who do, in their hope for political gains, will soon realize that they were mistaken, and that any deal struck with the United States is a deal struck with Israel.... The United States and some other Western countries may have pretexts to strike against Iran, but there is no justification at all for an Arab or a Muslim to support the United States against Iran." MOROCCO: "Something New In Lockerbie Issue?" Under the headline above, opposition, French-language Al Bayane (4/9) stated in this editorial: "The Security Council is going to look once more into the Lockerbie issue. It will be thanks to Mubarak if the discussion of the embargo is postponed in the UN.... This is a new opportunity for a reasonable solution.... Issmat Abdelmagid, Secretary General of the Arab League also carried a message to the UN on the Lockerbie issue.... In addition to this, Bill Clinton's statement...has been positively appreciated by Tripoli.... Libya has interpreted the message as 'logical.'... The parties are moving towards a solution that hopefully will satisfy everybody." "The West Has To Understand Libya's Flexibility" Opposition, Arabic-language Bayane Al Youm (4/9) front-paged this commentary, titled as above: "It is obvious that while the Libyan party has shown great flexibility and a true desire to find a solution to the crisis by peaceful means, the West is inclined to stick to its position and resort to escalation. Is the Lockerbie crisis a pretext to strike again against Arab/Islamic countries?" TUNISIA: "Why The War On Muslims?" Top-circulation, independent Ash-Shourouq's front-page editorial by co-chief editor Abdelhamid Riahi said (4/8), "Is it pre-ordained for Muslims to be the fuel of the next wars? The question is increasingly asked among Arabs and Muslims. It is justified by the size of the injustice imposed on Muslims everywhere, and by the number of wars directed against their existence. It suggests that a plan is being implemented against Islam and Muslims.... The Security Council, which accustomed us to its 'determination and firmness' whenever it comes to an Arab party, as against Iraq and Libya, is called upon today to prove its impartiality, in order to redress its shaken credibility, and to face the charge of following a double standard." SOUTH ASIA INDIA: "Time To Be Worldly-Wise" The independent Calcutta Telegraph opined (4/4), "India's traditional response to Pakistani provocation has been primeval--an eye for an eye.... (This) was understandable in the era of the Cold War.... (But today,) this is a failure to recognize changed global circumstances. "In the past, indicting a nation for terrorism meant nothing.... (Today,) Pakistan is in a panic about the economic and political consequences of being listed by the United States as a terrorist state.... Clearly, a window of opportunity has opened. India must be willing to provide evidence to Western intelligence agencies.... The diplomatic isolation and besmirching of Pakistan would have far-reaching consequences. It would, for example, bring ruination to Islamabad's Kashmir cause. That alone would be a fair enough blood price for Bombay." "War By Other Means" An editorial in the independent Indian Express (4/7) held, "India has bilaterally brought Pakistan's misdeeds to the notice of countries like the United States, Britain, Russia, France and Germany. The time has now come for New Delhi to raise this issue forcefully in every international forum. The evidence collected so far is well-nigh enough and conclusive to be submitted even to the Security Council." "Perils Of Intelligence Links With The CIA And Mossad" The independent Pioneer's foreign editor Sunil Adam wrote (4/1) under the headline above, "The same coterie that...at the very outset of the Afghan crisis...pushed India into the Soviet fold in 'toto' is today spearheading the moves to invite the West into the very heart of India's security apparatus.... It is very well for India to think that it has a lot in common with the United States and Israel insofar as...state-sponsored terrorism goes. But cooperation with them in sensitive areas could bring into focus issues on which there is no political consensus. For the United States, Pakistan's role in Kashmir is one thing--and the Kashmiris' right to self-determination is another." "Embittering Ties With Pakistan" The independent Statesman (4/7) ran this editorial page column "Between the Lines" by eminent journalist Kuldip Nayar: "Even if New Delhi is able to persuade Washington to declare Pakistan a terrorist state, how does it help us in our prime objective of improving relations with the people across the border?... We must sort our problems across the table, without involving any other country. Washington worked with Islamabad against our interests for 45 years. Now that the Cold War has ended, it finds New Delhi more useful than Islamabad.... Why should India or Pakistan allow itself to be a pawn in their game?" PAKISTAN: "Another Step Closer" The radical, English-language Muslim carried this editorial under the headline above (4/10), "Pakistan has just emerged from another round of American propaganda portraying it as a terrorist state, its name and image more tarnished than before. The prime minister's special envoy Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan's visit to Washington does not seem to have put Pakistan any nearer to being taken off the American watchlist of countries being monitored for supporting terrorism.... "So what next? Wait for the next round of propaganda against Pakistan, each destined to bring it closer to being declared a terrorist state? Do the Americans expect Pakistan to cow down on the nuclear issue? Nothing doing. Pakistan has said it will sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty if India does so. Why are the Americans finding it so hard to convince the Indians to do so?" "Terrorism In Kashmir" The center-right Nation criticized U.S. government policy on state terrorism in this editorial (4/11), "To the United States, notwithstanding its own involvement in Nicaragua and Afghanistan where the uprisings were against legal governments, Pakistan's support for the uprising in Kashmir, even though the government there is not legal, is terrorism. Therefore, when freedom fighters, whose struggle would have UN sanction because of the Security Council resolutions, are brutalized, all that the United States has to say is that it is a case of human rights violations. Yet human rights violations, which can only be proved by a visit by Amnesty International, are not as grave a crime as interference by one state into the affairs of another. "Hence India is not a terrorist state, Pakistan is. Was the United States a terrorist state when it armed the freedom fighters against their legal governments? Their answer is: No. Is Pakistan a terrorist state when it helped the freedom fighters in a territory on which it has as much claim as its rival? Their answer is: Yes. Strange logic, but a logic with which we have to live. In the meantime Kashmiri blood must flow, because India has the blessings of some logical countries." EUROPE BRITAIN: "Northern Ireland--Significant Gesture By Clinton" Concerning President Clinton's message to the families of the victims of the Warrington bombing, ITN's "News at Ten" political correspondent Glynn Matthias commented (4/7): "There was some uncertainty when President Clinton was elected about his attitude to IRA violence--he had proposed to send a peace envoy to Northern Ireland. But John Hume (leader of the SDLP) was saying tonight that he has been close attention to developments in Northern Ireland over the last few weeks and months, and the British government will see today's letter as a significant gesture of support for the political process which they are trying to get under way again." "Clinton's Blown To IRA Killers" Britain's tabloids, which have been most vociferous in condemning perceived American support for IRA terrorism, showed a great deal of interest in, and praise for, President Clinton's move. The conservative tabloid Daily Mail (4/8), which had as its front-page banner headline, "Clinton Blow To IRA Killers," said, "It was the sign millions in Britain and Ireland have been waiting for: a rejection of those deluded supporters who rattle collection tins believing they are helping victims but instead buying bullets and bombs." The paper editorialized: "Mr. Clinton is already showing signs of having President Reagan's communication skills. His voice deployed against terrorism could be extremely powerful." ITALY: "Enter Iran" Ugo Tramballi contributed this analysis in economic Il Sole-24 Ore (4/9), "Middle East peace seems to be emerging from lethargy with the arrival of spring.... Egyptian President Mubarak, during his visit to Washington, made a courageous forecast: Peace by the end of this year.... The old bipolar world is over and changes are beginning to be felt in the Middle East as well. The standard verbiage to the contrary notwithstanding, the real enemy is less and less Israel and more and more Islamic extremism. The USSR has disappeared from the Great Game in the area, but Iran has appeared.... Both Rabin and the Palestinian negotiators have realized that this is the decisive time to negotiate." "The Ayatollah's Latest Threat" Ennio Caretto contributed this commentary to leftist La Repubblica (4/8): "Now that the Cold War no longer is a threat, it seems that the latest destabilizing threat to society is Islamic fundamentalism. This movement is a political system that goes well beyond being a religion and has a widespread control over nations...including parts of Afghanistan and Sudan, all of which fall under Iran's guidance. Their strategy is rather simple--force Europe and the United States out of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Overcome by the new world disorder...the West seems to have ignored the Islamic challenge but the latest rash of terrorist incidents now seems to have refocused the world's attention after the recent scares. "The U.S. strategy, which President Clinton will outline to the allies at the G-7 summit in Tokyo next July, is based on a head-on attack against the extremists but not against Islam. U.S. dealings with Islam cannot be solely concentrated on oil matters or the Palestinian issue but must also include a dialogue with Iran. In order for this to evolve, it is necessary that the Ayatollah stop supporting terrorism, and renounce the means of mass destruction and control of the Persian Gulf." "Silence Over Israel" Alberto Jacoviello commented in leftist La Repubblica (4/8): "For how long has war been a part of Israeli life? It almost seems impossible to try and figure out. In fact, it is even more difficult to try and forecast when there will be peace, if this ever will occur. It now seems however, that the Islamic fundamentalists are the latest threat to peace.... Algeria, Egypt, Sudan and even Turkey seem to be threatened by Islamic fundamentalists." "Warning to Iran, Islamic Fundamentalism" Ennio Caretto wrote from Washington in La Repubblica (4/7): "The Clinton-Mubarak meeting was meant to focus on the resumption of Middle East talks in Washington, but it also analyzed Islamic fundamentalism, terrorism and Iran--this last seen by both leaders as a bomb threatening international security. With their firm stand, the two presidents are bringing about an important change in Middle East and Persian Gulf policy, warning Iran that, if necessary, it will be neutralized like Iraq. This is the first time since the Khomeini revolution 14 years ago that a Western-Arab summit has led to such a firm denunciation of the Iranians. President Clinton did not mince words.... Everything seems to indicate that, in the wake of Rabin's visit to the White House last month, a front is about to be formed against the armed wing of Islamic fundamentalism." LATIN AMERICA CHILE: "Iran's Objectives" Financial El Diario opined (4/8), "Therefore, it would not be improbable that the West, committing the same errors of the past, could be supplying Iran with high-level military technology and transforming it into a new threat to the peace of the Middle East and, perhaps, the world." .