Monday, August 26, 1996


Observers from around the globe continued to react to the latest U.S. trade sanctions legislation aimed at isolating Iran and Libya for supporting terrorism and putting pressure on the Communist Castro regime in Havana. The so- called Helms-Burton and D'Amato acts were viewed by a majority of commentators--with a few notable exceptions--as "interventionist" and "hegemonic," violating international trade norms and "timed for U.S. elections." Several critics contended that the U.S. actions could have several deleterious effects, among them: angering U.S. trade partners and allies--especially in the EU; having no effect on ending terrorism or toppling dictatorships; and stirring up anti-American sentiment everywhere. Commentators accused Washington of applying a "double standard" in its sanctions policy. One Belgian paper argued that "when it comes to China" the U.S. doesn't follow the same philosophy it applies to Iran and Libya. A number of editorialists allowed that while the U.S. may have "very good reasons" for taking a tough line against nations that reportedly support terrorism, the policy is still "very wrong." Mexico's nationalist Excelsior railed, "It is unbearable that Washington tells (other countries) where to invest and with whom to trade." The daily urged nations to create "antidote laws" as a response to "U.S. blackmail." Analysts also said they saw the "first casualties" of the trade sanctions, listing among them the canceled visas of managers from the Canadian nickel-producing company Sheritt International and the Mexican telecommunications holding company Grupo Domos, as well as the draft CTBT. Said one Belgian paper, referring to Iran's vetoing of the CTBT draft language, "It seems that the U.S. is reaping...the first fruit of Senator D'Amato's act." Turkey's signing of a $24 billion agreement to buy natural gas from Iran was interpreted as an act of defiance against Washington-- despite Ankara's assertion that the natural gas agreement does not fall within the scope of the D'Amato legislation. In Turkey, where Prime Minister Erbakan's recent visit to Iran received support largely from pro-Islamist dailies, mainstream papers were skeptical of his mission and alarmed by the possibility of retaliation by the Clinton administration. Opinionmakers from Arab and Muslim countries were especially incensed over the D'Amato Act. Cairo's opposition biweekly Al-Shaab maintained: "This is insolent racism.... If Arab rulers have any pride they should rebel against it." A few pundits, however, found some merit in the American pro-sanctions position. News reports that two German businessmen were arrested on suspicion of supplying the Libyan regime with equipment for its chemical weapons program raised concern among commentators in Britain and Italy, and also Germany itself. London's conservative Times held: "No wonder the Americans are contemptuous of European promises to crack down on international terrorism; no wonder they insist that only sanctions on companies doing business with such regimes will curb the trade in terror.... No chances should be taken with a regime as unstable and malign as that of Colonel Qadhaffi." Other stories about Iranian involvement in the killing of Kurdish opposition politicians on German soil prompted Germany's national commercial TV station SAT 1 to remark that such revelations serve as a "confirmation" of U.S. policy on Iran. This survey is based on 66 reports from 29 countries, August 10-26. EDITOR: Diana McCaffrey EUROPE GERMANY: "Confirmation Of Harsh U.S. Criticism Of Iran" National commercial TV station SAT 1 (8/22) aired the following commentary by Elmar Tophoven: "The political significance of Bani-Sadr's statement (in a court appearance at the trial of one Iranian and three Lebanese nationals who are accused of having killed four Kurdish opposition politicians in the Berlin Mykonos' restaurant four years ago) is immense, since it questions the whole German policy toward Iran and thus also Germany's 'critical dialogue' with Iran. And it would only be a confirmation of the harsh criticism which the U.S. government raises again and again against the German negotiating practices with Iran." "Bonn Should Not Support Tehran Regime That Kills On German Soil" P. Guenther commented on national radio station Norddeutscher Rundfunk of Hamburg (8/22): "How can (after Bani-Sadr's's statement in Berlin) the Bonn government cooperate with a regime that kills its enemies even on German soil? Economic interests and possible assistance of Tehran cannot be so important (as to allow this). In this case, it is a relief to see that German justice authorities do not support this policy and demonstrate in an exemplary way their independence in the Mykonos' case." "U.S. Rightly Angry" Right-of-center Rheinische Post of Duesseldorf carried comments on reports that two German businessmen have been arrested for allegedly selling to Libya equipment that can be used to construct poison gas plants (8/20): "The Americans are certainly to view with suspicion the latest affair in Germany. They have every reason to, since U.S. citizens around the world are repeatedly the subject of attacks that can be traced back to Islamic fundamentalists. And ever since Lockerbie, the Clinton government is rightly angry when citizens of an allied country help others to produce chemical weapons." "Poisonous Trail To Libya" " Centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin commented (8/20), "For the last two years there have been international rumors that companies from Germany, not only Belgian and Britain, have supplied to Libya the technology to produce chemical weapons. The arrests will of course not solve the case. Libya's role, too, as the buyer, must be examined. And that is something for the UN." BRITAIN: "Germany's Blind Eye" The conservative Times observed (8/21), "The arrest of two German businessmen on suspicion of helping Libya to build a poison gas factory underlines again the ruthless nature of Colonel Qadhaffi's regime. More embarrassingly, it also highlights Germany's failure to take proper steps to control the sale of machinery and deadly equipment to rogue regimes intent on mass destruction. This is not the first time.... No wonder the Americans are contemptuous of European promises to crack down on international terrorism; no wonder they insist that only sanctions on companies doing business with such regimes will curb the trade in terror. The scale of German involvement, the failure-- despite Bonn's repeated assurances--to block loopholes in existing export bans and the impunity with which the men adapted and shipped the equipment point to serious lapses in German counter-intelligence.... The Americans, and other allies, will be watching the fallout closely. No chances should be taken with a regime as unstable and malign as that of Colonel Qadhaffi." ITALY: "Gas For Qadhaffi" Left-leaning, influential La Repubblica said (8/21): "Germany...has some special duties so as to make the world forgive the Holocaust.... All the more so if it aspires to European leadership, leading the chorus against U.S. anti-terrorism sanctions against business with Libya and Iran.... Up to which point does Germany accept subordination of its new nationalist post-war Western values and principles? It would be a good thing to know from the country that easily rebukes Rome for its public debt, Paris for its nuclear testing...and Washington for its trade or social policies." "Turning Of The U.S. Screw: Timed For U.S. Elections" New York-based correspondent Anna Guaita wrote in centrist Il Messaggero (8/20): "The closer the presidential election comes, the more the Clinton administration concentrates on U.S. interests, be it to the disadvantage of the allies' interests.... The turning of the screw by the White House...came after Bob Dole's address to the Republican convention. He accused the WTO of failure to respect U.S. interests and promised that, if elected, he will see to it that the WTO 'toes the line.'' RUSSIA: "Leave Other Countries Alone" Alexander Shinkin wrote in official government Rossiyskaya Gazeta (8/22), "America is asking Europe to help it isolate the only totalitarian state in the western hemisphere, and impel Havana into democratic reforms. It is hard to tell whether Bill Clinton will succeed in this. Europe has changed from what it was even a decade ago. The failure of the White House-proposed economic blockade of Cuba seems like convincing proof of that.... Of course, the United States is today the only world power. No doubt about that. But why not live and let others live as they wish?" "New Rules Of Game Needed" Georgy Bovt held in reformist, business- oriented Kommersant Daily (8/16): "As they are out to consolidate their position on the Asian fuel market and there are clear signs of Islamic resurgence, Americans cannot but realize that they can't do much, given the levers of influence available to them now. New rules of the game are needed.... It would be wrong to say that Americans are ready to give up a policy whereby they seek to confront and counter Iran's attempts to gain access to the world (oil) market, even though this policy is finding no support in Europe and Asia.... The question is how much longer combatting terrorism, in the minds of Americans, will be associated with refusing lucrative contacts with Iran." "D'Amato Stirs Anti-American Sentiments" Vadim Markushin stated in centrist, army Krasnaya Zvezda (8/16): "By ignoring Washington's advice to stay away from Iran, Ankara instantly drew the attention of countries ever ready with expressions of anti-American solidarity.... The call for a complicated 'gas' game, in fact, became a call for unity promptly taken up by neighbors.... New dynamics may lead to changes in the balance of forces in the Middle East." "Emotional European Response" Reformist writers' weekly Literaturnaya Gazeta (#33, 8/15) ran this comment by Alexander Shumilin: "Europe's defiance of the U.S. decisions is more an emotional act against what, at first glance, looks like interference in the foreign policies of European countries, diktat, or an electoral ruse. Emotions aside, one has to admit that Clinton did not violate the sovereignty of any third country.... "Acting in a harsh, near-brutal form, he identified an issue that may become of key importance to the 'new world order'--whether to fight terrorism across the board by every lawful method and on the basis of genuine international solidarity--even at the price of a temporary economic damage--or to imitate this struggle, paying lip service to solidarity and confining ourselves to combatting individual groups of terrorists, leaving intact a powerful infrastructure of international terrorism, which has its sponsors among Third World states." TURKEY: "Erbakan Enters Dangerous Waters" Mehmet Ali Birand wrote in mass-appeal Sabah (8/12): "Erbakan is currently shaking the balances.... Eventually the boat will be run aground in these dangerous waters which we created.... Rescue will cost us dearly.... If the conduct of foreign relations continues to be a trial run for RP (Welfare Party) aides, it will carry very heavy risks." "Policy Does Not Reflect Feelings Of Turkish Nation" Ertugrul Ozkok wrote in mass-appeal Hurriyet (8/14), "This policy does not reflect the feelings of the Turkish nation. But, unfortunately, the (Turkish) prime minister who is visiting Tehran makes his influence felt. And the coalition partner, who received 21 percent of the votes (in the elections), has managed to ruin Turkey's civilized image, which took 70 years to build." "Americans Must Realize Turkish-Iranian Relations Will Bring Benefits" Ilnur Cevik held in pro-Islamic Zaman (8/14), "Americans must realize the advantages that they will enjoy in the future from the fact that Turkey is establishing good relations with Iran." AZERBAIJAN: "U.S. May Choose Azerbaijan Over Turkey" Opposition Muxalifat published a comment by Elcin Arifoglu (8/14), "With this deal Turkey loses more than it gets. The cooling or even deteriorating of Turkey's relations with the United States and NATO may push the United States toward a search for a new ally capable of influencing relations between Russia and Iran. Losing an ally in Turkey, the United States may chose Azerbaijan, which is destined to be in permanent confrontation with Iran and Russia. On the whole, the United States will be looking for such an ally in the Caucasus. The Erbakan move toward rapprochement with Iran jeopardizes Turkey's strategic interests. In this context, the initial period of euphoria will inevitably be replaced by serious discontent with Erbakan's policy." "Tread Carefully" Ayna, Azeri-language, independent, thrice-weekly sister paper of indpendent, Russian-language Zerkalo, said (8/14), "The ban on cooperation with Iran not only damages the economic interests of European countries but also is again a reminder of the leading U.S. role in the transatlantic union. It appears that this is what the Europeans dislike. However, though it is directed abroad, the American legislation does not formally violate the sovereignty of other countries. But now it is not individual countries but individual companies and firms that will have to choose who they want to be friends with, Washington or Teheran. Caspian oil exporters cannot be indifferent to a long-term exclusion of Iran and Libya from the world oil market.... If investments in Libyan and Iranian oil raise a threat of political ramifications, this means a rise in the shares of Azerbaijan and Kazakstan.... These latest developments prove that the U.S. economic blockade of Iran will eventually get worse, unless, of course, there are major political changes in Teheran. Before this happens, Azerbaijan's Iran policy should always take into consideration the consequences of American and international sanctions against this country." BELGIUM: "Death Sentence In Geneva--Result Of U.S. Sanctions Policy" Philippe Paquet, writing in conservative Catholic La Libre Belgique, lamented the "unsatisfactory conclusion" of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, saying (8/24): "Being disappointed is the minimum and it is certainly an understatement for the (Belgian foreign) minister to term as 'unsatisfactory' the conclusion of three years of work at the international Conference on Disarmament.... It is easy to identify the villains to be blamed: India and Iran whose twin vetos torpedoed the...draft treaty which the noble forum intended to address to the UNGA next month.... Delhi never made a mystery of its opposition to the CTBT.... Teheran's obstruction was not self-evident. It seems that the United States is reaping here the first fruit of Senator D'Amato's act which, by threatening foreign enterprises which would invest in Iran as well as in Libya with sanctions, intends to strangle those two countries economically." "Helms-Burton Act Causes Its First Casualties" Financial L'Echo said (8/21): "Like the managers of the (Canadian Nickel producing company) Sheritt International, those of (Mexican telecommunications holding company) Grupo Domos are banned from entering the United States.... This development is reported as the Clinton administration has just announced the appointment of Under Secretary for International Trade Stuart Eizenstat as special envoy to the countries likely to be concerned by the reinforcement of the economic embargo against Cuba or by the D'Amato Act providing for the same sanctions against companies of third countries investing in gas or oil in Iran and Libya. His mission would consist of 'inviting during the next six months Washington's allies to adopt concrete measures to encourage democracy in Cuba.' In fact, his task will primarily consist of placating U.S. allies' anger, which will not be an easy task because the matter risks rebounding again.... There is no doubt that the extraterritorial character of the U.S. legislation will sooner or later be examined by the WTO, where the United States will be confronted with all the other countries." HUNGARY: "U.S. Double Standard" Very influential, liberal Magyar Hirlap commented (8/22), "Washington must decide whether it believes Turkey when it argues that its natural gas deal with Iran does not violate the recently signed D'Amato bill. There is a lot at stake: By punishing Turkey the United States may easily push the country away from Europe. This is also what Washington's European allies keep repeating. It is not only out of offended pride that Western European countries argue that the United States cannot determine what countries they are allowed to do business with and is certainly not in the position of punishing any foreign company for concluding deals with Lybia or Iran. Europeans have no desire to give up promising business opportunities in Iran. Europeans question the double standard used by the United States: When it comes to China, America argues that economic sanctions rather than forcing the Chinese government to guarantee basic human rights would only result in deteriorating the situation of political dissidents. Why doesn't the United States follow the same philosophy in case of Lybia and Iran, too?" "In the last phase of presidential campaign it is important for Clinton to prove to his fellow citizens that he is not going to give in to terrorists and is determined to protect American lives. At the same time United States threats jeopardize the fragile world order. Turkey and the European Union have given a lesson to the United States." NORWAY: "Unacceptable Dictation By U.S." Social Democratic Arbeiderbladet commented (8/14) "The United States has very good reasons for sanctioning Iran.... Still, it is very wrong for one country to pass its own economic sanctions and then force the rest of the world to comply. The United States wants to punish non- American companies who do not obey, and will force these companies to abide by the American legislation. "Trying to force others into submission and obedience in this way is totally unacceptable.... But imperialist attempts like this one are nothing new in American foreign politics. For 34 years, the United States has embargoed Cuba for reasons nobody else comprehends, and that are solely founded in domestic American political concerns.... We fully sympathize with the EU in threatening to counter- sanction the United States." SPAIN: "Are Sanctions Most Effective Way To Fight State Terrorism?" Carlos Semprun commented in conservative ABC (8/22), "I'm not totally convinced that the D'Amato measures of economic embargo will be the best to topple dictatorships, impose respect for human right and other democratic gains. It seems to me that both Iran and Libya are unarguably de facto terrorist states. They are not the only ones, but they are indeed terrorist ones. The pending question continues to be whether the sanctions backed by Senator D'Amato are the most effective in the fight against state terrorism." MIDDLE EAST EGYPT: "Insolent Racism Against " Madgy Hussein commented in Islamic opposition biweekly Al- Shaab (8/23): "No crueler siege since 1945 has been imposed like the siege which is imposed on Iraq, Libya, and then Sudan. This is insolent racism.... If Arab rulers have any pride they should rebel against it." "U.S. Motivated By Narrow Interests" Popular, pro-government Al-Ahram commented (8/17): "The successful visit of Turkish Prime Minister Erbakan to several Asian countries is raising many questions, especially from the United States and her European allies. Some fear that Turkish movement on this front could lead to the formation of a new trade and economic alliance that does not fall under American control.... This could explain the current American position which has led the United States to threaten to impose sanctions on Turkey despite the relationship that exists between them. In fact this is not strange, because the United States is motivated by her narrow interests without taking into consideration the interests of other active international parties. But what is strange is the Arab position on the issue.... No definite position has been announced, neither for or against this Turkish move although, in the end, it serves Arab interests." "U.S. Hegemony" Ihsan Bakr wrote in Al-Ahram (8/18): "[The United States'] targetting Iran is no less dangerous than hitting Iraq. Despite our differences with Iran on many issues, this does not mean that we leave the United States to punish whom she likes and, jointly with Israel, impose hegemony on the whole region--because after Iran comes Libya and Syria." JORDAN: "Sanctions Should Not Be Used For Domestic Political Gains" Pro-government, influential Al-Ray's Fahd Fanek argued (8/24), "The United States is right to worry about the increasing acts of international terrorism against its interests. It is also right to consider these as acts of war that should be confronted by all means available.... In this context, President Clinton signed the D'Amato amendment which was not convincing even to America's European allies. International terrorism is the scourge of this age. It should be confronted by the international community. However, it should not be used as a tool to accomplish domestic and external political objectives and gains." "Defiance Of Amercanization Of World Order And D'Amato" Hanna Al-Haj wrote in Hashd Political Party's weekly mouthpiece Al-Ahali (8/15), "The U.S. sanctions against Libya and Iran, which harm other parties, such as the countries of Europe, are facing international rejection. Where does the United States find its right to bypass the United Nations and to appoint itself an international legislator that punish's countries in whatever way it likes? The United States is in fact isolating herself when it raises itself above international law. If the United States believes that the world is still taken by the aggression against Iraq and the downfall of the Soviet Union and Socialism, it has been told candidly that it will not find another alliance to strike against Iran, Libya or Cuba." "Turkey Rejects U.S. Intervention" Ali Safadi wrote in center-left, influential Al-Dustur (8/15): "Turkey rejected the U.S. intervention in its foreign policy. Its rejection was strong and practical at the same time." "D'Amato Drives A Wedge In Western Alliance" Al-Dustur opined (8/14), "The Turkish-Iranian agreement is a landmark: It is Ankara's first large-scale mutiny against Washington; it is also the first slap in the face for D'Amato and his plan to tighten the siege against Libya and Iran. Many experts maintained that the D'Amato amendment would not be enforced by the international community, particularly the industrial countries. But, these unclassified experts did not think that the first to break the chain of Western allies would be the weakest link, Turkey.... If Turkey had sufficient reason to defy the U.S. policy of sanctions tightening, then Europe, Japan, Russia, China and the other industrial countries have even better reason to do so." SAUDI ARABIA: "U.S. Might Make Big, Foolish Mistake On Iran" London-based, internationally-circulated Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat (8/18) ran a commentary by Abdulrahman Ar-Rashed: "The United States might make a big and foolish mistake if it engages in a military confrontation with Iran, despite the fact that Washington will be able to win because of its superior Air Force. It can destroy everything Iran has acquired since the end of the Iran-Iraq War. If the United States believes Iran has done something that needs to be punished, then it must do what it did in Iraq and Somalia, when it took its cause to the United Nations, which issued international sanctions providing a rationale for a military attack. What America did against Libya during Reagan's time, going off on its own, on the other hand, was a bad action. During George Bush's time, America was very careful to give its acts legitimacy, enabling everyone to support it. Thus far, the United States has not provided any evidence that would justify a war against Iran." "American Selfishness" Abduljabbar Adawan wrote in Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat (8/16): "The American selfishness is an opportunity for Arabs and Muslims to substitute European for American investment, which will pressure Washington because of its interest in trade with Arab and Muslim countries, and affect the peace process, and change the negative image of Arabs and Muslims.... After Erbakan's proposals to Iran, Iran has to work on ending tensions in the region and to diminish the need for the American presence by, for example, withdrawing from the U.A.E.'s islands and signing agreements neither to involve itself in subversion nor to attack neighboring countries." SYRIA: "The D'Amato Legislation: Signs Of A New Cold War?" Dr. Ibrahim Zu'air maintained in government-owned Al-Thawra (8/20), "The new American legislation, which was approved by President Bill Clinton, and the one that carries Senator D'Amato's name...created complicated problems for American- European relations.... "All indicators point that the world is heading toward a trade war with superpowers on each end and the markets and the people of the Third Word will be their victims." TUNISIA: "Overuse Of Embargoes And Sanctions By UN, U.S." Abdellatif Fourati held in independent As-Sabah (8/19), "The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution imposing an air embargo against Sudan. Such a resolution was imposed before on Iraq, Libya and Yugoslavia. Our first observation is that the air embargo is still in place against three Arab countries, while it was lifted for Yugoslavia. It is true that the government of Sudan has made that country a safehaven for terrorism.... Yet, it clearly appears today that the overuse of the embargo by the Security Council, at the instigation of the United Staes, has led to reducing the impact of such a weapon. The previous sanctions against Sudan were followed by only 60 countries, out of 185. In addition, the new resolution was adopted without the agreement of Russia and China, two permanent members of the Security Council. More and more countries are finding it problematic to abide by embargo resolutions adopted during the five past years." "Serious Mistake" Abdellatif Fourati wrote in independent, Arabic-language As-Sabah (8/17), "The United States now looks like it is imposing itself as the world's policeman. Whatever it deems necessary for its own interests, it strives to impose it on the rest of the world." EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC JAPAN: "Instead of Sanctions, Promote Dialogue" Liberal Mainichi held (8/21), "The Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996, signed by President Clinton on August 5, requires the president to impose sanctions on foreign firms that invest $40 million or more in the energy sectors of Iran or Libya. The Turkey-Iran gas deal seems to snub the strengthened U.S. sanctions act, which was designed to contain nations that support international terrorism.... Which side should rethink this sanctions act, Turkey or the United States? In fact, the EU has reacted strongly to the law that they claim was adopted to regulate foreign economic systems for the convenience of the United States.... We wonder if Turkey, which borders Iran and shares with that country a 'Kurd' problem, can avoid Iran simply because it is a nation supporting terrorism. "If the United States studies imposing sanctions against Ankara, it should consider the regional and religious backgrounds of the two countries. If possible, the United States should use this opportunity to review the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act.... The impact of a pro-Islamic policy in Turkey, which is also promoting economic cooperation with Iraq, the Middle East and Central Asia will not be negligible.... U.S. and European strategies toward the Middle East will stand at a big crossroads if and when Turkey establishes an economic zone encompassing neighboring oil producing states and central Asian nations.... It is not advisable for the United States to use force (sanctions) to achieve a breakthrough in settling its discord with Turkey. What is needed is dialogue, not sanctions." CHINA: "It Is Difficult For U.S. To Put Down the Cudgel" Jian Wen wrote in the official Communist Youth League China Youth Daily (Zhongguo Qingnian Bao, 8/23), "Recently, ...disregarding the firm opposition of the international community, President Clinton signed the Helms-Burton act and the D'Amato Act. This arbitrary behavior has exposed the United States' hegemonic nature toward developing countries, and also given its western allies a taste of U.S. power politics. These countries have to consider retaliation measures and prepare to engage in tit-for-tat with the globe's only superpower. "At the same time, some U.S. politicians have also criticized the government's new policy and expressed concern over the impact of these sanctions." "D'Amato Act Harms Others And Does Not Benefit U.S." Qian Hong wrote in the official Communist Party People's Daily (Renmin Ribao, 8/21), "After levying sanctions against Cuba in the Helms-Burton Act, President Clinton signed the Iran-Libya sanctions legislation...and once again aroused international concern.... These actions on the part of the United States violate basic principles of international law. In so doing, the United States continues to indulge in the idiotic Hollywood dream of gunboat diplomacy. No country is obliged to recognize foreign legislation that is contrary to international law. Therefore, such legislation can be justifiably regarded as invalid. In addition, the D'Amato Act obviously bears the imprint of U.S. domestic politics. Confronted with recurrent incidents of terrorism on U.S. soil, President Clinton needed to make the gestures necessary to win support in his reelection bid." "U.S. Hegemony" Wang Zhong wrote in the official State Council Economic Daily (Jingji Ribao, 8/20), "Many countries, including U.S. allies, have joined Iran and Libya in resisting threats and pressure from the United States and firmly exercising their own sovereignty. In recent months, the United States passed the Helms-Burton and D'Amato acts which target sanctions at the governments and enterprises of other countries. This arbitrary (legislation) may be partially attributed to the presidential campaign. In order to win votes, the Administration has disregarded the international image of the U.S. even if it is isolated in the process. However, electoral politics do not entirely explain (U.S. behavior) because the root cause lies in the essence of hegemony." "Politics, Anti-Terrorist Credentials Behind Clinton Signing" The official State Science and Technology Commission Science and Technology Daily ((Reji Ribao, 8/16) opined: "Why did Clinton insist on signing the Iran-Libya Sanctions Bill in disregard of the opposition of its European allies and the international community? engage in power politics in order to demonstrate (the U.S.'s) superpower status. Second, to stress his anti-terrorist credentials in an attempt to win votes in the November election." "U.S.-EU Conflicts in Economics and Trade" Gao Faming, writing for the Central Political and Legal Commission's Fazhi Ribao, commented (8/10): "The strong EU counter-attack on U.S. Iran-Libya sanctions demonstrates again that today, conflicts of interest on economic and trade issues between the United States and the EU are sharp and sometimes uncompromising." HONG KONG: "EU React Strongly To 'Extraterritorial' U.S. Law" The New Evening Post commented (8/15), "Not only Iran opposes the United States' D'Amato bill, but the European Union countries also react strongly. Both France and Germany believe that the D'Amato bill has violated the free trade spirit of the WTO. It also has the nature of 'extraterritoriality' which will hinder the security and development of world trade. The European Union is ready to impose counter sanctions against the United States, and they will not hesitate to fight a trade war with the United States." INDONESIA: "EU-U.S. Tensions" Leading independent Kompas opined (8/19),"It seems that [Turkish Prime Minister] Erbakan is taking an independent stance, as demonstrated by his visit to Teheran to foster economic cooperation with Iran and Iraq.... "It is apparent that political concerns often yield to economic interests. For example, U.S. sanctions on foreign companies doing business in Iran and Libya are strongly criticized even by European allies. The United States itself once violated an arms embargo against Iran due to the allure of trade. In the 1980s, the United States called for an arms embargo against Iran, but secretly sold weapons to Iran because of business enticements. Part of those blackmarket earnings were provided to Contra rebels in Nicaragua, and later became known as the Iran-Contra scandal." MALAYSIA: "Judgment Can't Be In A Vacuum" The government-influenced New Straits Times said (8/18), "The United States...takes the moral high ground on such issues as human rights and freedom. But this does not stop the United States from using underhand tactics to undermine, and in some cases, bring down legitimate governments simply because they were unfriendly toward the United States.... They had been done either for the purpose of winning an election or for propping up the sagging popularity of a president.... As for Clinton, the targeting of foreign governments and organizations is a way of deflecting public criticisms against the administration's failure to combat terrorism at home.... The United States would love to blame international terrorism had it not been for the fact that the crude explosive device could not have been the signature of organized international terrorists.... Almost at its wits' end, the administration is even grabbing at the suggestion that perhaps foreign millionaires are bankrolling the American terrorists." "Sanction-Happy U.S. Will Only End Up Losing All Its Friends" The government-influenced, financial Business Times held (8/15): "Sanctions and means of economic isolation will not bring an end to any international terrorism, human rights violation and international crises. In fact, such actions had always led to further confrontations and negative results.... Washington should not police the world by introducing its own set of rules to dictate other governments. Applying such an action on others is not the right way to address problems, because whatever happened between the United States and Iran might not have happened between Iran and other countries.... In Turkey's case, retaliation would create sharp new strains between Washington and a vital NATO ally that bridges Europe and Central Asia, the Balkans and West Asia. "There is no evidence to suggest that either Iran or Libya was involved in the recent bombing attacks in Saudi Arabia and Atlanta or in the explosion of TWA Flight 800. Clinton should instead conduct an examination of the growth of violence and terrorism in the United States and cease providing support to terrorist regimes such as the one in Tel Aviv. At the same time, the United States should stop behaving as a terrorist superpower given its record in Nicaragua, Panama, Libya, Iraq and not to forget, Vietnam." "Battle Lines Drawn" Government-influenced, financial Business Times observed (8/13): "The Helms-Burton and the D'Amato Acts passed by the United States are setbacks to the multilateral trading system. It's not surprising that an increasing number of complaints is being brought to the attention of the WTO." SOUTH KOREA: "U.S. Diplomacy Increasingly Assertive" Conservative Chosun Ilbo held (8/18): "The world continues to protest the Iran-Iraq sanctions law, sometimes forcing the United States to step back. Washington, however, does not seem to have any second thoughts about enforcing the law. The 'domineering and forceful' manner of the United States demonstrated in this case may set the tone of U.S. diplomacy for some time. The American public seems to be widely supportive of the high-handed tone of U.S. diplomacy; and as a result the United States is continually brandishing its local laws as a threat against other countries." THAILAND: "U.S. Versus Iran, Libya and Cuba" Krailak commented in elite conservative Siam Rath (8/14), "Seeing that enforcing unilateral economic sanctions against pariah states would not be effective...the United States was forced to breach political etiquette by issuing a hegemonic law,... much to the chagrin of other countries which have since accused the United States of depriving them of business opportunities.... Apparently, the United States has already been slapped in the face when, only seven days after President Clinton signed the Iran-Libya economics sanctions law, Turkey penned a trade deal with Iran... Many countries have increasingly expressed their dissatisfaction with the United States continually bashing Iran, Libya and Cuba by maintaining closer ties with the latter, even at the risk of retaliation by the United States. If this (U.S. mentality) persists, the world may eventually be divided into two poles as was the case during the Cold War." VIETNAM: "An Unjust And Antiquated Instrument" Trade union biweekly Lao Dong commented (8/13): "It is sure that when signing the D'Amato bill into law to impose economic sanctions against Iran and Libya, President Bill Clinton and the U.S. administration contemplated the immediate negative reactions thereto. But perhaps the intensity of such external reactions has exceeded contemplation and is able even to neutralize this `super weapon' preferred by the Americans for decades now.... Terrorism has been considered a problem of the entire international community, but the recent U.S. action was absolutely not an appropriate measure to prevent and remove terrorism. On the other hand, economic sanctions-- an all powerful weapon in the Cold War period--is no longer effective now. Competition and economic and strategic interests in the process of globalization among many countries (both allies and non-allies) have made it difficult to accept this unjust and antiquated instrument." SOUTH ASIA INDIA: "India May May Be Next For U.S. Browbeating" The right-of-center Newstime of Hyderabad held (8/12), "The implications of the U.S. legislation could be ominous.... Dating from the time of the negotiations over the new WTO, the United States has been trying to browbeat developing countries into conforming to its own economic norms, which of course, will help its own companies. Now, India may be asked to give up even the chimera of benefits from the economic liberalization program on the altar of America's definition of what constitutes state of terrorism. But it would be pertinent for India to point out that its own reading of state terrorism includes Pakistan. Obviously, the United States would have none of that." PAKISTAN: "EU Warns U.S." The leading mass-circulation Urdu Jang remarked (8/26) concerning the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act: "Not only the countries of the European Union but other countries which are usually friendly to the United States are also displeased with stubborn U.S. policies. Therefore U.S. leadership may have to reconsider its policies and allow other countries to live according to their own wishes, otherwise it may lose its global prominence." "U.S. Isolation In World Politics" Mahmood Hussain in the radical Muslim (8/19), "One has to find out yet a single country which had supported the recent American initiatives against Iran and Libya. Perhaps it's the first time that the United States has been left so isolated in the adventurism of world politics.... Recent subversive acts in the United States itself and against its installations in the Gulf have provided ample justification to the Clinton administration to finalize the 'anti-terrorist' legislation. "And in the heightened tension in the aftermath of this action it would be very easy for Bill Clinton not only to keep the U.S. presence in the Gulf but to enlarge its canvas. Obviously the United States does not need any consent from the rulers of these countries, after all they have to prolong their domination in the area.... But in the process they will have to face the outrage of the local people who could never accept them and also the independent countries in the region." AFRICA NIGERIA: "Against Sanctions" The Kaduna-based, government-owned, anti-American New Nigerian contended (8/21), "A fortnight ago, on August 5, a UN group called for utmost caution in the imposition of international sanctions.... The New Nigerian notes with sadness that a country such as the United States rather than appreciate the shortcomings of sanctions, has in fact, carried them to new and ridiculous heights. The United States now punishes foreign companies for any new investments in Iraq, Iran and Libya. The earlier the United States and all countries come to heed the admonitions of the UN Working Group on Sanctions, the better for the whole world." "Sanctions Act Goes Beyond America's Borders" The respected independent Guardian held (8/16), "The Iran- Libya Sanctions Act signed into law on August 5, 1996, by President Bill Clinton of the United States offends a fundamental plank of multilateral relations--that which holds sacred the principle that a nation, no matter how powerful, cannot make laws that are applicable beyond its borders.... Every nation in the world makes and applies laws that are consistent with its own national interests. And no national interest could be nobler than that which seeks to guarantee protection for a citizen wherever he or she may be on the face of the earth. If all the nations of the world recognize the nobility of their duty in this regard, then the current protest over the U.S. sanctions bill is really a non-contest. For it is that safety net which every nation aspires to provide its citizens that terrorism inexorably seeks to shatter. But America clearly over-reached itself by enacting a statute which application has implications beyond its borders, understandably though this may be in an election year." SOUTH AFRICA: "Distancing From Iran Good Policy; Cuba, Libya Next" Afrikaans, centrist Die Burger commented (8/21): "Finally South Africa has taken an intelligent decision in the field of foreign policy: not to be so strongly dependant on Iran for oil imports but to import oil also from Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt in future. The inclusion of Iraq might raise some eyebrows but the UN has recently given the green light to limited imports of oil from this country.... This is a good decision for two reasons. Firstly, from an economic point of view it is better to have different sources...politically...Iran is a total outcast in the international community and to have close association with this country cannot be in the best interest of South Africa.... If South Africa could now follow onto this intelligent decision by distancing itself further from Cuba and Libya it can only improve the country's international image. It is high time for action." LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN MEXICO: "Necessary To Stop Washington" Nationalist Excelsior, referring to the U.S. decision--in accordance with provisions of the Helms-Burton Act--to withhold visas of officials and their families of the Mexican telecommunications company, the Domo Group, held (8/21), "Once again the Helms-Burton law violates the sovereignty of friendly countries without getting closer to overthrowing Fidel Castro, which is the stated purpose. "By expressing their fanatic hatred against the Caribbean island, U.S. legislators have not been able to see the goodwill of Latin American and European countries--which has so far only vetoed the (Helms-Burton) law at the 0AS meeting. It is unbearable that Washington tells (other countries) where to invest and with whom to trade. The only way to face U.S. blackmail and sanctions is by creating mechanisms of legitimate defense. That is why it is necessary to approve the 'antidote law' which will reverse the effects of the Helms-Burton law. Canada has done it this way and the European countries are expecting to see what may happen after the six-month U.S.-called truce. Unipolarity has overwhelmed Washington, and it is necessary to stop it." "Mexican Self-Determination, Sovereignty And Freedom At Stake" Left-of-center La Jornada stated (8/21), "Very properly, the Mexican government has responded with a diplomatic note signed by the foreign minister and the minister of trade protesting the extraterritoriality of the Helms-Burton law. According to Trade Secretary Herminio Blanco, our country will bring the case before NAFTA's conflict solving mechanism.... It is true that in this conflict that is being imposed on our country, Mexico's economy as well as that of the United States will be the loser, but the loss would be much greater if Mexico were to permit Mexican companies to submit to foreign laws that try to tell them how to behave and with whom to trade and make international investments..... The Mexican public must express its active backing for all measures that try to stop the offensive measures against Mexican businesses that may be affected by Washington's illegal sanctions. It is necessary to keep in mind that this case does not involve only Mexican investments in Cuba but also our self- determination, our sovereignty and our freedom." EL SALVADOR: "Terrorism Can't Be Fought With Foolishness" Second-leading, ultra-conservative El Diario de Hoy asserted (8/19): "The issue of terrorism is complex, but at the same time relatively simple. Terrorists exist because governments have no political will to eradicate them; they receive sanctuary and asylum; attempts are made to legitimize them and there is no country that does not harbor its neighbor's terrorists. The Department of State watched with much coldness, or cynicism, the plague that befell Hispanoamerica after Castro's assault on power.... Although there are homegrown terrorists in many countries-- remember the Oklahoma tragedy--we have seen that there are also organized movements, such as the Islamic fundamentalists, that lead attacks not only against domestic targets, but also against Europeans and North Americans. Apparently they were the authors of the attack against the twin towers in New York and certainly of the TWA attack." ##