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Voice of America, 02-02-11
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From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>SLUG: 0-09700 Editorial - Iranians Praise Bush Remarks DATE: NOTE NUMBER:
 EDITORIAL: IRANIANS PRAISE BUSH REMARKSDATE=02/11/2002
INTERNET=Yes CONTENT=THIS EDITORIAL IS BEING RELEASED FOR USE BY ALL SERVICES.
Anncr: Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: "Thank you, Mr. President, for recognizing the reality of Iran in your State of the Union message." Those words are from an advertisement in the Washington Post newspaper paid for by Iranian-Americans. They said they are grateful to President George W. Bush "for recognizing that the people of Iran are not terrorists but are the victims of a terrorist government." That government, led by extremist Muslim clerics, took power twenty-three years ago this week. Similar support for President Bush's State of the Union speech has come from people in Iran. As one Iranian said in a call to the Voice of America's Farsi Service, "President Bush has spoken to our hearts, which yearn for freedom." This was one of "hundreds of calls, faxes, and e-mails from inside Iran" praising Mr. Bush's remarks, said Rob Sobhani. Mr. Sobhani, a professor at Georgetown University, was a guest at V-O-A on the night of Mr. Bush's speech. As President Bush made clear, the United States must "prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction." Three countries that could pose such a threat are North Korea, Iraq, and Iran. Not surprisingly, the governments of these countries are also gross violators of human rights. North Korea, as President Bush said, "is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens." The Iraqi regime, he said, "has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens." And in Iran, said Mr. Bush, "an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom." But while these countries export terror, the U.S. will promote freedom around the world. As President Bush said, "America will lead by defending liberty and justice because they are right and true and unchanging for all people everywhere. No nation owns these aspirations, and no nation is exempt from them." "We have no intention of imposing our culture," said President Bush. "But America will always stand firm for the non-negotiable demands of human dignity: the rule of law, limits on the power of the state, respect for women, private property, free speech, equal justice, and religious tolerance. America," said President Bush, "will take the side of brave men and women who advocate these values around the world, including the Islamic world. . . . Together with friends and allies. . .we will demonstrate that the forces of terror cannot stop the momentum of freedom." Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20237, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-ibb-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. SLUG: 2-286312 Turkey / EU / IOC DATE: NOTE NUMBER:
 TURKEY / E-U / O-I-C (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ISTANBUL)DATE=02/11/02
INTRO: Officials from more than 70 European and Islamic countries will meet in Istanbul Tuesday in an effort to enhance dialogue between the Western and Islamic worlds. From Istanbul, Amberin Zaman has details.
TEXT: Ministers from the Organization of the Islamic Conference, or
O-I-C, and the European Union are set to come together in what Turkish
organizers of the forum call an informal atmosphere.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem is considered most responsible for
the conference. Back in October, shortly after the terrorist attacks
in the United States, he said a conference such as this was needed to
send a message of cooperation and harmony between East and West.
Turkish officials say that the meeting marks the first time that the
O-I-C and the E-U will come together. They add that, while the forum
will be largely symbolic, it will provide an opportunity for many
European and Muslim officials to hold bilateral meetings on the
sidelines of the conference. Some 100 such meetings are scheduled,
according to Turkish officials.
E-U officials say one of the most important issues likely to come up
during the meeting will be a Middle East peace plan floated by French
Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine. The plan, which Mr. Vedrine proposed
Saturday at an E-U foreign minister's meeting, calls for establishment
of a Palestinian state that would be recognized by Israel immediately
and admitted to the United Nations.
The United States is said to be opposed to the Vedrine proposal, which
conflicts with its own step-by-step approach to the resumption of
negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Faruk
Kaddumi, a top Palestinian official (EDS: head of the P-L-O political
department) will be attending the Istanbul meeting.
The two-day conference could also help smooth relations between Turkey
and Greece. Foreign Minister Cem is expected to hold bilateral talks
with his Greek counterpart, George Papandreou, in a continuing bid to
end a long-running territorial dispute between the two neighbors over
the status of the Aegean Sea.
For Turkey, which is the E-U's only mainly Muslim candidate, the
conference serves as an opportunity to underscore once again its
self-proclaimed role as a bridge between East and West. (Signed)
 MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)DATE=02/11/02
TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
INTRO: Editorials in the United States press this Monday are heavily concentrating on a pair of domestic issues -- the fate of campaign reform in Congress and the future of the national passenger railroad service, Amtrak. Other commentaries deal with the pending trial of Slobodan Milosevic, Iraq, the position of Yasser Arafat among Palestinians and the efficacy of aid to Egypt. Now, here with a sampling is ________________ and today's U-S Editorial Digest.
TEXT: The U-S House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this week on a bill that would further control some of the money companies and individuals give to political campaigns. The Senate has already passed a companion bill, limiting so-called soft money, or funds given to political parties, rather than to specific candidates. The Los Angeles Times says it is now time to "Mop Up the Campaign Mess."
TEXT: Congress has a chance Tuesday to heal some of the corruption and cynicism that have overtaken American politics. Proponents of the Shays-Meehan campaign finance bill who saw it stymied last summer have forced it back onto the House agenda. Although opponents are preparing every possible sneaky trick to defeat it, with vigilance the measure can pass intact. .. Real campaign reform has never been so tantalizingly close. The Democrats and Republicans who signed on to reform at the last minute should not falter.
TEXT: The Denver [Colorado] Post agrees and adds:
VOICE: Finally, congressional leaders have admitted why they so oppose true campaign-finance reform: If American politics are made cleaner and cleaner, entrenched politicians may find it harder to stay in office. Far from being a reason to scuttle reform, however, their fears underscore why reform is urgently needed.
TEXT: Florida's Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel puts the historic vote in perspective for readers, suggesting that: "All Americans have a stake in [the] vitally important showdown," adding:
VOICE: In theory, soft money is for party activities like voter registration, get-out-the-vote drives and voter education programs. In reality, due to a legal loophole, most soft money is funneled to pay for phony "issue" or "attack" advertising either opposing or supporting candidates.
TEXT: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer calls this "a historic opportunity to clean up corruption." Another big decision in Congress is the future of the nation's passenger rail service Amtrak, operated by the federal government after commercial railroads gave it up decades ago. Today's Cincinnati [Ohio] Post laments the problem-plagued service but sees its importance.
VOICE: In 1971 Congress created Amtrak to keep rail passenger service alive [and] has always entertained the illusion that [it] could somehow make money or at least break even. It won't happen. While ridership is up, and Amtrak served a limited backup function to the airlines post-September eleventh, it still lost one-billion-one-million-dollars last year. Congress should resolve either to run Amtrak properly or shut down unprofitable routes and privatize the rest.
TEXT: That is the wrong idea, says San Francisco's Chronicle, which complains that Congress has never given the service enough funding to really improve.
VOICE: Amtrak has always been a classic example of lemon socialism - - a state-owned company deprived of necessary funds and destined to fail. In fact, it's amazing that Amtrak has done as well as it has. Over the past five years, Amtrak's total revenues have grown by 38-percent and nationwide ridership has risen 19 percent, while federal support has been cut by more than 80 percent. What is needed is full funding of Amtrak and a solid commitment from Congress to bring the nation's train system up to speed.
TEXT: The Chicago Tribune calls for a "Break up [of] Amtrak, with a regional passenger rail system heavily subsidized by cities and states where there is a need for such service. While in Pennsylvania, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the real question Congress must ask itself is: " what value it places on passenger train travel in this country and how much it is willing to pay for it." Internationally, the former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic goes on trial for genocide, among other things, in The Hague tomorrow. Today's New York Times says it is: "The most important war crimes trial in Europe since Nuremberg a triumph for the civilized world
TEXT: Turning to Iraq, The Dallas [Texas] Morning News takes a hard line.
VOICE: So Iraq wants to talk with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan about arms inspections. Now that it has seen the force of U-S arms in Afghanistan [and] heard President Bush speak of his determination to oppose nations that threaten others with weapons of mass destruction. it should be a very short discussion, which should consist solely of Iraq agreeing to allow U-N arms inspectors to resume work there unimpeded. Talking is still worthwhile with the other members of Mr. Bush's "axis of evil" - - Iran and North Korea. [Editors: understood here, not stated "But"] With Iraq, what is needed is action.
TEXT: Still in the Middle East, The Oklahoman is debating the current chill in U-S Palestinian relations occasioned by the recent interception of the huge Palestine arms shipment. Says the Oklahoma daily:
VOICE: We're not saying [President] Bush is wrong to keep [Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser] Arafat on political life support. Hard to believe, but [Mr.] Arafat's potential successors might be worse. Yet we wonder how many times [Chairman] Arafat has to be revealed as a terrorist before his time is up.
TEXT: Today's Fresno [California] Bee endorses an Egyptian court's ruling overturning a jail sentence for a leading Egyptian academic, Saad Eddin Ibrahim, who also holds U-S citizenship. It notes:
VOICE: Washington has counted on Cairo to be an ally in the quest for regional peace, and also to undertake reforms leading toward political pluralism and a market economy. As an ally, Egypt has a mixed record; as an evolving democracy, it has failed utterly.
TEXT: As for Afghanistan, and its prisoners under U-S guard at a Naval base in Cuba, Newsday on New York's Long Island says there are: "Still Too Many Questions about [the] U-S's Afghan Captives," complaining:
VOICE: The president's decision to extend Geneva Convention protections to the Taleban in U-S custody, but not to members of al-Qaida also held at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba, raises more questions than it answers. Who will decide which detainees are Taleban and which ones are al-Qaida?
TEXT: Today's Houston Chronicle warns the Pentagon not to ban news
photographers from taking pictures of the prisoners since that will
allay international fears of mistreatment.
Turning to Latin America, The Charleston [South Carolina] Post and
Courier is concerned about the dictatorial direction of Venezuela's
president Hugo Chavez, touring Iraq and lionizing Cuba's communist
form of government. "Mr. Chavez," says The Post and Courier, "has
failed to meet the expectations of the people who voted for him."
Lastly, a tale of success from the Columbus Dispatch, for a member of
Lao's Hmong tribal people, Ms. Mee Moua who, after her emigration to
the United States, has been sworn in as a member of the Minnesota
state senate. She is the first of her people to win elective office in
the United States.
With this, we conclude this editorial sampling of Monday's U-S press.
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