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Voice of America, 02-03-26

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://>

SLUG: 0-09785 Editorial - Bush on War on Terrorism DATE: NOTE NUMBER:




    Anncr: Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: Terrorists, said President George W. Bush, "don't like freedom of religion, they don't like freedom of speech, they don't like freedom of politics." Since the U-S is one of the beacons of freedom in the world today, terrorists see the U-S as a target. As Mr. Bush said, "we're doing everything we can to make sure they don't." In the six months since the attacks of September 11th, the U.S.-led coalition has made good progress. Osama bin-Laden and his al-Qaida terrorist network can no longer use Afghanistan as their sanctuary. They miscalculated American resolve, perhaps thinking, as President Bush said, "that maybe we were such a materialistic society, we wouldn't defend that which we hold dear to our heart" freedom. Early on, Mr. Bush said, "If you harbor a terrorist, or you hide one, you're just as guilty as the murderers." The Taleban regime found out what the U-S meant. Thanks to the coalition, a new interim government is giving hope to the Afghan people. Schools are opening. New hospitals are treating patients. And the threat of mass starvation has been removed for the first time in years. The U-S doesn't seek revenge for the September 11th terrorist attacks. The U-S seeks to bring the terrorists to justice. The U-S and its coalition allies went into Afghanistan, not as conquerors, but as liberators. The first phase of the war is over, which was to deal with the Taleban regime that protected al-Qaida. The second phase is to deny the terrorists sanctuary anywhere else. There are more al-Qaida terrorists out there. They clearly want to try to re-take Afghanistan. But the American people are more determined and more relentless than any terrorists. There are others besides terrorists who pose a threat to freedom. President Bush named three countries as composing an axis of evil. One is Iraq, ruled by Saddam Hussein. As Mr. Bush said, "we will not allow one of the world's most dangerous leaders to have the world's most dangerous weapons, and hold the United States and our friends and allies hostage." Regimes like those in Iran and North Korea have also been put on notice. Any regimes contemplating acts of evil should know that they will be opposed and stopped. 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: 2-288011 Turkey/ Reforms (L-O) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:



    INTRO: The Turkish Parliament today (Tuesday) approved several constitutional amendments that are designed to improve Turkey's chances for entry into the European Union. From Ankara Amberin Zaman has details.

    TEXT: The constitutional amendments were overwhelmingly approved by the 550-member Turkish parliament. Under one of them, banning political parties will become much tougher. That is good news for pro-Kurdish and pro-Islamic groups that have been the frequent target of constitutional bans. Another amendment that was approved says members of the security forces who are convicted of torture will now have to pay financial liabilities arising from such actions themselves. Torture victims in Turkey frequently turn to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to seek damages from the Turkish government because Turkish courts do not often rule in favor of such victims. The measure is aimed at discouraging security forces from torturing detainees -- a practice human rights groups in Turkey say is widespread. Western diplomats in Ankara have applauded the changes, saying they are positive steps toward meeting Western European standards of government. The parliament is set to pass another five amendments that will, among other things, make it easier for students to organize and to stage peaceful demonstrations. But there are many more conditions Turkey must meet if it is to resume membership negotiations with the European Union. They include reducing the influence of the military in politics, abolishing capital punishment and easing bans on broadcasting and education in the Kurdish language. Ethnic Kurds make up about 20 percent of Turkey's population of 65 million. The ultra-nationalist wing of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's three-way ruling coalition is opposed to such changes. The party, known as the Nationalist Action Party, says that expanding cultural freedoms for the Kurds will fan separatist sentiment and could lead to the establishment of an independent Kurdish state carved out of Turkey. Earlier this week, leaders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, known as the P-K-K, announced that they had officially renounced their campaign for independence. They said they would take up arms again only if their imprisoned leader, Abdullah Ocalan, were to be executed. The group waged a 15-year long armed campaign for independence that virtually ceased in 1999 following the capture of Ocalan by Turkish special forces in Kenya. He has been convicted of treason and is now in prison.

    /// OPT TO END ///

    In line with its attempts to move from the battlefield to the political arena, the P-K-K has changed its name to the People's Freedom Party. It says it will lay down its arms for good if the Turkish government grants a full amnesty for all its fighters and leadership cadres. Turkey's military and political leaders term the move a ploy aimed at allowing the rebels to regroup and re-arm themselves. Turkey says only rebels who were not directly involved in the insurgency will not face prosecution. (Signed)
    NEB/AZ/KL/SAB SLUG: 6-125618 Tuesday's Editorials DATE: NOTE NUMBER:



    INTRO: The forthcoming Arab Summit in Lebanon and the chances it will advance the hope of peace in the Middle East captures the attention of many editorial writers in America this Tuesday. Trade is also on many agendas; as is President Bush's trip to Latin America; and a huge racial breakthrough in Hollywood. Other editorials touch on Zimbabwe's future; and the Iron Lady of Europe bows out. Now, here is _____________ with a closer look and some quotes in today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: At this writing, there is a question as to whether Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat will be allowed by Israel to attend the Arab Summit in neighboring Lebanon. The U-S press is divided on the issue. On New York's Long Island, Newsday says "Let Arafat Go."

    VOICE: It would be a mistake to allow the enforced absence of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to become the focus of tomorrow's pivotal Arab summit That's what will happen if Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon doesn't lift the travel ban he has imposed on [Mr.] Arafat, as he was requested to do by President George W. Bush. For the sake of giving the summit a slim chance at advancing the resumption of a Mideast peace process, let's hope [Mr.] Sharon gives [Mr.] Arafat free passage to Beirut.

    TEXT: In Michigan, The Detroit News takes the opposite view, suggesting that Mr. Arafat be kept home "until [the] violence ends."

    VOICE: It makes sense for [Mr.] Arafat to be at the summit, since he is at the heart of the turmoil. But Israel has said it will not ease his travel restrictions until he agrees to a cease-fire that will enable peace negotiations to begin. The Bush administration is wrong to ask Israel to back away from that very reasonable condition. To do so would once again signal to [Mr.] Arafat that his actions carry no consequences.

    TEXT: Today's New York Times can't help but note the irony of the decision facing Israel's leader.

    VOICE: It doubtless seems bizarre to Ariel Sharon that 20 years after sending the Israeli Army to the edge of Beirut to force Yasser Arafat out, he is now expected to let Mr. Arafat return to be toasted at tomorrow's Arab summit Bizarre and frustrating as this may be, letting him go is the smart thing to do.

    TEXT: Today's Washington Post touches on peace in the region on the eve of the summit, noting:

    VOICE: The sad fact is that despite the heavy loss of both Israeli and Palestinian lives in recent weeks, and the futility of pursuing military solutions, a substantial part of the leadership on both sides would prefer to escalate rather than stop fighting.

    TEXT: While in Boston, The Herald complains that the White House faces a mixed message in the Middle East. We don't want to reward [Mr.] Arafat, but we think the Israelis should. [Chairman] Arafat's presence at the summit is symbolic. The violence racking Israel is a reality. If the Palestinian chairman wants his trip to Beirut, he knows the price of a ticket.

    TEXT: Recent actions by President George W. Bush with respect to trade have also been assessed in the domestic media. The Detroit [Michigan] News writes:

    VOICE: The cause of free trade is crumbling in the hands of President Bush. He promised Latin American leaders last week he would try his darndest to expand the North American free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to their hemisphere. At the same time, his administration imposed a 30 percent duty on Canadian lumber - - in violation of NAFTA. [And this is not an isolated incident coming] on the heels of massive tariff-hikes against foreign steel, something that is bringing the world to the brink of an ugly trade war

    TEXT: Musings from The Detroit News. In Tennessee, The Chattanooga Free Press says some of these trade decisions are really complex. It tells of the Life Savers candy plant in Holland, Michigan, a pillar of the local economy, closing after 35 years and moving to Canada where sugar is cheaper. Asks The Free Press:

    VOICE: Did you know that American sugar is priced far higher than sugar in the world market, as a political and economic favor to American sugar producers? Not only the makers of Life Savers but you, and everyone else in the United States who buys products containing sugar, pay more because [our] government rigs the sugar market.

    TEXT: Pittsburgh's [Pennsylvania] Post Gazette says there are two important loose ends remaining in the president's steel tariff decision. The U-S industry must both merge and modernize to become more efficient, the paper says, and the federal government must help out the industry with its huge burden of retiree health benefits. Turning to the President's just-concluded trip to Latin America and Mexico, today's San Antonio Express-News says Mr. Bush:

    VOICE: began fulfilling his campaign promise of a greater focus on Latin America with his recently concluded trip to Mexico, Peru and El Salvador. [giving] hope to millions who, despite anti-American protests, still look to the United States for leadership and help.

    TEXT: As for the Economic Development summit he attended, Allentown's [Pennsylvania] Morning Call points out: "Mr. Bush recognizes helping poor nations as part of the war against terrorism. It was a significant acknowledgement that the world's economic disparities play a major role in violence around the globe." Here at home, the awarding of best actor and actress awards to a pair of African-American actors at the 74th Academy awards in Hollywood has touched off a cascade of editorials. In Texas, The Houston Chronicle says:"

    VOICE: It was about time. Significantly and deservedly, Halle Berry and Denzel Washington were named the top leading actress and actor, respectively. No African-American woman had ever earned that accolade. The question for Hollywood, besides what took them so long, has now become whether racial barriers have fallen for good or for only one big night when global attention was focused.

    TEXT: In other news, today's Chicago Tribune is upset by the poor care unaccompanied illegal immigrant children get entering this country when arrested by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Says the Tribune: "As these kids are moved around through a series of makeshift arrangements - - from orphanages to foster homes to juvenile jails - - their biggest problem is lack of legal representation or anyone to look out for their interests." In Southern Africa, Zimbabwe's year-long expulsion from the Commonwealth of nations for election irregularities is covered in today's Milwaukee [Wisconsin] Journal Sentinel:

    VOICE: it is not the British Commonwealth, or any other international organization led by Westerners, that is apt to deter [Mr.] Mugabe from his increasingly autocratic and destructive course What must sway [Mr.] Mugabe, if he is to be moved at all, is collective action by responsible African leaders.

    TEXT: And lastly, news that the Iron Lady of British politics, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, is being forced to end her public life due to illness draws regrets from The Washington Times. It says: "We will miss you, Maggie." The Wall Street Journal adds:

    VOICE: The decision is a great loss, but we console ourselves with the fact that few people in public life have left behind such a legacy The dimmest left-wingers could see the wisdom of privatizing inefficient state industries

    TEXT: That concludes this editorial sampling of Tuesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/SAB SLUG: 0-09784 Editorial - Iraq and Terrorism DATE: NOTE NUMBER:


    Anncr: Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: The regime of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has a long history of supporting terrorism. "It also had contacts with al-Qaida," said George Tenet, U.S. director of Central Intelligence. Iraq's sponsorship of terrorism is especially dangerous because Iraq's ruler is determined to thwart U-N sanctions, press ahead with weapons of mass destruction, and resurrect the military force he had before the Persian Gulf War. Al-Qaida terrorists are also seeking weapons of mass destruction. Documents recovered from al-Qaida facilities in Afghanistan show that Osama bin Laden was pursuing a sophisticated biological weapons research program. The U.S. has evidence indicating that al-Qaida was attempting to develop a nuclear weapon, and a so-called "dirty bomb" a conventional explosive laced with radioactive materials. Iraq and al-Qaida have much in common. "Their ties may be limited by divergent ideologies," said Mr. Tenet, but their "antipathies toward the United States and the Saudi royal family suggest that tactical cooperation between them is possible." Iraq continues to provide safe haven to a variety Palestinian terrorist groups, including the Abu Nidal organization, the Arab Liberation Front, and the former head of the now-defunct 15 May Organization, Abu Ibrahim. Iraq's dictator not only supports terrorism, his regime has practiced it on a massive scale. This month marks the fourteenth anniversary of the murder of some five-thousand men, women, and children, mostly ethnic Kurds, in the Iraqi city of Halabja. They were killed with mustard gas and other deadly chemical weapons dropped by Iraqi forces on Saddam Hussein's order. Some ten-thousand other civilians were wounded in this horrific attack. Nor was this the only such atrocity. Halabja was one of some two-hundred- fifty villages targeted by the Iraqi regime between April 1987 and August 1988. Little wonder that Iraq's controlled press praised al-Qaida's savage attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in September. President George W. Bush said Iraq "is a nation run by a man who is willing to kill his own people by using chemical weapons; a man who won't let inspectors into the country; a man who's obviously got something to hide. And he is a problem. And we're going to deal with him." 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.
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