The Daily Telegraph, London, Aug. 6: Information from terrorist suspects arrested by the Pakistanis in recent weeks has provoked dramatic counter-measures in America and Britain. Potential targets in New York, Washington and Newark have been subjected to their highest level of security since September 11, 2001.
On the basis of these arrests, President Pervaiz Musharraf can claim to be playing a key role in the fight against global terror. ...
The fact that Gen. Musharraf was the object of two assassination attempts last December, and that his prime minister-designate, Shaukat Aziz, was targeted only last week, indicates that the terrorists consider the government a formidable obstacle to their goals.
Yet the president's claim of success is, surely, premature. Significant arrests may have been made, but Pakistan remains a hotbed of Islamic radicalism, stoked notably by the madrasas, or religious schools, whose power the general has singularly failed to curb.
As a Western ally, Pakistan is in many ways comparable to Saudi Arabia. The two countries have given substantial support to Islamic radicals, the first in Afghanistan and Kashmir, the second across the globe. Now, they are threatened by the militancy that they have done so much to underwrite.
The problem for the West is that the overthrow of the House of Saud or the murder of Gen. Musharraf could open the door to forces far more hostile to its interests.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Frankfurt, Aug. 9: If only foreigners completely kept out of Iraqi, or Middle East, affairs, there would be no more terrorism in the region.
That is what some people might think in the light of the daily news of kidnappings and beheadings, threatened and carried out, in Iraq or Saudi Arabia.
Room for criticism
There is certainly some room for criticism of American policy in the Middle East, particularly as regards Iraq and Israel.
But the kidnapping and killing of Muslim workers in Iraq shows that Western intervention or political mistakes merely serve as a pretext for some terrorists.
They don't like the policies practiced by Muslims from Morocco to Indonesia. They have exclusive ideas of an "Islamic policy" with a claim to infallibility.
All others are "renegades and traitors" who must be "punished." And if they cannot be got hold of, then it has to be their substitutes, in the form of innocent truck drivers.
The New Zealand Herald, Aug. 9: How much longer is the West going to stand by and look on while a humanitarian crisis involving hundreds of thousands of people unfolds in Darfur in Western Sudan?
To date, some 50,000 African villagers are thought to have died and up to a million displaced by the activities of Government-backed Janjaweed Arab fighters. As the rains now threaten, and disease and starvation take hold, a real humanitarian crisis is in the making. Yet what is our response in the West?
A total of three helicopters provided by the Dutch and a few hundred French soldiers from France's military contingent in Chad diverted to ... the refugee camps. ... That, and the millions in donations given by ordinary people to the aid agencies, seems to be the total response of the rich to the poor.
There are some promising developments. The African Union has promised to send 2000 troops to help secure the border for the refugees. Libya next week will be opening a humanitarian corridor to move aid by land from the Libyan ports to the camps in Chad. The Sudanese Government is displaying some signs at least of withdrawing from confrontation with the U.N. The next step is up to the U.S. and Europe. They have the logistical capacity as well as the resources. ... Let them now employ them.