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Voice of America, 98-12-17

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

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [02] FRANCE / IRAQ (L) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)
  • [03] BLAIR / IRAQ (L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [04] PINOCHET/EXTRADITION (S/L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [05] ARGENTINA / BRITAIN (L ONLY) BY GEORGE MEEK (RIO DE JANEIRO)
  • [06] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [07] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [08] A SKEPTICAL WORLD REACTS TO U-S IRAQ ATTACK BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=12/17/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243178
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE U-S AND BRITISH AIR STRIKES IN IRAQ DO NOT DIRECTLY AFFECT THE NATO ALLIANCE. BUT V-O-A'S RON PEMSTEIN IN BRUSSELS REPORTS THE MILITARY ACTION IN IRAQ WAS A MAJOR TOPIC OF DISCUSSION AT A MEETING OF NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS.

    TEXT: IRAQ WAS NOT ON THE DEFENSE MINISTERS' AGENDA. BUT IT OVERSHADOWED EVERYTHING ELSE THEY DID. THE MISSILE STRIKE ON IRAQ DID NOT CATCH THE MINISTERS BY SURPRISE BECAUSE THEY HAD BEEN BRIEFED BY AMERICAN AND BRITISH DEFENSE OFFICIALS WEDNESDAY NIGHT IN ADVANCE OF THEIR REGULAR MEETING.

    THE SPANISH AND GERMAN DEFENSE MINISTERS SAY THERE WAS GENERAL SUPPORT FOR THE NECESSITY OF USING MILITARY FORCE TO MAKE IRAQ COMPLY WITH UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTIONS. A STATEMENT BY NATO SECRETARY GENERAL JAVIER SOLANA BLAMES SADDAM HUSSEIN ALONE FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIS DEFIANCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.

    U-S DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN STAYED IN WASHINGTON TO MANAGE THE AIR STRIKES IN IRAQ. BUT HIS DEPUTY, JOHN HAMRE, BRIEFED THE NATO MINISTERS OVER LUNCH ABOUT THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN IRAQ.

    SECRETARY-GENERAL SOLANA TELLS REPORTERS THERE WAS A CONSENSUS AMONG THE NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS.

    /// SOLANA ACT ///

    THE SOLIDARITY AMONG THE ALLIES HAS BEEN PRACTICALLY COMPLETE. IF YOU READ THE STATEMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN PRODUCED BY THE DIFFERENT CAPITALS AND IF YOU READ THEM CAREFULLY, YOU WILL SEE THAT EVERYBODY AGREES THAT SITUATION OF SADDAM HUSSEIN CANNOT CONTINUE LIKE THAT WITHOUT COMPLIANCE WITH BASIC SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS.

    /// END ACT ///

    THERE HAS BEEN ANOTHER FALLOUT HERE FROM THE MILITARY STRIKE BY THE UNITED STATES AND BRITAIN. RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IGOR SERGEYEV CANCELED PLANS TO ATTEND FRIDAY'S MEETING WITH THE NATO MINISTERS. SECRETARY-GENERAL SOLANA SAYS THE MINISTERS WILL MEET INSTEAD WITH THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO NATO.

    /// SOLANA ACT ///

    RUSSIA AND NATO, NATO AND RUSSIA WANT TO MAINTAIN ALL THEIR INSTITUTIONS FULL-FLEDGED AND FULL TIME, IN GOOD WEATHER AND IN BAD WEATHER. THE SAME AS WE DID WHEN WE HAD THE CRISIS IN KOSOVO.

    /// END ACT ///

    ON THEIR AGENDA, THE MINISTERS EXPRESS DEEP CONCERN ABOUT THE CONTINUING VIOLENCE IN SERBIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE, BLAMING BOTH SERBS AND ETHNIC-ALBANIANS FOR NOT COMPLYING WITH THE TERMS OF THE AMERICAN-MEDIATED CEASEFIRE.

    THEY ALSO DISCUSSED NATO'S MISSION IN BOSNIA, ENDORSING A SMALL REDUCTION IN THEIR HEADQUARTERS STAFF BY MARCH. THE DEFENSE MINISTERS ALSO AGREE TO STUDY OPTIONS FOR A MAJOR REDUCTION IN THE 30-THOUSAND NATO TROOPS IN BOSNIA AT THEIR NEXT MEETING IN SIX MONTHS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/JWH
    17-Dec-98 12:36 PM EST (1736 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] FRANCE / IRAQ (L) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=12/17/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243147
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: FRANCE HAS DISASSOCIATED ITSELF FROM THE U-S-LED AIR STRIKES ON IRAQ BUT ALSO CRITICIZED BAGHDAD FOR ITS CONTINUING FAILURE TO COOPERATE WITH UNITED NATIONS ARMS INSPECTORS. JULIAN NUNDY REPORTS FROM PARIS.

    TEXT: IN A STATEMENT ISSUED SOON AFTER THE UNITED STATES AND BRITAIN BEGAN AIR STRIKES ON IRAQ, THE FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTRY SAID FRANCE REGRETS WHAT IT CALLS "THE ESCALATION" LEADING TO MILITARY ACTION.

    SAYING IT FEARED THAT IT IS THE IRAQI PEOPLE WHO WILL SUFFER MOST, THE FOREIGN MINISTRY SAID THE U-S DECISION TO RESORT TO MILITARY ACTION WAS A RESULT OF IRAQ'S FAILURE TO COOPERATE FULLY WITH THE UNITED NATIONS.

    ALTHOUGH FRANCE WAS PART OF THE ORIGINAL AMERICAN-LED COALITION THAT DROVE IRAQ OUT OF KUWAIT NEARLY EIGHT YEARS AND HAS CONTINUED TO PARTICIPATE IN SURVEILLANCE OPERATIONS IN THE REGION, PARIS HAS LONG ARGUED THAT THE TIME FOR MILITARY ACTION IS OVER.

    THROUGHOUT RECENT MONTHS OF RECURRING CRISES BETWEEN BAGHDAD AND WASHINGTON, FRANCE HAS MADE IT CLEAR THAT IT WOULD NOT SUPPORT NEW BOMBARDMENTS OF SITES WHERE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION ARE ALLEGEDLY BEING DEVELOPED OR STORED.

    FRENCH MEDIA, ALSO REFLECTING AN UNEASE AT THE LATEST ACTION, WERE QUICK TO NOTE THAT THE AIR STRIKES COINCIDE WITH NEW MOVES IN CONGRESS THAT COULD LEAD TO THE IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT CLINTON.

    ALTHOUGH FRANCE HAS BEEN SUPPORTING A POLICY!OF DIALOGUE WITH BAGHDAD, EVEN FRENCH OFFICIALS ADMIT THAT IRAQ HAS SHOWN NO SIGN OF BEING READY TO COMPROMISE AND MEET THE DEMANDS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.

    BEFORE THE GULF WAR OF 1991, FRANCE WAS IRAQ'S BIGGEST WESTERN SUPPLIER OF ARMS. FRANCE GAVE IRAQ CRUCIAL SUPPORT IN ITS LONG AND BITTER WAR WITH IRAN IN THE 1980S, FOR EXAMPLE.

    IN RECENT YEARS, FRENCH COMPANIES, PARTICULARLY OIL AND BUILDING FIRMS, HAVE BEEN POISED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE OPENING WHEN TRADE SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAQ ARE FINALLY ENDED. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JWN/JWH/PLM
    17-Dec-98 6:26 AM EST (1126 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] BLAIR / IRAQ (L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=12/17/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243173
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR SAYS BRITISH FIGHTER JETS HAVE JOINED THE SECOND DAY OF ATTACKS AGAINST IRAQ. DEFENSE MINISTRY OFFICIALS SAY THE PLANES ATTACKED TARGETS IN IRAQ AND RETURNED SAFELY TO THEIR BASE IN KUWAIT. CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN IN LONDON REPORTS PRIME MINISTER BLAIR DISCUSSED THE IRAQI SITUATION AT A SPECIAL MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

    TEXT: PRIME MINISTER BLAIR SAYS A MILITARY STRIKE WAS THE ONLY OPTION LEFT AFTER THE CRITICAL U-N REPORT OUTLINING SADDAM HUSSEIN'S CONTINUING EFFORTS TO BLOCK U-N WEAPONS INSPECTIONS IN IRAQ. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE AIR STRIKES ARE OVER, HE SAYS IS UP TO SADDAM HUSSEIN

    /// BLAIR ACT ///

    I HOPE HE WILL FINALLY COME TO HIS SENSES AND RECOGNIZE THE ONLY WAY TO FIND SUPPORT FROM THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, AND A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL, IS FULL COMPLIANCE WITH SECURITY COUNCIL REQUIREMENTS.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. BLAIR SAYS IF SADDAM HUSSEIN DOES NOT COOPERATE, BRITAIN IS READY FOR MORE MILITARY ACTION TO MAKE SURE IRAQ'S MILITARY CAPABILITIES ARE NOT REBUILT.

    THE PRIME MINISTER REAFFIRMED THE BOMBINGS AGAINST IRAQ ARE TARGETING ONLY SADDAM HUSSEIN'S MILITARY MACHINE. ! /// BLAIR ACT TWO ///

    IS IT A SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE TO REMOVE SADDAM HUSSEIN? THE ANSWER IS IT CANNOT BE. NO ONE WOULD BE BETTER PLEASED IF HIS EVIL REGIME DISAPPEARED AS A DIRECT OR INDIRECT RESULT OF OUR ACTION. BUT OUR MILITARY OBJECTIVES ARE PRECISELY THOSE THAT WE HAVE SET OUT.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR BLAIR ALSO DISMISSED QUESTIONS IN PARLIAMENT THAT THE BOMBING RAIDS WERE TIMED IN PART TO DIVERT ATTENTION FROM PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON'S IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS AT HOME.

    /// BLAIR ACT THREE ///

    THERE ARE SUGGESTIONS THAT THE TIMING OF MILITARY ACTION IS SOMEHOW LINKED TO THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF THE UNITED STATES. I REFUTE THIS ENTIRELY. I HAVE NO DOUBT AT ALL THAT ACTION IS FULLY JUSTIFIED NOW. THAT IS MY OWN STRONG PERSONAL VIEW. I KNOW THAT PRESIDENT CLINTON REACHED THE SAME CONCLUSION FOR THE SAME REASONS. AND HAD HE ACTED DIFFERENTLY OUT OF REGARD FOR U-S INTERNAL POLITICS, THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A DERELICTION OF HIS DUTY AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

    /// END ACT ///

    PRIME MINISTER BLAIR TOLD PARLIAMENT HE BELIEVES SADDAM HUSSEIN WANTS TO DOMINATE HIS PEOPLE AND THE REGION BY MILITARY FORCE, AND WILL TRY TO HOLD ONTO HIS WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IN ORDER TO DO THAT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/JWH/RAE
    17-Dec-98 12:16 PM EST (1716 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] PINOCHET/EXTRADITION (S/L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=12/17/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243151
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THERE'S A NEW LEGAL TWIST IN THE EXTRADITION CASE OF FORMER CHILEAN LEADER AUGUSTO PINOCHET. A LEGAL PANEL OF THE BRITISH HOUSE OF LORDS THURSDAY SET ASIDE AN EARLIER JUDGMENT THAT DENIED GENERAL PINOCHET'S IMMUNITY FROM EXTRADITION. CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN REPORTS FROM LONDON THE HOUSE OF LORDS WILL NOW HAVE TO TAKE UP THE IMMUNITY DEBATE ALL OVER AGAIN.

    TEXT: THE PANEL OF JUDGES HAS ACCEPTED AN APPEAL FROM GENERAL PINOCHET'S LAWYERS TO SET ASIDE AN EARLIER JUDGMENT THAT THE FORMER CHILEAN DICTATOR IS NOT IMMUNE FROM EXTRADITION. THAT EARLIER DECISION OPENED THE WAY FOR BRITAIN'S HOME SECRETARY TO ALLOW SPAIN'S REQUEST TO GO AHEAD.

    BUT MR. PINOCHET'S LAWYERS THEN ARGUED THAT LORD HOFFMAN, ONE OF THE JUDGES WHO MADE THE DECISION AGAINST IMMUNITY, SHOULD HAVE EXCUSED HIMSELF BECAUSE OF A POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST. LORD HOFFMAN IS AN UNPAID FUND RAISER FOR THE HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, WHERE HIS WIFE HAS WORKED AS AN ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT.

    NOW THE HOUSE OF LORDS WILL HAVE TO DELIBERATE AGAIN THE ORIGINAL APPEAL ON GENERAL PINOCHET'S IMMUNITY. // REST OPT FOR LONG// THAT PROBABLY WON'T HAPPEN UNTIL EARLY NEXT YEAR, WHICH PUTS THE FORMER CHILEAN RULER IN LEGAL LIMBO ONCE AGAIN.

    FOR ITS PART, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HAS ISSUED A STATEMENT STRESSING THAT LORD HOFFMAN'S WORK WITH THE ORGANIZATION WAS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD. THE STATEMENT GOES ON TO SAY THAT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL WILL AGAIN ARGUE ITS CASE -- IN A NEW HEARING -- THAT NOBODY, INCLUDING HIGH OFFICIALS, SHOULD BE IMMUNE FROM PROSECUTION FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY.

    SPAIN WANTS GENERAL PINOCHET EXTRADITED TO MADRID TO STAND TRIAL ON CHARGES OF TORTURE, KIDNAPPING AND GENOCIDE DURING HIS 17-YEAR RULE IN CHILE. THE 83-YEAR-OLD GENERAL REMAINS UNDER HOUSE ARREST IN A LUXURY VILLA ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF LONDON, WHILE THE LEGAL BATTLE IS FOUGHT TO BLOCK THE EXTRADITION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/PCF
    17-Dec-98 7:10 AM EST (1210 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] ARGENTINA / BRITAIN (L ONLY) BY GEORGE MEEK (RIO DE JANEIRO)

    DATE=12/17/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243189
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BRITAIN HAS ENDED ITS ARMS EMBARGO AGAIOST ARGEOTINA, WHICH HAS BEEN IN FORCE SINCE THE FALKLANDS ISLANDS WAR 16 YEARS AGO. WE HAVE DETAILS FROM CORRESPONDENT GEORGE MEEK IN OUR SOUTH AMERICA BUREAU.

    TEXT: IN AN ANNOUNCEMENT RELEASED SIMULTANEOUSLY IN LONDON AND BUENOS AIRES, THE FOREIGN OFFICE SAID ARMS PURCHASES BY ARGENTINA WILL BE AUTHORIZED ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS, PROVIDED THEY DO NOT ENDANGER THE SECURITY OF BRITAIN'S SOUTH ATLANTIC TERRITORIES.

    ARGENTINE FOREIGN MINISTER GUIDO DI TELLA CALLS THE STEP AN IMPORTANT SIGNAL, AND SAYS HE HOPES IT WILL LEAD BEFORE LONG TO THE GREEN LIGHT FOR ARGENTINA TO RESUME DIRECT AIR SERVICE TO THE FALKLANDS. MR. DI TELLA SAYS ARGENTINA HAS NO INTENTION OF ENGAGING IN AN ARMS BUILDUP.

    THE END TO THE BRITISH ARMS EMBARGO HAD BEEN WIDELY EXPECTED IN ARGENTINA FOLLOWING THE VISIT OF PRESIDENT CARLOS MENEM TO LONDON IN OCTOBER. ARGENTINA FREQUENTLY REFERRED TO THE EMBARGO AS AN ANACHRONISM IN VIEW OF THE COOPERATION BETWEEN THE ARMED FORCES OF THE TWO COUNTRIES IN UNITED NATIONS PEACE MISSIONS. IN 1982, ARGENTINA WAGED A BRIEF BUT UNSUCCESSFUL WAR TO ASSERT SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE FALKLAND ISLANDS, WHICH IT CALLS THE MALVINAS. THE SPARSELY POPULATED ISLANDS -- 700 KILOMETERS FROM THE ARGENTINE COAST -- HAVE BEEN UNDER BRITISH CONTROL SINCE 1833.

    BRITAIN AND ARGENTINA RESTORED DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS IN 1990, AND FIVE YEARS LATER SIGNED AN AGREEMENT TO LICENSE OIL EXPLORATION AROUND THE DISPUTED ISLANDS.

    PRESIDENT MENEM HAS SAID ARGENTINA STILL CLAIMS THE ISLANDS, BUT WILL NOT GO TO WAR AGAIN OVER THEM. (SIGNED)
    NEB/GM/GE
    17-Dec-98 3:09 PM EST (2009 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)

    DATE=12/17/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243201
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE UP SHARPLY TODAY (THURSDAY) SPARKED BY SOME POSITIVE CORPORATE EARNINGS NEWS. VOA CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 88 HUNDRED 75, UP 85 POINTS OR ONE PERCENT. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 11 HUNDRED 80, UP 18 POINTS.

    ANALYSTS SAY AIR STRIKES AGAINST IRAQ WERE NOT A FACTOR IN TRADING, ESPECIALLY AFTER IT WAS CLEAR THAT OIL PRICES WOULD NOT GO UP. IN FACT THEY WENT DOWN. INSTEAD, TRADERS FOCUSED ON SOME POSITIVE CORPORATE EARNINGS REPORTS.

    ///BEGIN OPT///

    ALAN ACKERMAN OF THE FAHNSTOCK INVESTMENT COMPANY SAYS STOCK TRADERS APPARENTLY BELIEVE THE AIR STRIKES AGAINST IRAQ ARE IRRELEVANT TO FUNDAMENTAL ECONOMIC CONDITIONS.

    ///OPT////ACKERMAN ACT///

    THE MARKET HAS SHRUGGED OFF THE ATTACK ON IRAQ. THE U-S ECONOMIC BACKDROP IS POSITIVE. SO, OVERALL, I THINK WE ARE LOOKING AT A MARKET THAT PROBABLY WILL WORK HIGHER.

    ///END ACT///END OPT///

    THE GOVERNMENT REPORTS THE U-S TRADE DEFICIT DROPPED BY ONE POINT TWO PERCENT IN OCTOBER. A SURGE IN EXPORTS OF U-S AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS MORE THAN OFFSET RECORD IMPORTS. ANOTHER POSITIVE ECONOMIC SIGN WAS THAT THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS FILING CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FELL BY 10 PERCENT LAST WEEK.

    ///REST OPT///

    ALTHOUGH MANY U-S COMPANIES HAVE RECENTLY ISSUED PROFIT WARNINGS, SEVERAL ISSUED POSITIVE EARNINGS SURPRISES THURSDAY.

    CHASE MANHATTAN, THE THIRD LARGEST BANK IN THE UNITED STATES, SAYS IT WILL BUCK THE DOWNWARD TREND IN THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY AND MAY EARN RECORD PROFITS IN THE FOURTH QUARTER.

    THE FEDERAL EXPRESS PACKAGE DELIVERY SERVICE SAYS ITS PROFITS JUMPED 22 PERCENT IN THE LATEST QUARTER, LARGELY BECAUSE OF LOWER FUEL COSTS.

    AMERICAN GREETINGS, THE SECOND-LARGEST GREETING CARD COMPANY IN THE UNITED STATES, REPORTED RECORD QUARTERLY PROFITS OF ALMOST 83 MILLION DOLLARS. THE COMPANY SAYS THAT, ALTHOUGH STILL A SMALL PART OF ITS BUSINESS, SALES OF ON-LINE GREETING CARDS ARE GROWING RAPIDLY.

    THE STOCK OF ADOBE SYSTEMS, THE COMPUTER SOFTWARE MAKER, SURGED MORE THAN 10 PERCENT AFTER THE COMPANY REPORTED BETTER-THAN-EXPECTED EARNINGS.

    THE FIRST BUICK MODEL AUTO ROLLED OFF THE ASSEMBLY LINE AT A PLANT IN SHANGHAI, CHINA. THE PLANT IS A ONE AND ONE HALF BILLION DOLLAR JOINT VENTURE INVOLVING GENERAL MOTORS AND THE SHANGHAI AUTOMOTIVE COMPANY.

    THE TOYOTA MOTOR COMPANY OF JAPAN HAS CHOSEN HEBRON, KENTUCKY, AS THE SITE FOR AN 85 MILLION DOLLAR PARTS DISTRIBUTION CENTER. THE FACILITY, NEAR CINCINNATI, OHIO, IS EXPECTED TO CREATE ABOUT 400 JOBS.

    THE STOCK MARKET FUNCTIONS LARGELY BECAUSE OF PERCEPTIONS. THE CASE OF AMAZON, THE ON-LINE BOOK RETAILER, IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF HOW WIDELY DIFFERENT PERCEPTIONS CAN BE. ON WEDNESDAY, AMAZON'S STOCK SOARED AFTER AN ANALYST SAID HE EXPECTED THE STOCK, THEN TRADING AT ABOUT 260 DOLLARS A SHARE, TO RISE TO 400 DOLLARS IN THE NEAR FUTURE. BUT ON THURSDAY ANOTHER ANALYST SAID THE COMPANY'S PROSPECTS ARE POOR AND EXPECTS TO SEE THE STOCK AT AROUND 50 DOLLARS A SHARE. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/WFR
    17-Dec-98 5:13 PM EST (2213 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/17/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11057
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ////

    EDS: PERISHABLE MATERIAL, DATED AFTER 10 P-M E - S - T ! !

    ////

    INTRO: THE U-S AND BRITISH ATTACK ON IRAQ AND THE IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AGAINST PRESIDENT CLINTON DOMINATE THE EDITORIAL COLUMNS OF U-S NEWSPAPERS TODAY.

    THE MAJORITY OF PAPERS, THOUGH ADMITTING THE TIMING MAY BE OPEN TO QUESTION, APPEAR TO SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT'S DECISION TO ATTACK THE IRAQI LEADER'S DEFENSE ESTABLISHMENT.

    SOME DAILIES ARE LAMENTING THE LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN MR. CLINTON. SOME POLITICAL LEADERS AND MANY AVERAGE AMERICANS ARE SUGGESTING THAT MR. CLINTON LAUNCHED THE ATTACK TO DELAY THE IMPEACHMENT EFFORT AGAINST HIM.

    THERE ARE ONLY A FEW OTHER EDITORIAL TOPICS, AND THEY INCLUDE, DOUBTS ABOUT A GUATEMALAN NOBEL LAUREATE; SOME THOUGHTS ON THE EUROPEAN ECONOMY AS A NEW CURRENCY NEARS INTRODUCTION; AND PRAISE FOR CUBA'S DISSIDENTS. NOW, HERE WITH A SAMPLING IS _________________ AND TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: PERHAPS THE KEY LINES FROM TODAY'S EDITORIAL IN PORTLAND'S "OREGONIAN" SUMS UP HOW MANY PAPERS, AND MANY ORDINARY AMERICANS, FEEL. HERE IS AN EXCERPT:

    VOICE: WITH A LOOMING IMPEACHMENT VOTE, THE TIMING IN THIS COUNTRY COULD HARDLY HAVE BEEN MORE AWKWARD FOR THE U-S AND BRITISH AIR STRIKES AGAINST IRAQ, BUT THE JUSTIFICATION FOR THEM REMAINED STRONG. BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR, PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VARIOUS ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS MADE A STRONG CASE ... FOR THE NEED TO DEGRADE IRAQI'S PRESIDENT SADDAM HUSSEIN'S CAPABILITY TO MAKE OR USE NUCLEAR, CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS ... AS FOR THE IMPEACHMENT VOTE ... THERE'S NO COMPELLING NEED TO DELAY IT SIGNIFICANTLY, EVEN IF THE ATTACKS CONTINUE FOR SOME TIME.

    TEXT: FROM ONE OF THE PRESIDENT'S MOST VOCAL AND OUTSPOKEN CRITICS, "THE NEW YORK POST," COMES THIS SUPPORTIVE PLAY ON WORDS.

    VOICE: THE DECISION TO LAUNCH MILITARY STRIKES AGAINST IRAQ IS - - SHALL WE SAY - - UNIMPEACHABLE. AND AS BRAVE AMERICANS AND BRITONS WAGE WAR, THE ONLY APPROPRIATE RESPONSE TODAY IS AN EXPRESSION OF COMPLETE AND UNCONDITIONAL SUPPORT.

    TEXT: IN CALIFORNIA'S CAPITOL, "THE SACRAMENTO BEE" SCRAPPED ITS ORIGINAL EDITORIAL ON IMPEACHMENT TO INSERT THIS:

    VOICE: U-S FOREIGN POLICY MUST GO FORWARD DESPITE DISPUTES. THERE CAN BE LITTLE DOUBT THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAQ HAS BROUGHT ATTACK UPON ITSELF. ITS CONTINUED DEFIANCE OF ITS OBLIGATION TO ... CEASE PRODUCTION OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, DESTROY EXISTING STOCKS AND ALLOW UNITED NATIONS INSPECTIONS HAS BRANDED SADDAM HUSSEIN'S NATION 'OUTLAW' IN THE EYES OF THE CIVILIZED WORLD.

    TEXT: THE PAPER GOES ON TO EXPRESS SOME DOUBTS AS TO THE ATTACK'S TIMING, HOWEVER, BUT "THE NEW YORK TIMES," IN ITS LEAD EDITORIAL, SAYS SUCH IDEAS ARE "UNFAIR."

    VOICE: BY ATTACKING IRAQ AS HOUSE MEMBERS GATHERED ... TO CONSIDER HIS IMPEACHMENT, MR. CLINTON COULD NOT AVOID THE IMPRESSION THAT HE IS BLURRING THE BOUNDARIES THAT MUST SEPARATE AMERICA'S FOREIGN CONDUCT FROM ITS DOMESTIC POLITICAL TURBULENCE. BUT THAT ACCUSATION WOULD IN LARGE PART BE UNFAIR. THE CONFRONTATION WITH IRAQ HAS PLAYED OUT ON ITS OWN TIMETABLE AND HAPPENED TO REACH A DECISIVE POINT ON THE EVE OF THE HOUSE IMPEACHMENT DEBATE.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: "THE WASHINGTON POST" CALLS THE ATTACK "A NECESSARY RESPONSE," WHILE "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" DESCRIBES THE STRIKES AS ... AN "INEVITABLE, NECESSARY BLOW AT IRAQ ..." AND "THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER" SUGGESTS: "THE CONFLUENCE SHOWS HOW MUCH AMERICA NEEDS TO GET BACK ON TRACK. CENSURE [MR.] CLINTON AND MOVE ON."

    /// END OPT ///

    BUT IN FLORIDA, "THE ORLANDO SENTINEL" CONSIDERS THE SITUATION "A MESS."

    VOICE: THE INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY TEETERS ON THE BRINK OF COLLAPSE, THE MIDDLE EAST THREATENS TO ERUPT IN VIOLENCE. AND ... THE UNITED STATES ATTACKED IRAQ. THROUGH ALL THAT, THE UNITED STATES' LEADERSHIP IS IN TATTERS AS THE PRESIDENT FACES IMPEACHMENT FOR REPEATEDLY AND UNASHAMEDLY LYING UNDER OATH AND TO THE PEOPLE. HOW DID AMERICA GET TO THIS POINT? .... AND... WHAT ARE THE REAL MOTIVATIONS BEHIND THE DECISIONS BEING MADE IN WASHINGTON? ..... WHAT A TRULY SORRY STATE OF AFFAIRS. ... WHEN THE TIME COMES TO TAKE TOUGH ACTION, AMERICANS SHOULD HAVE N O DOUBTS.

    TEXT: WRITING IN THE OP-ED PAGES OF TODAY'S "PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER," PENN STATE UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR CRISPIN SARTWELL ALSO HAS HIS DOUBTS.

    VOICE: BILL CLINTON'S DECISION TO BOMB IRAQ ON THE EVE OF A CONGRESSIONAL IMPEACHMENT VOTE WAS IRRESPONSIBLE. I CAN'T SAY FOR SURE THAT THE REASON FOR THE ATTACK WAS TO FEND OFF A POLITICAL DISASTER. I SUSPECT THAT THE PRESIDENT ... CAN'T SAY WHETHER THAT WAS THE REASON. BUT WHATEVER THE REASON, THIS WAS A TERRIBLE DECISION. ... I DON'T THINK THAT [PRESIDENT] CLINTON'S ACTIONS IN THE ... LEWINSKY MATTER ARE IMPEACHABLE. BUT IF HE BLEW PEOPLE TO SMITHEREENS TO MAINTAIN HIS OWN PRESIDENCY, HE SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE IMMEDIATELY.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: BACK IN FLORIDA, HOWEVER, "THE MIAMI HERALD" CALLS THE ACTION "A NECESSARY ATTACK," WHILE "NEWSDAY" ON NEW YORK'S LONG ISLAND ADDS: "[MR.] CLINTON IS RIGHT TO STRIKE IRAQ. U-S FOREIGN POLICY CAN'T JUST HALT FOR IMPEACHMENT." AND IN GEORGIA, "THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION" SAYS "SADDAM LEFT NO OPTION."

    VOICE: SADDAM HUSSEIN ... YOU HAD IT COMING. THERE WAS NO HOLDING BACK U-S MISSILE STRIKES THIS TIME. HAVING CALLED OFF AN ATTACK ON IRAQ AT THE LAST MINUTE ONLY A MONTH AGO, PRESIDENT CLINTON WAS RIGHT NOT TO GIVE SADDAM ANOTHER CHANCE TO WEASEL OUT OF A THRASHING HE AND HIS MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT SO RICHLY DESERVE. ... IT IS SICKENING TO HEAR REPUBLICAN LEADERS IN CONGRESS SUGGEST THAT [PRESIDENT] CLINTON'S DECISION ON IRAQ MAY BE A STALLING TACTIC OR A BID FOR PUBLIC SUPPORT. HIS CRITICS WOULD BE THE FIRST TO DECLARE [MR.] CLINTON UNFIT TO CONTINUE IN OFFICE IF HE LET SADDAM'S LATEST ACT OF DEFIANCE GO UNPUNISHED.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: MOVING BRIEFLY TO OTHER TOPICS, "THE NEW YORK POST" HAS THIS TO SAY ABOUT ALLEGATIONS THAT NOBEL PRIZE WINNING AUTHORESS RIGOBERTA MENCHU, A QUICHE INDIAN FROM GUATEMALA, FABRICATED SOME OF HER MATERIAL.

    VOICE: A DECADE-LONG INVESTIGATION BY ANTHROPOLOGIST DAVID STOLL CONFIRMS THAT [MS.] MENCHU'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY IS A HOAX. A YOUNGER BROTHER SHE SAID STARVED TO DEATH NEVER EVEN EXISTED. THE LAND DISPUTE CENTRAL TO THE BOOK WAS NOT A CASE OF WEALTHY EUROPEANS DRIVING INDIANS OFF THEIR LAND BUT A FAMILY QUARREL. AND THE SUPPOSEDLY ILLITERATE AND UNEDUCATED [MS.] MENCHU IN FACT ATTENDED TWO PRIVATE SCHOOLS ON SCHOLARSHIPS. IS THE NOBEL COMMITTEE BOTHERED BY THIS? NOT AT ALL. ALL AUTOBIOGRAPHIES 'EMBELLISH,' SAYS A SPOKESMAN, BUT THE CENTRAL TRUTHS REMAIN. SO SHE CAN KEEP HER ONE-POINT-TWO-MILLION DOLLAR PRIZE. .... SO NOW THE NOBEL COMMITTEE STANDS EXPOSED. NEVER LET THE FACTS GET IN THE WAY OF A HATE-THE-WEST POLITICAL RANT.

    TEXT: "THE WASHINGTON TIMES" SALUTES THE RECENT CUT IN EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK INTEREST RATES AS A GOOD PRELUDE TO INTRODUCTION OF THE "EURO" CURRENCY JANUARY FIRST. VOICER: EARLIER THIS MONTH, CENTRAL BANKS IN ELEVEN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, ALL OF WHICH WILL ADOPT A SINGLE CURRENCY ON JANUARY FIRST, SIMULTANEOUSLY REDUCED THEIR KEY SHORT-TERM INTEREST RATES. IN THE FACE OF ACCELERATING DEFLATIONARY PRESSURES THAT THREATEN WESTERN EUROPE AND DISTRESSED FINANCIAL MARKETS WORLDWIDE, THE OVERDUE MOVE WAS MOST WELCOME.

    TEXT: LASTLY, SOME PRAISE FOR THE SMALL GROUP OF HARDY SOULS WHO MAKE UP CUBA'S DEMOCRATIC DISSIDENT COMMUNITY FROM "THE MIAMI HERALD," WHICH TALKS OF WORLD HUMAN RIGHTS DAY LAST WEEK.

    VOICE: IN HAVANA, MEMBERS OF A DISSIDENT GROUP ORGANIZE A RALLY TO COMMEMORATE THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS. GOVERNMENT AGENTS HARASS AND ARREST THE ORGANIZERS AND CONVENE A GATHERING OF COMMUNIST-PARTY FAITHFUL AT THE SITE. GOONS THEN BEAT HUMAN-RIGHTS PROTESTERS AND FOREIGN REPORTERS ARRIVING FOR THE EVENT, AND MORE DISSIDENTS LAND IN JAIL. ... THE TRUE HEROES OF CUBA TODAY ARE LAYING THE FOUNDATION FOR A FUTURE CIVIL SOCIETY. THEY BRAVELY CHALLENGE AN AMORAL REGIME WITH PEACEFUL DISSENT, WELL KNOWING THE UGLY CONSEQUENCES.

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL COMMENT FROM THURSDAY'S U-S DAILIES.
    NEB/ANG/KL
    17-Dec-98 10:56 AM EST (1556 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] A SKEPTICAL WORLD REACTS TO U-S IRAQ ATTACK BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/17/98
    TYPE=WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-11059
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: A SOMEWHAT SKEPTICAL WORLD PRESS GREETED THE U-S ATTACK ON IRAQ WITH CONCERNS SIMILAR TO SOME U-S NEWSPAPERS, NAMELY THAT PRESIDENT CLINTON'S DECISION MAY HAVE BEEN INFLUENCED, AT LEAST IN PART, BY THE PENDING IMPEACHMENT HEARING IN THE HOUSE.

    WE GET A SAMPLING OF EARLY REACTION FROM SOME CORNERS OF THE GLOBE, NOW FROM _______________ IN THIS WEEK'S WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP.

    TEXT: THE ATTACK, ANNOUNCED LATE IN THE AFTERNOON WEDNESDAY, WASHINGTON TIME, CAME TOO LATE FOR COMMENT IN SOME MORNING PAPERS AROUND THE WORLD.

    OPINION RANGES FROM SUPPORT FOR THE JOINT U-S-BRITISH ATTACKS, WHICH MANY PAPERS DEEM "UNAVOIDABLE" ..... TO SUSPICION THAT THE TIMING OF THE ATTACK, ON THE EVE OF THE SCHEDULED HOUSE IMPEACHMENT VOTE IS SUSPECT. WE BEGIN OUR SAMPLING IN BRITAIN, WHERE THE NEWSPAPERS OF AMERICA'S ONLY ALLY IN THIS ACTION, ARE GENERALLY SUPPORTIVE. "THE GUARDIAN" IS, BUT WITH SOME RESERVATIONS.

    VOICE: THE AMERICANS AND THE BRITISH SHOW A READINESS TO DEAL WITH SADDAM MILITARILY, BUT THIS MASKS DOUBTS ABOUT WHERE SUCH ACTION MIGHT LEAD. .... BOMBING ALSO CARRIES LARGE RISKS. SADDAM WILL PROTECT TARGETS LIKE THE PALACES BY INDUCING CIVILIANS TO CONVERGE ON THEM. HE COULD CONCEIVABLY HAVE, AND IT IS JUST CONCEIVABLE HE MAY USE, CHEMICAL OR BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS WHICH THE U-N INSPECTORS HAVE FAILED TO FIND.

    TEXT: "THE TIMES" CALLS THE AIR CAMPAIGN "UNAVOIDABLE," AND CONTINUES:

    VOICE: THE ONLY REMAINING QUESTION IS WHETHER SADDAM PREFERRED TO SUBJECT HIS PEOPLE TO PUNISHING AIR ATTACKS RATHER THAN GIVE UP THESE WEAPONS, OR WHETHER HE GAMBLED THAT, WITH IMPEACHMENT THREATENING MR. CLINTON, HE WOULD AGAIN ESCAPE UNSCATHED. EITHER WAY, FACTS HAD TO BE FACED.

    /// OPT ///

    ... IT WAS RIGHT NOT TO WAIT ON THE U-N. ... SADDAM DELIBERATELY FORCED THIS GRIM CONCLUSION. THE RESPONSE HAD TO BE SWIFT AND DECISIVE.

    TEXT: DETERMINATION SEEMS TO BE ON THE MIND OF "THE DAILY TELEGRAPH" WHICH WARNS IN ITS HEADLINE "NOW SEE IT THROUGH."

    /// END OPT ///

    HOWEVER "THE EXPRESS" HAS ITS DOUBTS ABOUT THE TIMING, AS DO MANY U-S DAILIES.

    VOICE: IF YOU BELIEVE IN COINCIDENCE, THEN THIS IS ONE OF THE GREATEST IN HISTORY. PRESIDENT CLINTON IS FACING AN IMPEACHMENT HEARING [AND] ORDERS THE BOMBING OF IRAQ. IT IS, WITHOUT DOUBT, THE MOST CYNICAL PLOY OF A CLINTON ADMINISTRATION WHICH HAS ALWAYS BEEN TAINTED BY CYNICISM ....

    /// OPT ///

    ARE WE BEING DRAWN INTO A BLOODY CONFLICT MERELY TO BOLSTER AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT WHO FINDS HIMSELF IN GRAVE DOMESTIC DIFFICULTIES?

    TEXT: JUST ACROSS THE CHANNEL, IN PARIS, THE FRENCH DAILY "LIBERATION" IS ALSO SKEPTICAL.

    VOICE: WASHINGTON HAS DECIDED TO PUT AN END TO THIS CAT AND MOUSE GAME ... BUT THE U-S DECISION NEVERTHELESS RAISES SERIOUS QUESTIONS. FIRST, BECAUSE OF THE VERY THIN PRETEXT USED TO LAUNCH THE STRIKE ... THE PRETEXT DOES NOT JUSTIFY SUCH A MASSIVE STRIKE WITH THE MASS DESTRUCTION THAT GOES WITH IT.

    TEXT: THE REGIONAL DAILY "OUEST FRANCE" IN RENNES, SPECULATED:

    VOICE: [PRESIDENT CLINTON] EXPECTS AT LEAST TWO THINGS FROM THESE STRIKES. AN INTERNATIONAL AFFIRMATION OF U-S LEADERSHIP [AND] A DOMESTIC REPRIEVE ON THE IMPEACHMENT PROCEDURE. THE COINCIDENCE OF THESE TWO EVENTS LEADS ONE TO DOUBT THE BASIS FOR THE U-S DECISION STRIKE /// OPT /// ....STILL, SADDAM IS THE ONE AND ONLY PERSON ... FULLY RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT IS HAPPENING TO HIS PEOPLE.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: IN DENMARK, COPENHAGEN'S "EKSTRA BLADET" RAN THIS EDITORIAL IN THURSDAY'S [12/17] EDITIONS SUPPORTING THE ATTACK, BUT COMMENTING:

    VOICE: [PRESIDENT CLINTON] ... WILL, OF COURSE, FACE ACCUSATIONS THAT HE INITIATED THE ATTACK TO TAKE THE SPOTLIGHT AWAY FROM THE IMPEACHMENT CASE. BUT THESE ACCUSATIONS ARE UNREASONABLE... THE TYRANNICAL HUSSEIN IS A ... BRUTAL CYNIC WHO REPRESENTS A LETHAL DANGER TO THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS. ... THEREFORE "EKSTRA BLADET" SUPPORTS THE ANGLO-AMERICAN ATTACK.

    TEXT: FOR SPANISH REACTION, HERE IS "EL PAIS" FROM MADRID:

    VOICE: ... [WE WOULD ALSO EXPECT THAT] THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT HAS A STRATEGY AS WELL AS MILITARY TACTICS UP HIS SLEEVE ... REGARDING HOW TO DEAL WITH SADDAM HUSSEIN AND THE SUFFERING IRAQI POPULACE ONCE THE LAST BOMB HAS FALLEN.

    TEXT: ACROSS TOWN, HOWEVER, "EL MUNDO" WAS MUCH LESS SYMPATHETIC.

    VOICE: [ALTHOUGH] IT IS, OF COURSE, OBVIOUS THAT SADDAM HAS DONE EVERYTHING HE COULD RECENTLY TO INCITE SUCH AN ATTACK ... ITS COINCIDENCE WITH THE SCHEDULED IMPEACHMENT VOTE SPARKS SUSPICIONS THAT [MR.] CLINTON IS PLAYING DOMESTIC POLITICS WITH HIS MISSILES.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: AND IN SLOVENIA, LJUBLJANA'S "DELO" GRIMACES, AND NOTES:

    VOICE: MANY PEOPLE PRAY TODAY THAT SHELLS WHICH FLY OVER IRAQ WERE SMART - - SMARTER THAN THE POLICY CONTROLLING THEM - - AND THAT ONE ... WOULD HIT SADDAM HUSSEIN.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: QUICKLY TO THE MIDDLE EAST, WHERE OPINIONS ARE ALSO MIXED. IN ISRAEL, TEL AVIV'S "HAARETZ" NOTED IN THURSDAY'S EDITIONS [12/17]:

    VOICE: THE UNITED STATES HAS OVERCOME PAST DILEMMAS, THE NEED TO EXHAUST ALL DIPLOMATIC PROCEDURES BEFORE DROPPING BOMBS, AND THE BURDENSOME MORAL QUESTION OF HURTING INNOCENT PEOPLE. IT HAS ALSO EXHAUSTED ITS USE OF ECONOMIC SANCTIONS ... THE UNITED STATES NEEDS TO WIN THE WAR IT STARTED, WHICH IS BECOMING ONE OF THE LONGEST WARS IN WHICH IT HAS BEEN INVOLVED.

    TEXT: IN MOROCCO, "AL MUNADHAMA" HAS THIS FRONT-PAGE COMMENTARY IN THURSDAY'S PAPERS.

    VOICE: IN A COVERT ATTEMPT TO JUSTIFY THE U-S AND BRITISH AGGRESSION AGAINST IRAQ, RICHARD BUTLER PRESENTED THE U-N A REPORT FULL OF FALSEHOODS ... WE WONDER WHETHER THE WORLD WILL ENTER THE THIRD MILLENNIUM UNDER THE SHADOW OF U-S HEGEMONY AND ARROGANCE IMPOSED ON THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND WORLD ORGANIZATIONS .... IN ORDER TO SAFEGUARD U-S AND ZIONIST INTERESTS.

    TEXT: TURNING TO QATAR, ON THE GULF, ONE OF DOHA'S DAILIES "AS-SHARQ" ASKS:

    VOICE: ...WHO REALLY SUFFERS? OF COURSE, THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ, WHO CONTINUE TO STARVE UNDER THE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AND BOYCOTTS, WITHOUT ANY HOPE OF SALVATION. ... WE CALL ON INTERNATIONAL LEADERS AND THE LEADERS OF IRAQ TO LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF REASON THAT WE HOPE WILL GUIDE THE SECURITY COUNCIL. NOW, THERE IS NOTHING ELSE WE CAN DO BUT PRAY TO GOD TO PRESERVE THE IRAQI PEOPLE FROM ANOTHER WAR AND LIFT THEN OUT OF THEIR SEVERE SUFFERING.

    TEXT: AND NOW, BRIEFLY, FAR DOWN IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC, WHERE IN AN EDITORIAL RUNNING IN FRIDAY'S [12/18] SYDNEY'S, "DAILY TELEGRAPH" THE AUSTRALIAN PAPER SUPPORTS THE STRIKES AS DOES ITS GOVERNMENT.

    VOICE: ... PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON HAD NO OTHER CHOICE THAN TO AUTHORIZE THE AIR STRIKES ... AGAINST THE CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPON STOCKPILES OF SADDAM HUSSEIN. IT WAS NOT A DECISION TAKEN LIGHTLY OR IMPULSIVELY. ... DESPITE WHAT CRITICS OF MR. CLINTON MIGHT WANT TO BELIEVE ABOUT HIS MOTIVE, IT WAS NOT A DECISION TAKEN IN ISOLATION OR WITHOUT SUPPORT. ..... IN AUSTRALIA, BOTH PRIME MINISTER JOHN HOWARD AND OPPOSITION LEADER KIM BEAZLEY SUPPORTED THE STRIKES AND WERE RIGHT TO DO SO. SADDAM HAS USED CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN THE PAST AGAINST IRANIAN TROOPS AND KURDISH CIVILIANS IN NORTHERN IRAQ ... THE WORLD CANNOT AFFORD TO TAKE THE CHANCE OF SADDAM USING THESE FEARFUL WEAPONS AGAIN.

    TEXT: ON THIS CONTINENT, THE INFLUENTIAL AND RESPECTED TORONTO "GLOBE AND MAIL" HEADLINES ITS THURSDAY EDITORIAL: "DROP A BOMB TO STOP A BOMB," ADDING:

    VOICE: THE UNITED STATES WAS LEFT WITH NO CHOICE BUT TO STRIKE AT IRAQ .... THIS IS A REAL POLICY RESPONDING A TO A PLAIN-AS-DAY CRISIS, NOT SOME ADVERTISING GIMMICK. AND OTTAWA IS RIGHT TO SUPPORT THE AMERICAN POSITION ....

    TEXT: BUT IN THE CANADIAN CAPITAL, "THE OTTAWA CITIZEN" IS MORE RESTRAINED, NOTING:

    VOICE: BOMBING IRAQ IS THE RIGHT RESPONSE AT THE WRONG TIME. IT COVERS FOR AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT WHOSE POLITICAL FUTURE IS ON THE LINE ... STILL, IT IS THE RIGHT RESPONSE, AND FREEDOM-LOVING NATIONS SHOULD BREATHE A SIGH OF RELIEF THAT THE UNITED STATES, EVEN WEAKENED BY THE CORRUPTION OF ITS OWN PRESIDENT, WAS WILLING TO CONFRONT AN ENEMY OF WORD PEACE ...

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF EARLY WORLD REACTION FROM SOME QUARTERS, TO THE ATTACKS BY U-S AND BRITISH FORCES AGAINST IRAQ.
    NEB/ANG/RRM
    17-Dec-98 5:22 PM EST (2222 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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