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Voice of America, 01-08-07

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

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

SLUG: 6-12416 Tuesday's Editorials DATE: NOTE NUMBER:





    INTRO: The situation in the Middle East, as regards Israel and the Palestinians, appears to many American papers to be going from bad to worse, with all-out war now a distinct possibility. That concern is reflected in several of Tuesday's editorials. Other commentaries deal with the Mexican long-distance trucking controversy; the genocide conviction at The Hague; President Bush's month-long Texas vacation; and improving U-S elections. Now, here is ____________ with a closer look and some quotes in today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Although both sides profess to be attempting a U-S brokered truce, violence continues in Israel and the Palestinian-administered territories with no sign of abatement. The Indianapolis Star says today the "Mideast combatants must stop the killing."

    VOICE: Both sides must reconsider this futile strategy of endless retaliation. ... Although the U-S State Department has not advised against travel to the Holy Land, the continued fighting suggests visitors should be very concerned about their safety...Somehow, the two sides must resurrect the truce agreement brokered in June by C-I-A Director George Tenet.

    TEXT: A lament from The Indianapolis [Indiana] Star. In Pennsylvania, The [Allentown] Morning Call says part of the problem is the enigma that is [Palestinian leader] Yasser Arafat, and it quotes the new U-S ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer who claims no one really knows "Who is Arafat?" The paper adds:

    VOICE: ... [is he] ... Terrorist? Peacemaker? Or just a political survivor too worried about holding onto ... power risk ... [leaving] a legacy of peace?

    TEXT: Today's Fresno California Bee noting that Israel is drawing increased criticism with its targeted attacks against alleged Palestinian terrorists...sees another Israeli problem.

    VOICE: ... there is [growing] legal pressure against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. In Belgium, survivors of a 1982 massacre of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon by an... [Israeli-allied] militia... [prosecute] [Mr.] Sharon... Israel's defense minister at the time... growing popular sentiment ...favoring prosecution for alleged war crimes ... cannot be lightly dismissed.

    TEXT: And in Denver [Colorado's] Rocky Mountain News, foreign affairs columnist Holger Jensen points out Israel is losing the moral "high ground" with its selected attacks against Palestinian terrorists.

    TEXT: Now to the Mexican trucking controversy. The North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] grants Mexican long-distance trucks access to this country beginning in 1999. But that access was restricted to a 32 kilometer border zone as a concession to U-S trade unions. Georgia's Savannah Morning News complains:

    VOICE: That's not free trade, that's protectionism that is both inefficient and costly to consumers. It also ...[violates] NAFTA. President Bush wants to abide by ... NAFTA and open the border to all Mexican trucks ... But he's hit a roadblock in Congress, which [wants]... Mexican trucks [to] undergo burdensome safety inspections before they can travel U-S highways. ... President Bush should veto a 60-billion transportation bill unless the unfair restrictions on Mexican trucks...are removed.

    TEXT: The Saint Petersburg [Florida] Times agrees, suggesting: "Safety, not protectionism, should be Congress' goal in setting tough but fair regulations for Mexican long-haul truckers... The Balkan War Crimes Tribunal in The Hauge's conviction of a Bosnian Serb General, Radislav Krstic on genocide charges, and sentencing to 46 years in prison, draws this query from the Boston Globe: "Was it genocide?"

    VOICE: Commendable as the court's affirmation of legal accountability for war crimes might be, however, questions must be raised about the charge of genocide in this case. ...the justification given by the presiding judge... should be debated by anyone concerned about the danger of diluting the meaning of genocide.

    TEXT: There is a wider concern about the whole process of extra-national justice in Tennessee's Chattanooga Free Press.

    VOICE: ... Americans should be very wary of the processes that have established a U-N court - - or seek to establish other international tribunals... ... While many approve trying [General] Krstic and [former Yugoslavian President Slobodan] Milosevic in an international court, we should ask ourselves this highly important question: **Would we accept the trial of Americans by a U-N or "international Criminal Court" under laws not enacted by our Congress, with foreign judges who do not reflect ... American ideals and principles of justice? ** [Editors: all italics for emphasis]

    TEXT: President George W. Bush is vacationing this month at his Texas ranch and drawing comment from several papers, including a sarcastic criticism from Wisconsin's Capital Times in Madison.

    VOICE: [President] ...Bush has apparently been shamed into announcing that his one-month break from a grueling schedule of workouts in the White House exercise room will not be a standard fun-in-the-sun respite. ... What we can't figure out is this: How can you take a working vacation from a working vacation?

    TEXT: In Texas, the Houston Chronicle appears not favorably impressed with the vacation [holiday] plans either.

    VOICE: Leaving for a four-week vacation in Texas, [Mr.] Bush announced that the nation has problems that won't wait. Since Congress is in recession and the president and vice president are vacationing, the problems either will have to wait or solve themselves without government intervention.

    TEXT: Today's Saint Louis Post Dispatch laments the fact that election reform has turned into "a bitterly partisan dispute" although it began as "a common priority of lawmakers from President ...Bush on down."

    VOICE: Through bipartisan effort and federal and state reforms, it is possible to reach the perfectly reasonable goal expressed by Missouri Senator Christopher ... Bond: Make it easier to vote, but harder to cheat.

    TEXT: Internationally, today's Los Angeles Times takes note of the power struggle going on in Iran between the hardline conservative clerics and the reformists, led by newly re-elected president Mohammad Khatami. Noting the postponement of President Khatami's swearing in last Sunday, the Times predicts:

    VOICE: The dispute will have an important effect on whether Iran follows a reform course or remains hostage to Islamic fundamentalism.

    TEXT: A new development in the tenuous Northern Ireland peace movement gives hope that a total collapse is no longer imminent. Charleston's [South Carolina] Post and Courier calls the latest Irish Republican Army offer to give up its weapons:

    VOICE: ...a huge leap forward. While hard-line Protestants will still have wriggle room to complain that the I-R-A has not set a specified date to begin disarmament, there can be no going back. ... at long last, an end is in sight for Northern Ireland's institutionalized violence.

    TEXT: In Latin American affairs, there is condemnation of both U-S and Peruvian officials today from The Washington Times for the accidental shoot-down in April, of a small plane carrying missionaries, rather than the suspected drug smugglers.

    VOICE: This tragedy must prompt U-S officials to carefully look into and reform counternarcotics initiatives involving Latin America well as the U-S officials who oversee them.

    TEXT: With that from The Washington Times, we conclude this editorial sampling from Tuesday's U-S Press.
    NEB/ANG/RH SLUG: 2-279053 Macedonia (S) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:



    INTRO: Macedonian police have killed five suspected ethnic Albanian guerrillas in a raid in the capital, Skopje (eds: early Tuesday). Jeff Bieley reports that the incident has cast a shadow over the planned resumption of peace talks that hit a major snag on Monday.

    TEXT: Interior Minister Ljube Boskovski says five ethnic Albanians were killed and five others arrested during an anti-terrorist operation by Macedonian police. A house and a mosque were raided in the action in a predominantly ethnic Albanian neighborhood on the north side of Skopje. Mr. Boskovski said the dawn raid was prompted by information that a terrorist group was preparing an attack on the capital. The incident cast a pall over the expected resumption of talks on a political deal to resolve Macedonia's six months of ethnic conflict. One participant in the talks said political leaders were still waiting for the discussions to begin. NATO has pledged to deploy a force of 3-thousand troops in Macedonia to disarm the insurgents when a final agreement is reached. (Signed)

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