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Voice of America, 01-10-01

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

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

SLUG: US Editorial Digest DATE: NOTE NUMBER:





    INTRO: Dealing with security concerns in the aftermath of last month's terrorist attack continues to be the principal editorial topic of many U-S daily papers. Included are airline and other security issues, dealing with Afghanistan and other nations in the anti-terrorist battle and balancing increased security with civil rights protections. There are other editorials on anti-Islamic comments by Italy's prime minister and the Supreme Court's news term. Now, here is ______ with a closer look in today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: With the U-S public still wary of flying and security check lines lengthening at airports for those who do chose to fly, the papers continue a debate. The San Francisco Chronicle says:

    VOICE: President Bush's plan for assuring Americans' safety from hijacking when they travel by air goes most of the way toward achieving its goal. He should complete the job by backing a more thorough federal role in screening passengers and luggage before airliners are allowed to take off. TEX: In heavily tourist-dependent Orlando, Florida, The Orlando Sentinel suggests: "President Bush and Congress are headed in the right direction on airline security." But the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette finds: "Some miscues in [President] Bush's airport security plan."

    VOICE: It is only common sense that the federal government take over the overall supervision for airport security screening, which is now the responsibility of the airlines. Although the administration intends to sub-contract out the work rather than making security guards federal employees, an insistence on national standards ...should professionalize the security operation and pay a dividend in safety.

    TEXT: In Denver, where there is a relatively new airport, Colorado's Denver Post sees a downside to the new security measures.

    VOICE: The interminable delays ... at Denver international Airport and [others] around the country don't bode well for the airline industry's health. ... Unless procedures are made more efficient, the airlines run the risk of losing customers permanently to auto travel or teleconferencing.

    TEXT: Turning to other security issues, today's Allentown [Pennsylvania] Morning Call worries about the "76-thousand tanker trucks" hauling millions of liters of hazardous cargo that crisscross the nation daily. The paper wants those drivers better scrutinized... And in Iowa, the Des Moines Register wonders: " do we guard against one who would quietly slip toxic substances into water or food supplies?" Internationally, Saudi Arabia is the key to the fight against global terrorism in the opinion of Wisconsin's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which lauds the breaking of diplomatic relations between the Saudis and the Taliban.

    VOICE: The terrorist attacks on September eleventh sent a shock wave around the world, knocking the Saudis off their precarious perch. Keeping them on the right side of the fence will be an important, difficult and continuing obligation of U-S diplomacy.

    TEXT: The Minneapolis Minnesota Star Tribune, is concentrating on what it calls "the quandary facing Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf."

    VOICE: He's the leader of a nation whose perpetually misgoverned people resent leaders of any sort ...[and where] a growing number ... are fondly disposed toward Islamic fundamentalism... now the U-S government has come calling to [General] Musharraf with an offer: Help us hunt down Osama bin Laden - - or else. It's a Hobson's choice...[Editors: an old English-language expression meaning no choice at all "six of one, half a dozen of the other"]

    TEXT: In another editorial, The Star Tribune worries that many anti-Taliban Afghans will starve unless food aid is reinstated, including those Afghans streaming into Pakistan. Today's Chicago Tribune looks toward Amman, as it suggests Jordan is another important player in U-S anti terrorism policy. And the paper salutes last week's Senate action approving a bilateral trade pact with Jordan that had languished for months... It reminds:

    VOICE: There are many ways the U-S and its allies will fight terrorists ... [and] one of the battlegrounds will be commerce.

    TEXT: In Northern California, The San Jose Mercury News speaks up for U-S anti-war dissenters who are, the paper fears, "being [accused] of being un-American. That's ... unsettling..." The Orlando Sentinel adds "pacifists and other critics shouldn't fear angry or even rude opposition to their beliefs."

    TEXT: The Dallas [Texas] Morning News, after an editorial board meeting with a noted Islamic scholar from U-C-L-A, writes:

    VOICE: Osama bin Laden's views diverge widely from classical Islamic texts, but he delivers his views as if he were speaking in God's name.

    TEXT: And lastly on this topic, Hawaii's Honolulu Star Bulletin is concerned about how much information the administration should release on its war on terrorism.

    VOICE: ...President Bush has a singularly difficult task as he maneuvers on the unmapped battlefields of the war on terror. He must ry to balance the fundamental need to lead by telling the American people, our allies and friends what he is doing to prosecute that war against the vital need for secrecy in military operations, diplomatic negotiations or financial manipulation.

    TEXT: Turning to other topics, the Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, is coming in for both criticism and commendation in today's press for remarks about Islam. The Washington Post says he humiliated his country:

    VOICE: ... with his deeply dangerous rantings about Islam. "We must be aware of the superiority of our civilization, a system that has guaranteed well-being, respect for human rights and - - in contrast with Islamic countries- - respect for religious and political rights..."

    TEXT: The Post calls the remarks "unacceptable." But The Wall Street Journal, after studying the comments, wonders:

    VOICE: ...what did Mr. Berlusconi say that was really so scandalous? He noted ...that if we are going to war with Islamic terrorism, "we should be confident of the superiority of our civilization." That's no exactly a new idea. The Western allies went into World War Two confident of the superiority of their values over those of the Nazis and Japanese militarists.

    TEXT: The paper adds, "... the Italian's point about relative levels of prosperity and religious tolerance is clearly true." Lastly, this is the first Monday in October, which means the U-S Supreme Court begins its new term as notes The New York Times:

    VOICE: There is no shortage of intriguing cases, including ... school vouchers, affirmative action, property rights and the death penalty.

    TEXT: That concludes this sampling of editorial comment from Monday's U-S press.

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