INTRO: U-S newspapers continue to discuss various security measures for defending the nation in the wake of terrorist attacks last month. Other topics include an appropriate response to the Afghanistan-based terrorists, helping the Afghan people, a discussion of Central Asian nations, and the debate between the need for increased security and the need to maintain civil liberties in the United States. Here is _________ with a closer look and some quotes in today's U-S Editorial Digest.
TEXT: Various aspects of national security continue to be vigorously debated in U-S newspaper editorial columns. In the Chicago Tribune, there is an assessment of former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, the head of the newly created Office of Homeland Security.
VOICE: Tom Ridge's job will be the toughest in government after the president's. ... (Mr.) Bush said that (Governor) Ridge would "lead, oversee, and coordinate a comprehensive national strategy to safeguard our country against terrorism..." ... (That) will be an enormous task ... Yet, given the dispiriting effect the terrorist attacks have had ...(Governor) Ridge's office will be expected to rev up its operations quickly.
TEXT: The Boston Globe, citing new security measures and conceding that life will never be the same, worries about the fine line between "prudence and paranoia?" The newspaper frets that the next attack may be very different from the last. Better border control and security is the concern of the Dallas (Texas) Morning News and the Seattle Times, which wants to "strengthen border security with Canada." Bioterrorism is on the minds of the editorialists at the Palm Beach (Florida) Post, Wisconsin's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the San Antonio (Texas) Express-News. All point out the death toll at the World Trade Center and Pentagon would pale before a successful bacteriological or chemical attack. Says the San Antonio Express-News:
VOICE: ...Fewer than 15-million doses of smallpox vaccine are in stock, but officials (say) 40-million would be needed to ward off a serious onslaught...
TEXT: The Atlanta (Georgia) Constitution comments that domestic air travel is safer today than before the attack because of increased security, and urges people to resume flying. The Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle says "kill, not capture" Osama bin Laden, the renegade Saudi Arabian businessman and alleged terrorist leader, adding: "...it will send a strong message that America will hunt down and shoot to kill lawless warlords who (think) ... they are on a mission from God."
TEXT: The Boston Globe says the U-S strategy, although unstated, is to remove the Taleban from power, and it agrees, calling that goal "a great blessing for nearly all Afghans." The Des Moines (Iowa) Register and the Saint Louis (Missouri) Post-Dispatch are worried about the starving Afghan people, displaced by years of famine and war, and now by the threat of a U-S attack on the Taleban. Says the Post-Dispatch:
VOICE: Winter will soon arrive and the suffering will be magnified. Bodies are still being pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Center. ... Yet even in the aftermath of our own national tragedy, the United States has not ignored that distant tide of human misery.
TEXT: The newspaper says U-S food aid to Afghanistan may soon total 100-million dollars, with some of it already arriving. The Birmingham (Alabama) News cheers the Bush administration decision to strengthen Afghan groups opposed to the Taleban including the Northern Alliance. And the Louisville (Kentucky) Courier-Journal praises the administration for its slow and deliberate steps -- rather than haste towards a counter attack. The Los Angeles Times, noting the arrests of dozens of alleged terrorists in Spain, Britain, Germany, and France, says:
VOICE: As this international campaign against violent extremists gains momentum, such coordinated and aggressive actions are imperative -- and far more important than the small number of arrests might imply.
TEXT: Surveying the United States' allies in Central Asia, the New York Times sounds a bit uneasy, suggesting:
VOICE: ... The new campaign against terrorism is pulling Washington ever closer to tyrants and satraps in Central Asia. Three of the least appealing leaders -- in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan -- have now become American allies against their southern neighbor Afghanistan. ... Some short-term cooperation ...may (be required)...but Washington should not give these dictators license to (abuse) Muslim citizens.
TEXT: U-S newspapers also are discussing plans that some say would restrict civil liberties as security and law enforcement are strengthened. The Seattle (Washington) Post-Intelligencer says, "Everyone should worry about civil liberties," and The Atlanta (Georgia) Constitution warns that Attorney General John Ashcroft: "... must be careful ... not to cross the line between a prudent sense of urgency and self-serving scare tactics" as he tries to get new law enforcement powers through Congress.
TEXT: On another topic, the action by the Supreme Court to disbar former President Bill Clinton draws approval from the Chattanooga Free Press, that says it:
VOICE: ... was called for by Mr. Clinton's unfortunate record of illegal misbehavior. Such suspensions nearly always lead to permanent disbarment, and this one should.
TEXT: Not so, says the Boston Globe:
VOICE: The Supreme Court, which changed history ... by allowing the Paula Jones civil suit to go forward while Bill Clinton was president, will compound that error if it now disbars him permanently...
TEXT: And the Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) Post-Gazette comments about the election last month in Belarus, in which President Alexander Lukashenko was reelected to another five year-term under questionable conditions.
VOICE: His economic policy, labeled "market socialism," ties his country's economy closely to Russia's, comparable to being chained to a corpse. ... Mr. Lukashenko has (not)... been given any sort of mandate.
TEXT: And, the Chicago Tribune is delighted that Japan's banks are "
finally -- confronting the mountains of bad loans that have paralyzed
lending (there) for a decade.
And that concludes this editorial sampling from Tuesday's U-S