Press Review [Archives:2001/44/Press Review]
Here is a review of excerpts from articles published in some Yemeni press for this week focusing on the war against Afghanistan and its consequences particularly on the Afghan people.
Al-Mithaq weekly, organ of People’s General Congress party, 22 Oct. 2001
Mr Hamoud Munassar says in an article that securing an attitude adopted by Arab and Islamic public opinion, even though a neutral one, is to be considered a significant gin for the American administration in its war on terrorism. This is actually what has up to now been realized. It can be said that this is actually the stand really embodying the state of alliance now established with the United States in its war on terrorism. But it is obvious that the alliance system is large-scaled and with multi-lateral fronts and forms of action.
I do not know whether the Arab and Islamic governments that exercised pressure on the Arab street and prevented the masses from expressing their feelings towards the Afghan Muslim people, have done that decidedly and informed the American side that that is part of their participation in the war against terrorism and a form of alliance with the United States. It is not clear whether this stance is out of fear from America and concern about their future or not. Or is it adopted due to their weakness?
Al-Wahdawi weekly, organ of the Nasserite People’s Unionist party, 23 Oct. 2001
Mr Abdulkarim al- Khaiwani writes in an article that when America launches an aggression on a poor country it is a matter the world has got used to. And when America musters allies for its war is a kind of repeated scene of the alliance of interest and fear from the power and when the U.S. intelligence groups remnants of opposition of any country to use it their country is in fact an used up policy. What is different this time is to wage a war, establish an alliance and change a regime, and all this is based on suspicion.
America’s previous wars are given justifications the presidents are keen to fabricate just to give them legitimacy, legality and logic with the public opinion and the regimes allied to it. If we consider America’s present war we would find out it is something different and fabricated lock, stock and barrel. Even president Bush and his administration say it is different. The odds are they do not consider it different with regard to various weapons used in it, for they are used to experiment the latest types of deadly weapons in their wars, but the difference is rather lies in the policy of the war, its justifications and ways of imposing it under circumstances shrouded with the shock prevailing the world since the explosions of 11 September.
The war on Afghanistan nowadays represents America’s absurdism freedom of killing, destruction and plundering of riches. Any alliance or support or even silence towards it means only conceding to this interpretation of freedom. The war for combating terrorism derives its legitimacy from terrorism itself. Terrorism of state is something good, contrary to individuals or groups terrorism which is bad, according to American official categorization. Given this, the Zionist terrorism is a legitimate right but resisting occupation is terrorism that must be eliminated. Even the right of peoples to liberation of their lands and getting their independence and freedom are categorized as terrorism.
Al-Jamaheer weekly, organ of the Arab Baath Socialist Party, Syrian organization, 21 Oct. 2001
The newspaper’s editor-in-chief says in his this week’s article that any military analyst of the nature of the present American attack on Afghanistan would find out that it is a comprehensive offensive aimed at all Afghanistan rather than depending on selection of some military and economic infrastructures, as is the goals of wars in order to malfunction artillery as a means of defense. It is an offensive of great destructive energy where sophisticated weapons have been used for the first time. It is an offensive lacking the theory of relative balance. Up today the offensive is justified on dependence of suspicion and absence of scientific evidence, and this makes it illegitimate and confirms the principle of premeditation. This American war has reflected an inhumane tendency by using internationally prohibited weapons and targeting innocent non-combat citizens and caused the displacement of millions of people escaping from the inferno of war. It has also exposed these millions to starvation and diseases in violation of human rights principles and rules of treating war victims.
The current American offensive has provoked sentiments and feelings of Moslems all over the world and pushed them to stage protest demonstrations and declare their wrath towards it. The general directions of the U.S. war are taking dangerous targets not aimed at Afghanistan only but are an introduction for a large-scale scheme aimed at deployment of American military forces in various parts of the world and to impose control over its most important inlets and outlets.
Yemen Observer, English-language weekly, 27 Oct. 2001
In its editorial on terrorism, the newspaper says ” Not a day goes by since September 11 without talking about terrorism; the more we discuss terrorism, the more in disagreement we become about defining it. Should we define terrorism in general or should we limit it to political, religious, physical or psychological terrorism?”
Yemen Observer editorial maintains that ” we should define it so that we don’t repeat it as history repeats itself. We should define it so that no person, organization or even country could use it to settle scores and personal feuds. It should be defined so that religions, cultures and rights of people are not mistaken for terrorism.
All of us could play a role by holding conferences at the regional level and call for an International c
onference under the umbrella of the United Nations on defining terrorism. The clear definition on terrorism will set the record straight and prevent us from religious and culture clashes, the editorial concluded.”
26 September weekly, organ of Yemen Armed Forces, 25 Oct. 2001
The newspaper has this week devoted its editorial to discuss the Arab-American relationship. It says that no two persons may differ about the danger the terrorist organizations pose to safety and security of world countries and regions. All agree on the importance of resolutely and powerfully encountering all forms and sources of terrorism. Out of this Yemen has declared its stand versus terrorism, condemned it and expressed readiness to work within the international community to fight it.
Unfortunately, there are some who try to exploit these tense atmospheres resulting from the terrorist acts carried out against the United States to derail them from their goal towards creation of rift between religions, civilizations and peoples. The Arabs stand by America against terrorism, but it is a stance committed to the UN charter and Arabs religious, cultural and common interests constants.
Yemen is keen to deal with events with wisdom and reason, away from emotions and reactions. It takes into consideration its national and pan-Arab constants at the forefront of the bases of taking decisions. It in the meantime calls upon all Arab countries for more unity and commitment to stand up to terrorism, armed with an Arab unified stand contributing to an international effort in this context. The Arabs should push towards implementation of the U.S. promise for the establishment of a Palestinian state, according to the International resolutions, in order to eliminate of seminaries of tension that Israel is exploiting for its own interest aimed at poisoning atmospheres of Arab-American relations. Al-Isboa weekly, 25 Oct. 2001
Mr Hassan al-Udaini writes an article on the U.S. vengeance mania saying that American is taking revenge for the killing of its citizens from citizens of another country. The question is that the punishment is taken against innocents having no hand in what happened in New York City and Washington on 11 September. Since the beginning of air raids on Afghanistan on 7 October, hitting civilian targets have been repeated and are increasing every day. The Americans attribute targeting civilian targets to being by mistake. This is something hard to believe because repetition of such strikes and the U.S. sophisticated weapons provide the American army with precision in targeting and exclusion of committing mistakes. Therefore, weighing the possibility of intentional hitting of civilian targets and killing of thousands of civilians over being mistaken ones, is more logical.
Al-Ihya’ al-Arabi weekly, organ of the Arab Baath Socialist party, Iraqi organization, 23 Oct. 2001
An editorial written by Dr Qassem Sallam says that the term ”terrorism” has today becomes an American-Zionist bugbear to be taken as an excuse against Arab and Muslims and to impose on them within the context of the American and Zionist logic in the aftermath of attacks of 11 September in New York and Washington. The explosions have been taken advantage of by America and the Zionist entity as a golden opportunity to justify their criminal aggressions against the Palestinian and the Iraqi people and against all Arabs and Muslims in the world.
Those incidents were an opportunity for realizing the American-Zionist strategic goal in the Arab homeland to confront with Arabism and Islam. On the other hand they want it an opportunity for imposing their actual and practical hegemony on the Arab countries whom have been forced to accept the principle of partnership in implementing the American scheme in its strategic dimension and depth in the Arab homeland and the Muslim world proceeding from the events of 11 September in the context of opening its bloody file in Iraq and the Zionist file in Palestine.
Ath-Thawri weekly, organ of YSP, 25 Oct. 2001
The newspaper’s editorial raises a question on whether what is happening in Afghanistan does really reflect the international will and can a large-scale military action like this uproot terrorism and dry up its resources for good.
The editorial maintains that answering such questions will be more pessimistic the longer the war goes on and losses redoubled among the defenseless civilians. The outcome of the American-British attack on Afghanistan has limited results in terms of achieving the slogan of combating terrorism, whereas there is accumulation of catastrophes as depicted by images of humanitarian sufferings of the Afghan children and women. This would consequently weaken legitimacy of the war or lessen its continuation avail. This war is practically grinding life of thousands of the innocent and is no longer capable of retaining its attractiveness with the public opinion. Terrorism cannot be eradicated by warplanes raids and shelling with missiles.
Yemen’s political parties and organizations and the masses have condemned all forms of terrorism and they in the meantime condemn rendering defenseless people into a target for itself. They also believe that causing civilians, anywhere in the world, to be victims of wars and conflicts, is by all standards condemned terrorism.
RAY weekly organ of Sons of Yemen League party, 23 Oct. 2001.
Columnist Faisal Sultan Al-Soufi has said in his article that complaining of terrorism inside Arab countries has preceded that of America and the West. When some Arab countries used to seek help for fighting terrorism, Britain and the U.S. used to protect terrorists, give them shelter and keep them away from legal pursuits. They would not consider them as terrorists but rather refugees. This policy is also applied to the case of Israel that practices terrorism but the Americans consider it victim trying to protect itself against harm.
When terrorist acts took place in New York and Washington the war against terrorism flared up and those who used to invest terrorism as a means in their international political conflicts have discovered that terrorism is a double-edged weapon. America fights back the terrorism that fights it. It wants to eliminate only the kind of terrorism that dares to attack it. That is why it does not want to fight this enemy through the United Nations through an international agreement defining terrorism and establish a mechanism for international cooperation in combating terrorism all over the world. America and Britain would not object to use terror as a whip lashing the backs of other countries.