Der Tagesspiegel, Berlin, Oct. 1: In normal times, only a minority of American citizens is interested in foreign policy. But that may change after Sept. 11. Because the population senses that the embargo policy against Iraq that has claimed 1.5 million innocent lives, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia -- the holy land of the Muslims -- and the one-sided support of Israel and its occupation policy may be connected with the barbaric plane actions.
Global inequality: In addition, the awareness is growing that increasing global inequality could have similar consequences as the huge social differences at home. The simple cry for more jails falls just as short as the simple cry for war.
La Repubblica, Rome, Oct. 2: They say nothing will ever be as it was before but in fact ancient myths and memories are blending with the tragedy and madness of the present.
The first World War of the Third Millennium features America, the modern Tower of Babel, against Afghanistan and its caves; the U.S. national security adviser Condoleeza Rice, who symbolizes racial integration against Osama bin Laden, a modern "Old Man of the Mountain." It is a war made up of thousands of wars.
Irreconcilable worlds: Meanwhile, we are witnessing an international avalanche of analysis, rhetoric and stereotypes and two irreconcilable worlds, united by their reciprocal crises -- the technocrats of the West who think they are God but cannot manage the economy, the environment and social relations, and the fundamentalists of Islam who yearn for the world to be managed by a God who has not delivered them from poverty and isolation.
The Daily Telegraph, London, Oct. 1: Bin Laden's turban and beard are supposed to proclaim his Islamic authenticity, but his mind is that of the modern Western revolutionary. His rage is not that of the "primitive" tribesman, but of the student protester who wants to blow up Daddy's company. Not for nothing does the word taliban mean "students." Not for nothing were the attacks in America the "perfect" modern crime: the deed understood Western fears, trumped Western films, expressed a Western fantasy.
Bogus claim: Bin Laden's claim to speak for Islam, therefore, is just as bogus as was Lenin's to speak for "the people." "Hostility toward America is a religious duty," he told Time magazine in 1999. Yet that "duty" is no more in the Koran than the idea that God is an Englishman is in the New Testament.
NRC Handelsblad, The Hague, Oct. 1: President Bush asked the American people to be patient in the war against terrorism. A balanced approach creates time for thorough preparation, but also creates time for problems to arise.
The tide is turning after the provocative words from the Taliban, the possible dissension about a precise military operation and the fact that there is no operation launched yet.
The president has to act, his time is limited.