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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 March, 2004, 17:24 GMT
World's press examines 3/11 impact
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The impact of the Madrid bombings and the Spanish election result for the future of Iraq and the broader war on terror have attracted press attention far beyond Europe's borders.

From the Middle East to Asia, there is a widespread view that the outgoing Spanish Government was defeated by the bombings and its own initial response to them. The new government's plan to withdraw troops from Iraq is seen creating headaches for other coalition countries.

In Africa, editorials call for a renewed focus on the root causes of terrorism and a stronger role for the UN in tackling it.

Spain's announced withdrawal will now likely increase popular pressure on other pro-US governments to withdraw their troops... Countries that opposed the Iraq war and have so far escaped al-Qaeda's terrorism may be lulled into thinking that they can purchase peace by taking an anti-US stance, or at least anti-Israel one. This is a fallacy in its own right.

Jerusalem Post - Israel

Europe... suffers from short-sightedness, because its politicians are courting the votes of the Muslims who have flooded their countries; because the feelings of superiority-inferiority towards the US play a role in undermining their recognition of the US's centrality in defending democracy; and mainly because its peoples and governments are interested in comfort now, not in any possible sacrifice for a better future later.

Dan Margalit in Ma'ariv - Israel

If it is proven that al-Qaeda was behind the bombings in Madrid, Spain will have paid the price for taking part in the US adventure in Iraq.

Ghasan Sharbal in Al-Hayat - London-based, Saudi-owned

The Spanish buried their dead and rose up to go to the ballot box, thus teaching Anglo-Saxon democracy a lesson: Democracy has to defend itself, but only with more democracy... Anglo-Saxon democracy jails freedom in a security cage and a wallet of money.

Hassan Al-Batal in Al-Ayyam - Palestinian

Appreciating that terrorists cannot operate without help is key to understanding the role that poverty and injustice (real or perceived) play in creating support for the kind of people who fly aircraft into buildings or who carry bombs onto trains... The only sure defence is to rob the killers of support. And you do that, even if you are the great president of the US, by dedicating yourself to the poor and the dispossessed of the world.

Business Day - South Africa

The barbaric terrorist attack in Spain calls for a much more sober and deeper reflection on the problem of terrorism... It is a mistake for the US and its allies, Spain and Britain, to believe that the strong sentiments that breed terrorism can be neutralized by force... The world cannot be saved unless a path of international peace and cooperation is pursued. It is indispensable to return to the United Nations its role in the attainment of peace.

The Post - Zambia

The Spanish Government has paid the price for lying to its voters and manipulating public opinion - after apparently reaping the consequences of unrepentant engagement... in the US-led war of occupation in Iraq... The high voter turnout signalled... a poignant salute to those who had lost their lives on an irresponsible and dishonourable government's account.

The Hindu - India

The Spanish Government fell because of a terror attack. Could other "anti-terror allies" of the Bush administration similarly collapse because of terror attacks, while the extremists start more fatal attacks? It will be harder for the US to persuade its European allies to send troops to Iraq... But for Bush, who is used to fighting on his own, it is "certainly not important" whether he has allies.

Renmin Wang, web site of China's Communist Party paper People's Daily

All the indications are that Spain will now cast its lot with France and Germany, both of which objected to the misguided American idea of going into Iraq without a United Nations mandate... Tony Blair, facing election early next year, may have to face a public grown weary of the occupation of Iraq and continuing questions over the original justifications for the war. There is no ruling out the possibility this will become an election issue.

South China Morning Post - Hong Kong

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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