WORLD NEWS HEADLINES
JAPAN CONSIDERS NUCLEAR ARMAMENT
An article appearing in the Sunday, June 9, 2002, edition of The Denver Post reveals that some Japanese are openly challenging that nation’s traditional pacifism. The article refers to Yasuo Fukuda, the chief Cabinet secretary: “In comments that stunned many here, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s top aide told reporters last week that what Japan calls its three non-nuclear principles could soon come under review.” The three non-nuclear principles are never to own, produce or allow nuclear weapons on Japanese territory.
This public declaration has stirred a wave of criticism; however, the article goes on to point out, “Despite the denials of an imminent change, remarks like these indicate that a major shift in Japanese security thinking is underway.”
Quoting from the article, the point is made that this stand is not isolated or without political consensus when considering “…other recent statements that show an erosion of support for pacifism.”
The increasing power of China and doubts of America’s ability to provide Japan’s security needs lies squarely behind this new wave of self-reliance. It is estimated that Japan could produce between 3,000 to 4,000 nuclear warheads. There is little doubt that Japan’s great technical know-how would quickly usher it into the nuclear family.
Headlines in both national and international news sources quoted Colorado’s governor, Bill Owens: “All of Colorado is burning today!”
Now called the worst fire problem in the nation, and locally identified as the worst fire in this state’s history, the so-called Hayman Fire is engulfing staggering amounts of acreage and driving residents to seek safety and prayerfully hope that their home and belongings will be spared.
These fires are directly related to the brutal drought conditions that hold sway throughout the region. Forests are bone dry and full of abundant fuel. Environmental policies along with long standing land management attitudes have contributed to forests which have not experienced regular burnings–a kind of self-pruning occurrence that normally prevented the kind of catastrophic fire storms now sweeping through the state.
It is remarkable to note that these fires and the current drought are called without precedent! These catastrophes are moving right off any scale of comparison for our nation’s history! There is a kind of stalking fear that is unnerving people as we all wonder, “What next?”
GERMAN PRESS VIEW OF THE US
On June 7, Der Spiegel published an article warning that a crash of the U.S. dollar may be near. It states, “Another symbol of American predominance suddenly appears to be vulnerable: The dollar has lost its reputation of a secure haven…. The dollar has lost nine percent since February in comparison with the Euro and the Yen… Observers express their fear that the weak dollar may reflect a new, fundamental mistrust of the world against the United States.”
In a second article of June 7, Der Spiegel criticized the Bush administration for its tariffs on steel. It cites with approval the Washington Post, stating that these tariffs “have never been a good idea,” but that now, “they appear to be ridiculous.” It points out that due to the higher prices of imported steel, the decline of the dollar, and the bankruptcies of several American companies dealing with steel, the consequences for the American economy may be devastating, including a price increase for cars and other products made out of or with steel, and the loss of employment for steel workers.
In an article of June 11, Der Spiegel questions the accuracy of the reports that a detained U.S. citizen accused of plotting to attack the United States with a “dirty bomb” are accurate or even credible. The magazine points out that there are very few, if any, proofs for these allegations, and there is “practically no evidence” that such an attack was ever planned. At the same time, the U.S. citizen, under an old military law, is held without being charged, and he is not allowed to see or communicate with an attorney.
In an article of June 12, Der Spiegel reports the outcry of the parliament in Netherlands against the United States, due to the approval, in principle, of an American law by both houses of Congress that would make possible an American invasion in The Netherlands, to take over and/or neutralize the International Criminal Court in Den Haag, if an American citizen would be tried there — the irony with our report in the previous news clip regarding the questionable detention of an American citizen in the US notwithstanding. When discussing possible invasion of the Netherlands, democrat David Obey pointed out that it could be done with ships, or through the air.
THE MIDDLE EAST
This week saw further violence in the Middle East caused by suicide bombers, blowing themselves up and killing innocent civilians. The series of violent incidents erupted as Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was in Washington to persuade congressional leaders that Arafat is not a partner for peace talks because of persistent Palestinian violence. In an interview with the German newspaper “Bild,” Israeli President Katsav warned that no country on the face of this earth, including Germany, Spain, Italy or France, will be secure and protected from terrorism, if the Palestinians should be successful with their terror against Israel. He also accused Europe of having “encouraged” terrorism when they supported Arafat, pointing out that 80% of Palestinians killed by Israelis were terrorists, while 80% of Israelis killed by Palestinians were civilians. He stated, “The hypocrisy of the West is sometimes really intolerable.” He concluded that after 2000 years of suffering, persecution, and the holocaust, the Jews have found a home. “And,” he said, “we will fight for it.”