World News Headlines
The ongoing fight against terrorism was highlighted this week in frightening scenarios.
Earlier this week, the American military fired on and killed numerous civilians in Afghanistan, who, according to Afghan reports, were celebrating a wedding and who were mistakenly identified as members of the Taliban. As Yahoo! News reported, “mounting anger about the civilian casualties could undermine the Western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai, and complicate American efforts to track down Taliban and al Qaeda fugitives in the country… Experts say Karzai’s government will have to deal with a lot of ant-American feeling as a result of the tragedy… Although Karzai has not condemned the attack in person, he has asked the Americans to inform Afghan authorities about future operations, something the U.S. military may be reluctant to do.” The American military defended the deadly attack, saying it believed senior Taliban leaders were sheltering in the village and that its planes had received anti-aircraft fire from several locations close to the houses. Afghans maintain the villagers were merely firing in the air to celebrate the wedding of the son and daughter of two tribal leaders, with 500 guests assembled for a five-day party.
Der Spiegel commented on the affair with strong words against the American warfare, reminding its readership that this is by no means the first time that innocent civilians, including women and children, were accidentally killed in Afghanistan by the USA. The magazine pointed out that in December, 150 civilians were killed in a village by the American military, and additional 14 civilians died in March. It concluded its report as follows, “Marc Herold, Professor at the University of New Hampshire, published a document at the beginning of the year, stating that more than 4000 civilians have been killed from October 7, 2001, until January 4, 2002.”
In a tragic twist of events, a shooting took place on the fourth of July at the Los Angeles International Airport, during which three people, including the gunman, were killed. According to the FBI, there is no proof for a terrorist activity, although the government of Israel claims otherwise. The gunman, who is originally from Egypt, shot at and killed an employee of an Israeli airline.
As Yahoo! News reported this week, Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller, whose country took over the presidency of the EU on Monday, urged the United States to work with the European Union to start a new, concrete and realistic peace process for the Middle East. Moeller said the Palestinians must keep their promise to hold elections soon, but Israel should withdraw its forces from Palestinian self-rule areas if elections are to take place. Moeller said the EU would continue to back Yasser Arafat as long as he remained the democratically elected leader of the Palestinian Authority. Referring to President Bush’s speech on June 24, outlining his vision of a Mideast peace, Moeller said too much attention had been paid to Arafat’s future and not enough to Bush’s commitment to establishing a Palestinian state. Although Arafat has dismissed a senior Palestinian security official this week, he has given no indication that he will step down, and while many Palestinians have complained about their leaders, Arafat’s position still appears solid.
While Syria has offered help in the U.S.-led fight against terrorism, they will not cease supporting the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah — which has been linked to the deaths of hundreds of Americans. As Yahoo! News pointed out, Hezbollah was linked in the 1980s to a series of suicide bombings and kidnappings of Westerners that killed more than 260 Americans. Today, besides a guerilla army, Hezbollah runs schools, hospitals and media outlets. It has nine members in the 128-seat legislature of Lebanon.