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EDITORIAL ROUNDUP

on August 03, 2014 1:09 AM

Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States and abroad:

Miami, July 28, Miami Herald on Israel’s challenge:

When Hamas decided to initiate rocket attacks on Israel, it invited the furious reprisal that began earlier this month. Three times since 2006, Israel has responded to aerial assaults on its citizens with fierce counter-attacks, and each time the fighting has come to an inconclusive end that allows its enemies to replenish their arsenals and start planning for the next round. ...

The images from the funerals of Israeli troops are heart-rending. The scenes of horror and destruction in Gaza, gut-wrenching. No one could wish for the people of Gaza to endure prolonged misery.

But it was Hamas that wished for the fighting. First, by attacking Israel, and then by rejecting an Egyptian cease-fire proposal because it wanted its own narrow demands addressed first. ...

Throughout the fighting, Hamas has used the civilian population of Gaza as hostages. That is one big reason the terrorist group has worn out its welcome there. ...

Israel must be allowed to crush the threat from Hamas, not just for a few months or a year (the last cease-fire took effect in November 2012), but for the foreseeable future. The right of self-defense is not negotiable.

While it is putting an end to Hamas, Israel must also do a better job of avoiding civilian casualties. ... Israel has both a moral necessity to avoid civilian casualties and an enormous self-interest in ensuring that mistakes resulting in more civilian killings don’t happen.

Dubai, July 30, Khaleej Times on shadows of 9/11:

The tragic incidents of 9/11 may be history but its aftermath is still haunting the Americans. A recent report commissioned to inquire into the unexplored details of the trauma, which changed the United States for times to come, says that terror is still around, and it has rather taken a more dangerous and sophisticated turn.

The 9/11 Commission Report categorically says that Americans need to do more to protect themselves. This conclusion after almost 14 years of warfare and worldwide surveillance speaks high of the missed targets as Washington went on to attack two sovereign countries and spent more than four trillion dollars to make the shores across the Atlantic safe and secure.

The report said the “general struggle” against terrorism is far from over, and rather it is entering a more dangerous phase of its existence. With the caution line of America cannot afford to lower the guard, the report has called for stringent measures in all walks of life from cyber terror to human bomb to tackle the menace of terrorism. It is hoped that these new findings and recommendations will go a long (way) in beefing up policy measures as the Homeland Security Department ups the vigil.

The report has come at a time when the world is witnessing new upheavals and the rise of the “Islamic State” militants in Iraq is a case in point. It needs to be debated that the new insurgents in Iraq who had established a so-called caliphate after being battered down from Syria at the hands of President Bashar al Assad are considered to be more serious than the dreaded al-Qaida.

If that is the case then Americans and especially its intelligence sleuths have to do some soul-searching as to why these extremists were not nailed down in Syria itself, and as to why militants on the loose from across the region — and that too in affiliation with al-Qaida — were allowed to successfully regroup against the lesser evil in Damascus. Had they been exterminated on the plains of Syria itself, this revulsion would not have taken place, which now directly threatens the entire region. ...

With the report calling for stringent efforts to fight the invisible enemy, Washington has to recast its security priorities and realign geopolitical realities. ... America cannot continue to fight proxies in the Middle East and it is time for it to get real.

The bottom line assessment of the 9/11 Commission says: “strenuous counterterrorism efforts will remain a fact of our national life for the foreseeable future.”

... The fine print of the report simply reads that America and the world is still not a safe place to live in.

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