November 2001

"Aimless bombing"

The Finnish press is drawing attention to the lack of unity in the West's war against terrorism. In an editorial, the national daily Helsingin Sanomat (28 October) writes that an increasing number of doubting voices have been raised in Western Europe. The paper remains largely sympathetic to the American and British attacks against Afghanistan but adds that the situation in the Islamic world is unpredictable.

Helsingin Sanomat writes that the US-led war against terrorism has run into problems in Afghanistan and the warning words of American leaders about a long campaign are becoming true.

"The central problems are raising doubts in many countries of the alignment about the bombing campaign and the difficulties in assembling a new government to replace the Taliban."

In a more severe criticism of the bombing campaign, the left-wing newspaper Kansan Uutiset (31 October 2001) writes that the United States doesn't seem to know what it wants in Afghanistan. The paper headlines its editorial "Aimless bombing".

"The bombings will probably continue for months without noticeable results or clear aims. There will be more civilian casualties. Winter will arrive in Afghanistan any day now. Up to hundreds of thousands refugees may die of hunger or cold. It will not be possible to just say that the campaign against terrorism has a price. The campaign is terrorism itself and a crime against humanity."

Kansan Uutiset suspects that the wide-spread sympathy felt towards Americans after the Twin Towers attack is quickly disappearing.

Journalist Maila-Katriina Tuominen, writing in the regional newspaper Aamulehti (31 October 2001), says that the news language now speaks of human catastrophe. "Does this concern any of us?" she asks.

"International aid organisations do their best in Pakistan as well as in other countries neighbouring on Afghanistan. But they can only give first aid.

"They cannot, however, change NATO-supported United States politics, climatic conditions or the approaching winter or the drought which has for a long time created problems for the countries in the region.

"Only peace can save the country torn apart by bombs."

See also:

Opposition to NATO grows

1 October 2001

"I am not at war, are you?"

24 September 2001

"New epoch has begun"

13 September 2001

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