May 4, 1995
OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING: LESSONS FOR ALL
Analysts from all corners of the globe again offered their thoughts on
why the bombing last month in Oklahoma City occurred. They worried
about how the U.S. will deal with the issue of domestic terrorism, and
pondered the wider implications for the U.S. and the international
community as nations face violence from within and without. President
Clinton received praise worldwide for his leadership and "earnestness"
as he dealt with the tragedy. Some pundits were also quick to point out
that the president stands to benefit politically from the Okhlahoma
incident, with one daily in London reporting on his rise in opinion
polls conducted by Time magazine and CNN.
Searching for underlying causes, several editorialists focused on anti-
government rhetoric that has been reportedly showcased on a variety of
far-right talk show programs and other fora. Writers asked how far such
talk should be allowed to go if it appears to encourage extremist
elements--present in all societies. Moscow's reformist Kommersant-Daily
had a rather bleak answer as to why violence seems to flourish not only
in emerging democracies, but in established ones as well: "In the
absence of vivid, 'natural'--political and economic--irritants, of which
there are plenty in Russia...residents of well-to-do and, hence,
'boring' nations come looking for an excuse to vent their--often
Opinionmakers said that there are difficult choices facing the U.S. as
it comes to grips with Oklahoma. Belgium's independent Catholic De
Standaard echoed the concern of others in the media: "The question is
whether individual freedoms will be sacrificed in order to exercise more
surveillance of the citizenry." Editorialists were mixed in their
answers, with some advocating greater gun control and anti-terrorist
measures, while others warned governments against any tendency to
overreact with policies that would infringe on rights and freedoms.
Media voices in the Arab and Muslim world again criticized the U.S.
media harshly for its apparent rush to blame the bombing on a Middle
Easterner. However, while the media were universally condemned, other
dailies expressed appreciation for President Clinton's voice of
restraint and admiration for the American people's response to the
bombing as a "human tragedy," rather than a political one.
A few journalists were optimistic that some good would come of the
tragedy, hoping that the world community would be galvanized into taking
steps against violence. Some were encouraged that America would, in the
end, demonstrate its greater strengths as it grapples with its problems.
Saudi Arabia's influential Al-Sharq Al-Awsat remarked, "The sort of
dialogue that is going on about the crisis in American society is a sort
of diagnosis that will allow the possibility of realizing one's
mistakes, and thus curing the problem at its source.... We can see
that...the chance of a full recovery from its ills will be more likely."
This survey is based on 59 reports from 26 countries, April 25-May 5.
EDITOR: Diana McCaffrey
BRITAIN: "Clinton Not Finished Yet"
William Rees-Mogg commented in the conservative Times (5/4), "The
Republicans have been forcibly reminded that Mr. Clinton is not finished
yet; some of them are starting to see him as a sort of Dracula in the
White House, who walks again each time he seems to have been disposed
"The political impact of Oklahoma has certainly made President Clinton
more formidable; it has not made ordinary Republicans like him any
better or trust him any more. It is strange to have to compare Mr.
Clinton with Franklin Roosevelt, yet the hostility of Republicans to the
president is probably greater than it has been since the 1930s. For
obvious party reasons, Republicans do not like Democratic presidents,
but we are now back to the total hostility which led ordinary
Republicans of the 1930s to talk angrily about 'that man in the White
House.' Most Republicans think that a second Clinton term would be
'disastrous for America,' and, as one of them added grimly to me,
'disastrous for the world.'"
"Clinton Benefitted Politically"
The conservative Daily Telegraph held (5/1), "President Clinton has
benefitted politically from the terrorist attack in Oklahoma City. His
standing has risen to a record level. In the aftermath of the bombing,
which has claimed at least 125 lives, a poll by Time magazine and the
CNN television network showed 60 percent of Americans approved of him.
Until the bomb...his ratings had seldom moved out of the 40 percent
"The bomb rekindled bitterness at Mr. Clinton deciding to receive Gerry
Adams, the Sinn Fein leader. Lady Thatcher, speaking in his home state
of Arkansas last week, likened it to Britain receiving the bombers.
(Oklahoma Senator) Nickles called the Adams visit a mistake. 'What kind
of signal is that sending?' he asked."
"Some Room For Demoacrat-Republican Agreement"
The independent Financial Times commented (5/1), "As members of Congress
trickled back into Washington over the weekend after a three-week
recess, many are bracing for a debate they believe could become the
sharpest clash over the direction of U.S. budget policy for a decade.
"Both Republicans and Democrats have planned retreats to rural resorts
in Virginia and Maryland to confer on strategy before the new session
begins in earnest, but already clear disagreements are emerging between
and within the parties over the path of government spending.
"At the same time, last month's car bomb in Oklahoma City and its link
to extremist 'patriotic militia' movements has turned attention to the
issue of counter-terrorist legislation--one area on which there seems to
be room for agreement between the Democratic administration and the
FRANCE: "Encouraging Murderous Acts"
Sara Daniel wrote in weekly left-of-center Le Nouvel Observateur (5/2),
"America just realized that one cannot always denounce the Washington
bureaucrats' corruption and claim the right of citizens to bear weapons
without encouraging drifts that led to one of the most murderous attacks
GERMANY: "Clinton's Answer To Prophets Of Hatred"
Washington correspondent Leo Wieland observed in right-of-center
Frankfurter Allgemeine (5/2), "When America is facing dark days, it is
up to the president to find the right words to express national
mourning, console the victims and express a feeling of solidarity and
confidence for the time after the disaster. Following the Oklahoma City
bombing, President Clinton fulfilled this task with credible earnestness
and eloquent urgency....
"Clinton's appeal to the Americans' democratic duty to offer audible
resistance to the prophets of hatred had something cathartic about it.
But now the social theory must be put into practice. With Clinton's
support, those in Congress who made a modest attempt to eliminate an
American evil when they imposed conditions for the possession of semi-
automatic weapons, must win the day....
"In insisting that tougher anti-terrorism laws are needed first, the
Republicans have postponed the planned revision of the Brady Bill--a
welcome gift for the National Rifle Association. In this debate,
Clinton has not only the right of veto but also the better arguments.
People are listening to him again after the bloodbath in Oklahoma."
"Making Sense Of Oklahoma"
Right-of-center weekly Rheinischer Merkur of Bonn carried a front-page
editorial (4/28), "If Oklahoma makes any sense at all, then only in the
sense that the United States is now dealing with its own contradictions.
Many questions must be answered: How far can the denouncement of the
federal authorities go? What about right-wing extremism in the United
States? Must radio talk shows really be that harsh...and what about the
wave of violence on TV?...
"The implications for these debates in Congress are hardly foreseeable.
Will dominating Republicans circles now rein in their rhetoric? Over
the past weeks and months, the bureaucrats and the 'waste of taxpayers'
money' had been criticized. The civil servants were abused as
beelzebubs and used as scapegoats. If the discussion concentrated more
on details, something would have been won. What is necessary would be a
discussion about the contents of the reform packages that both parties
"Democratic Societies Must Rely On Rule Of Law"
Joachim Geiger noted in centrist Protestant weekly Deutsches Allgemeines
Sonntagsblatt of Hamburg (4/28), "This crime would have been easier to
explain if Islamic fundamentalists had been responsible.... But,
because this is not the case, U.S. politicians, with President Clinton
at the helm, are glossing over their helplessness with sympathetic
words, but also with populist pleas for tougher laws, for capital
punishment. As if fanatic terrorists could be deterred by the death
"Democratic societies must defend themselves against terrorists
exclusively by relying on the rule of law. It is not decisive whether
law enforcement officials or intelligence services can bug suspects, but
it is decisive that such investigations can be controlled to avoid
arbitrariness and misuse....
"But the use of police does not replace politics. Pithy calls for law
and order may reassure some people, but terrorism can be countered only
with a policy that prevents an increasing number of people from looking
for jobs and apartments, perspectives and integration, and helps these
people not to experience an open society as a closed one."
RUSSIA: "Agressiveness In U.S. Society"
Yekaterina Akopova and Ippolit Pak judged in reformist, business-
oriented Kommersant-Daily (4/29), "The Oklahoma tragedy...drew the
attention of the whole world to the following: Aggressiveness, it
seems, becomes increasingly rooted in people's lives in developed
countries.... Growing aggressiveness is due not so much to the
propaganda of violence on television as to the human spirit, which is
forever in combat against something or somebody. In the absence of
vivid, 'natural'--political and economic--irritants, of which there are
plenty in Russia...residents of well-to-do and, hence, 'boring' nations
come looking for an excuse to vent their--often aggressive--energies....
Despite the emotionally charged atmosphere...it will not be easy for the
president to get anti-terrorist measures through Congress. Too many
people tend to see them as an encroachment on the sacred, constitutional
AZERBAIJAN: "The Terrorist (Criminal) Has No Nationality, Religion"
Independent Maarifci stated (5/2), "The events that have taken place
recently in Japan, South America and the United States itself--Oklahoma
City--have proven that, just as a criminal...does not have a nationality
or motherland, neither does he have any religious identity. The most
depressing thing is that, instead of struggling mercilessly and
resolutely against this scary phenomenon, officials of a number of
states keep referring to the nationality and religious identity of those
culprits and show an 'inclination' to accuse other countries of
'fundamentalism,' 'religious fanatism,' etc."
BELGIUM: "How Far Will U.S. Go To Protect Itself Against Terrorism?"
Lucas Ligtenberg wrote in independent Catholic De Standaard (5/2), "How
far is the United States willing to go to protect itself against
terrorism? The debate on more powers for the FBI and on anti-terror
measures is at its height. The question is whether individual freedoms
will be sacrificed in order to exercise more surveillance on the
citizenry. Civil rights groups are calling for moderation and are
expressing their concern over the proposals. President Clinton has
already proposed far-reaching measures while the Republicans in Congress
are also working on a proposal of their own. The Congress is expected
to take a series of measures before the end of this month."
CANADA: "U.S. Democracy On Trial After Terror In The Heartland"
Stephen Handelman wrote in the liberal Toronto Star commented (4/27),
"From the assassination of John Kennedy to the kidnapping of Patty
Hearst, political violence...is 'as American as apple pie.' All the
same, there is a qualitative difference in the menace stalking America's
towns and cities today.... The horror of Oklahoma City has plunged the
United States into a crucial debate over redefining democracy. It will
be closely watched around the world."
"Frightening Images Of America"
Jennifer Robinson commented in the liberal Montreal Gazette (4/27),
"There are other images of America, more ominous and frightening, that
have emerged since the bombing. They have focused public attention like
never before on aspects of U.S. violence and homegrown fanaticism....
Oklahoma is a tragedy of overwhelming proportions. But if there is any
enduring political good that comes from it, it will be to chill, at
least for a while, the excesses of the right and encourage fair-minded
silent Americans to speak up for tolerance. And right now in America,
that is sorely needed."
ESTONIA: "Republican Congress Supports Clinton During Disaster"
Top-circulation, center-right Postimees observed (5/2), "President
Clinton, pushed into the background after the November elections,
received support from the Republican-controlled Senate during the days
of mourning. Opposition leaders Robert Dole and Newt Gingrich, who
usually wing arrows of criticism toward the president, acknowledged
publicly that Clinton behaved in this difficult moment in a way that was
proper...for a head of state. The Republicans...moved rapidly on the
president's draft legislation on fighting terrorism and promised to
approve it in the Senate by the end of May."
SWEDEN: "After Oklahoma"
Conservative Svenska Dagbladet observed under the headline above (4/30),
"Following the public outcry over the bombing in Oklahoma, suddenly
there was an interesting Supreme Court decision which tries, for the
first time in decades, to limit the power of the federal government.
For years, Washington has tried to regulate the affairs of individual
states by stretching the paragraphs that regulate economic relations
between the states. This specific Supreme Court decision declares a
five-year-old law unconstitutional. The issue at stake is a law
prohibiting anyone to carry weapons close to a school building.
However, the Court's decision may be of greater importance when it comes
to the future demarcations between federal and state powers.
"The fact that anti-Washington forces can win a victory like this one at
a time when the attention of the media and the politicians moves in the
opposite direction may to some extent indicate the strength of a
political system based on a division of power."
BAHRAIN: "Beneficial Lessons Of Oklahoma"
Semi-official Al-Ayyam argued (4/29), "Regardless of the American
media's hastiness in accusing Middle East 'elements' of being involved
in the explosion...it cannot be denied that the American citizenry has
dealt with the explosion as a human tragedy and disaster more than as a
political one.... The Americans did not hesitate to condemn the
incident and consider it dangerous violence threatening their future as
citizens, threatening their lives and playing with their destinies....
It seems that we are in need of benefiting from the lesson of the
American citizens vision of the Oklahoma violence and to have a clear
common position against violence in the community.
"If the Americans are angry about the violence in Oklahoma, it is
because they see it from the point of view of being a danger threatening
the stability and security in the community... Therefore they asked
officials, the policemen and federal intelligence, to move quickly to
arrest those who committed the act. They consider these authorities to
be devoted to their service in such missions.... All this is because
violence can be placed in one category, and they do not justify it."
"Evidence Of U.S. Backwardness"
Semi-official Akhbar Al-Khalij held (4/30), "Principally, even if it
were not confirmed that those who committed the Oklahoma incident are
white Americans, even if it were established that the perpetrator is a
citizen from an Arab Islamic country, even if this were the case, it
obviously does not mean that all Arabs and Muslims are terrorists, or
that they are all responsible for what happened. If America is unable,
officially and on the public level, to realize this simple axiomatic
fact, this is without argument a backwardness in the civilization."
JORDAN: "Lesson For West, U.S."
Center-left Al-Dustur columnist Fakhri Saleh wrote (4/30), "The Oklahoma
bombing is an opportunity to reconsider the issue of Islamic extremism,
a cliche repeated often in Western addresses about Islam and the region.
The Western citizen is now convinced that religious extremism is indeed
Islamic extremism.... The ugly Oklahoma bombing should be a lesson for
the West and the United States."
"Time Has Come To Stop Accusing Arabs And Muslims For Every Explosion"
Yaqoub Jaber opined in Al-Dustur (4/30), "What happened in the United
States following the Oklahoma city bombing should not pass without
receiving the best attention from Arabs and Muslims. The hysteria that
prevailed and the ready-made accusations against Muslim and Arab
Americans require analysis.... The Americans realized that the enemy is
among them and that terrorism is not a phenomenon confined to a certain
race of people. They may realize that the time has come to stop
accusing the Arabs and Muslims every time there is an explosion in the
KUWAIT: "Strange American Freedom Of The Press"
Top-circulation, opposition Al-Qabas held (5/1), "None of the American
media apologized to the Arab and Muslim community in the United States
for the false accusation, but had that accusation been directed at
Jewish terrorists, hell would have been raised. Strange is the American
freedom of press; one is free so long as one avoids criticizing Jews,
and one is free to direct whatever charges and abuse against Arabs and
Muslims. So much for responible journalism."
"Wise U.S. Administration; Guilty U.S. Media"
Weekly Al-Majaless commented (4/30), "We would like to commend the wise
position adopted by the American administration and Clinton personally.
Calling on the American people not to rush and direct accusations
against Islamic organizations and Middle Eastern persons. Here we blame
the American media for rushing and issuing verdicts against Arabs and
MOROCCO: "U.S Entering Era Of Dismemberment?"
Opposition, Arab nationalist Al-Alam said (4/29), "This terrorizing
octopus of heavily armed militiamen is determined to torpedo
Washington's current political regime. Is the United States entering an
era of real internal dismemberment and collapse, like Yugoslavia and
SAUDI ARABIA: "What Is And Is Not Extremism"
The pro-government, English-language Arab News observed (4/30), "There
is a growing consciousness of an Islamic identity in the Muslim world.
Refusing to accept an inferior status, an assertive generation has
rejected the theory that Western postulates and prejudices represent the
last word in values and systems. They are seeking their roots, are
struggling to rediscover their own values. That, by no definition, is
"The Arab media has yet to describe the Oklahoma city bombers as part of
a growing American extremist movement that threatens the regime or the
world. To do so would be unfair and inaccurate. Equally unfair and
inaccurate it is for the Western media to label a region or a society
"Oklahoma, Occupied Palestine: America's Responsibility"
Ahmad Abou Al-Fath filed this commentary in influential, Islamic
moderate, internationally circulated Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (4/30), "Where is
the new (world) order? Yes, where is the new order that America has
trumpeted? Where is the stability and where are America's efforts in
order to achieve that stability and to stop the attacks that threaten
it--indeed demolish all the bases for the wished-for peace?
"The injustice, the occupation of land, the humiliation of people, the
bombing of houses in order to build settlements for those coming from
other countries while denying the sacred rights of the Muslims, the
Copts and the Christians--that and other issues have engendered this
revolutionary psychology and lead young men to give their lives.
"There is an enormous difference between those who are demanding their
just rights and do not get them, and those groups like the Michigan
Militia who are left by Washington and the various security forces to
arm themselves, knowing their enmity toward the country and the
"Does America understand that difference? I don't think so."
"Signs Of Health In U.S. Society"
Fahmi Howedi commented in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (5/1), "The sort of dialogue
that is going on about the crisis in American society is a sort of
diagnosis that will allow the possibility of realizing one's mistakes,
and thus curing the problem at its source. Such dialogue is a sign of
health, a positive sign, because finding the right diagnosis to a
problem carries one half the way toward finding a cure.
"If we compare a society where dialogue can take place about its ills
and crises no matter their enormity with another society that is
shutting its eyes and ignoring that ills exist, leaving them to fester
and nibble at its bones like a cancer, we can see that the former will
be in far better shape, and the chance of a full recovery from its ills
will be more likely."
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: "Government Duty: Gun Control"
In the view of the liberal Sydney Morning Herald (5/5), "It is
impossible to control the number of people with silly ideas. Not only
that; it is wrong to interfere with their freedom to think as they
please. It is, however, possible to control the number of guns in the
community, as well as how they are stored and how they are used. Not
only that; it is part of the duty of governments to exercise such
control.... The United States suffers terribly because of the perverted
interpretation of a constitutional provision of two centuries ago--the
so-called 'right to bear arms'--and the political power of its gun
"Lesson Of Oklahoma For All"
Melbourne's liberal Age commented (5/1), "We have been a relatively
lucky country in our peaceful multicultural development, prevailing
democratic consensus and reasonably shared prosperity, but we cannot
afford to be complacent. The lesson of Oklahoma is that terrorism is
not only a foreign threat. There are also enemies and dangers within."
CHINA: "Western Countries Should Look To Themselves For Blame"
The official Communist Party People's Daily opined (5/4), "In the past,
whenever a terrorist attack took place in a Western country, they
generally looked first at other countries in seeking the source of the
terrorism, some times even launching military attacks against certain
countries in the name of 'punishment.' The preliminary investigation
shows that the terrorist sources come from Japan's and America's own
lands. It seems that the Western countries should first of all look for
the causes of the terrorist activities within their own countries. The
developed countries must guard against outside terrorist activities and
at the same time must also guard against terrorist activities from
within their own countries. They must not always fix their eyes on the
INDONESIA: "Americans Cannot Wholly Be Faulted For Kneejerk Reaction"
The nationalistic, English-language Indonesian Observer commented (5/5),
"When the Oklahoma bombing took place last month, the American mindset
went to work by immediately suspecting person(s) of Middle Eastern
origin of being behind the despicable act. One can imagine (the
Americans') strong but concealed disappointment when U.S. law
enforcement officers arrested a white person as a prime suspect in the
hideous crime.... On balance, however, Americans...cannot wholly be
faulted for their kneejerk reaction of associating acts of terrorism
with (persons) who have chosen the Middle East region as their domicile.
It is noteworthy that in the past, the same group of people have openly
acknowledged that they were behind what the civilized world see as acts
THAILAND: "Life Or Individual Rights"
The mass-circulation Daily News commented (4/30), "Americans must choose
between life and individual rights.... One should not waste time
pondering over the fears that the United States might become a police-
state under (President Clinton's proposed) new law and that individual
rights might not be observed with the enhanced FBI power. Choose
yourself between your personal rights and the right to live longer."
IRAN: "Hellish Rule Of Hegemonistic Rulers In America"/
Official Jomhuri-Ye Eslami held (4/25), "Let us not forget that
immediately after the explosion and at a time when even initial
information on the explosion was not available, some American officials
and mass media aimed the sharp edge of their propaganda and
psychological war at the Muslims, alleging that they knew the
perpetrators of the explosion and that they should be sought among the
"Let us not forget that attributing blame for any incident without
carrying out the slightest investigation in a bid to fan the flames of
public hatred for their rivals is an old propaganda ploy used by the
West, especially America..... Today, Washington is trying to portray
Islam as the major culprit in every incident.... Today the lie-
disseminating mass media have no alternative but to apologize for the
sake of their prestige and to express regret for their initial
"The Oklahoma blast and other incidents throughout America show the
extent of the American public's dissatisfaction, protests and rage.
These incidents cannot simply be ignored.... In realistically assessing
this situation, the American public should conclude that the American
people are the major victims of the U.S. administration and of the
crimes and injustice that are being imposed on them, followed by other
nations that are also suffering from the hellish rule of the
hegemonistic rulers in America."
NEPAL: "The Whole World's Fight"
Semi-official, top-circulation Rising Nepal opined (4/28), "Demented and
destructive minds don't seem to care about borders, nor barriers, or
about sentiments and sacrilege. They strike according to their whims
and according to their crooked thinking.
"This makes such terrorists enemies of not just one sect of people,
society or even a country, but enemies of the people of the entire
world. If we are to go by the attacks recorded even just last week,
then it means no place in the world is safe....
"The positive side, because of the meticulous media coverage, is that
the bombing has drawn the attention of not only the people of the United
States, but of the entire world in anger against such criminal minds....
Terrorism is the ugly reality of the present day world. And as long as
there are those deformed minds ticking, it is hard to see a complete lid
being put on terrorist acts.... This is a fight of the entire world
against the ugly acts of a few, and though the battle may be tough, all
will have to join hands to stop such activities that cause anguish and
tragedy to so many."
PAKISTAN: "Dealing Fairly"
The centrist News remarked in a piece by Anwar Ahmad (5/2), "In its
general sense every society has its extremists--like Timothy McVeigh.
But if the amorphous term is confined to the obscurantist Islamic
clergy, it is a threat to Islam, not to the West. Western attempts to
suppress them, seen in the context of its discriminatory policies, only
swell their ranks and strengthen their resolve. The most potent weapon
against them is for the West to be seen as fair in its dealing with the
"Then, the contest will shift to its natural arena--within each Muslim
society, between progressive and retrogressive forces. The outcome will
determine the future of each Muslim society, without affecting the
GHANA: "Specter Haunting The USA"
The government-owned weekly tabloid Mirror commented (4/29), "A specter
is haunting and threatening the United States of America today. And
this specter is not so much the prohibitive levels of crime...as it is
with the advent of growing destructive and home-grown urban
"But in an outstanding display of rare leadership qualities in the face
of such an emotion-laden crisis, President Bill Clinton in his White
House address to the American people on the incident...urged his
countrymen and women to resist the temptation of jumping to conclusions
about who was responsible for the bomb attack even as they all shared
the pain and grief of the relatives and friends of the departed souls.
"But like every nasty incident that rocks nations and leaves many with
years of grief, the Oklahoma incident brings to the fore the stark
reaility that Americans as a people, would need to do more in order to
overcome this menace which is increasingly trying to entrench itself."
ARGENTINA: "Heated Debate"
Economic Ambito Financiero's Washington-based correspondent Abel Dimant
commented (5/4), "The suspension of some right-wing extremist radio
programs due to comments on the bombing in Oklahoma City, including one
which said that the atrocious attack was 'a work of art,' has revived
heated controversy regarding freedom of expression, censorship and
responsibility in the communications media in the United States."
COLOMBIA: "How Will U.S. Deal With Internal Terrorism?"
Liberal Party-oriented El Tiempo asked (4/30), "The big question is:
How will the United States face its internal terrorist threat? How much
freedom are its citizens willing to sacrifice for the sake of more
security? To what extent could the most open and dynamic democracy of
the world be restrained? Demonstrating that the cancer of terrorism can
be extirpated without hurting the body of democracy; proving that an
intelligent force is more effective than indiscriminate repression is
the best lesson the United States could offer to the world right now."
CUBA: "Clinton Should Push Forward On Anti-Crime Program"
Official Radio Havana held (4/25), "The neo-Nazi groups, which are being
protected by ultrarightists that predominate in U.S. political and
economic circles, are composed of extremists capable of the worst kind
of atrocities. President Clinton should take advantage of this occasion
to see whether he could push forward his anti-crime program despite the
presence in the U.S. Congress of a Republican majority headed by the
most extremist people of the ultraright, the ones protecting the worst
kind of terrorist."
JAMAICA: "Oklahoma Is Our Tragedy Too"
The independent Jamaica Observer opined (4/28), "The bombing in Oklahoma
City is not a priority on our list of outrage at this time. It occurred
just around the same time as [Jamaican Finance Minister] Omar's budget
[presentation] and that is occasion enough for damning and blasting. We
don't need other people's horrors. We have our own havoc to wreck right
"But there are some who have seen the images of Oklahoma City and have
made the connection for our own future.... Madness knows no
boundaries.... Preoccupied as we are here with our own problems...we
really don't seem to care too much about what's going on in the so-
called 'heartland.' And yet, we ignore it to our peril. The cold-
hearted, self-righteousness which typifies the right-wing political line
now rampant in America will reach us sooner than we think for it is in
our historic nature to pick up anything that's going, especially
foreign. Actually, it has started to some extent. All this fixation
with the sins of the government, not so much to correct them, but to
recite them as a daily litany and to convince ourselves that the
solution is someone else's problem.... The terror of a small boy who
will forever carry the events of last week deep in his innermost mind is
the price which society pays when, in the name of freedom, some people
feel that it is their right to demonstrate in whatever way they want, to
protect their rights, but not that of others."