News



      DATE=02/19/98
      TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10580
     TITLE=THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS
    BYLINE=ANDREW N. GUTHRIE
 TELEPHONE=619-3335
  DATELINE=WASHINGTON
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS

CONTENT=

            //// EDS: DATED AFTER 10 P-M  E-S-T ////

INTRO:  SEVERAL ASPECTS OF THE CONFRONTATION WITH IRAQ CONTINUE 
TO DOMINATE THE EDITORIAL PAGES OF MANY U-S NEWSPAPERS THIS 
THURSDAY.  ONE IS KOFI ANNAN'S TRIP TO BAGHDAD; ANOTHER IS THE 
UNRULY DEBATE AT OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY OVER THE EFFICACY OF THE 
PROPOSED ATTACK; ANOTHER IS THE STORY OF THE 
TWO-BILLION-DOLLAR-"STEALTH" BOMBER WHICH APPARENTLY CANNOT BE 
USED IN IRAQ BECAUSE OF PENTAGON POLITICS.

TURNING TO OTHER TOPICS, WE FIND COMMENTARIES ON SUCH SUBJECTS 
AS: THE DECLINING ECONOMY IN INDONESIA; A HOPEFUL OUTLOOK IN 
BRAZIL; THE ATTEMPTED SHEVARDNADZE ASSASSINATION IN GEORGIA AND 
GLORY FOLLOWED BY DISGRACE IN OLYMPIC ICE HOCKEY.  NOW, HERE IS 
_____________________WITH A CLOSER LOOK IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL 
DIGEST. 

TEXT:  YESTERDAY'S RAUCOUS PUBLIC MEETING AT OHIO STATE 
UNIVERSITY IN COLUMBUS, WHERE SECRETARIES OF STATE AND DEFENSE 
ALBRIGHT AND COHEN, AND WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER 
SANDY BERGER DISCUSSED THE ADMINISTRATION'S IRAQ POLICY, AND GOT 
SEVERELY HECKLED BY SOME ANTI WAR PROTESTERS IN THE AUDIENCE, 
DRAWS THIS COMMENT FROM "THE NEW YORK TIMES."

VOICE:   THOUGH NOT WHAT THE WHITE HOUSE EXPECTED, THE EVENT WAS 
         A FASCINATING BAROMETER OF A COUNTRY DIVIDED, OR AT 
         LEAST UNCERTAIN, ABOUT WHETHER TO USE MILITARY FORCE 
         AGAINST IRAQ.  THERE WERE MOMENTS DURING THE 90-MINUTE 
         TOWN MEETING IN THE OHIO STATE BASKETBALL ARENA THAT 
         WERE EERILY REMINISCENT OF THE PROTESTS AND PASSIONS 
         GENERATED BY THE VIETNAM WAR.  OPPONENTS OF A MILITARY 
         STRIKE, WHEN THEY GOT THEIR MOMENT AT THE MICROPHONE, 
         COMPLAINED ANGRILY ABOUT AMERICAN AGGRESSION OVERSEAS.  
         THOSE WHO FAVOR ATTACKING IRAQ SAID WASHINGTON SHOULD 
         NOT SETTLE FOR AIR STRIKES BUT SHOULD MARCH TO BAGHDAD 
         AND REMOVE SADDAM HUSSEIN FROM POWER.   ... IT IS CLEAR 
         MR. CLINTON STILL HAS A GOOD DEAL OF EXPLAINING AND 
         CONVINCING TO DO. 

TEXT:  TURNING TO ANOTHER FACET OF THE STORY, "USA TODAY" 
COMMENTS ON THE FORTHCOMING LAST-MINUTE TRIP TO BAGHDAD OF THE 
U-N SECRETARY GENERAL TO TRY TO AVERT AN ATTACK WITH A 
COMPROMISE. BUT THE PAPER APPEARS SKEPTICAL AS TO ITS VALUE.

VOICE:   THE UNITED STATES WEDNESDAY SIGNED OFF [APPROVED]  ON 
         THE LATEST GIMMICK TO MAKE U-N INSPECTION OF WEAPONS 
         SITES MORE PALATABLE TO SADDAM: DIPLOMATIC OBSERVERS.  
         UNDER THIS NEW WRINKLE, [ARRANGEMENT][ SECURITY COUNCIL 
         REPRESENTATIVES WOULD SHADOW [FOLLOW] INSPECTORS AS THEY
         CHECKED SENSITIVE IRAQI SITES -- NOT INTERFERING WITH 
         DESTRUCTION OF BANNED BIOLOGICAL, CHEMICAL, AND NUCLEAR 
         WEAPONS BUT INJECTING A GEOPOLITICAL BALANCE INTO THE 
         PROCESS WHICH [MR.] SADDAM INSISTS IS NEEDED. IF THAT 
         BENIGN ADDITION IS ALL IT TAKES TO AVOID A WAR, SO BE 
         IT.  [HOWEVER] ... THE TIME [MR.] ANNAN HAS TO MAKE THE 
         GAMBIT IS AND SHOULD BE LIMITED.

TEXT:  THE PAPER GOES ON TO MENTION THE OHIO STATE MEETING, AND 
ITS RAUCOUS TONE, NOTING; NOTHING WRONG THERE.  CONFLICTING VIEWS
EXPRESSED WEDNESDAY AND RECENT POLLS INDICATE QUESTIONS REMAIN 
ABOUT WHAT CONSTITUTES SUCCESS IN IRAQ.

THEN LASTLY, THERE IS THE SURPRISING STORY ABOUT THE 
TWO-BILLION-DOLLAR APIECE B-2 STEALTH BOMBERS WHICH, "THE 
WASHINGTON POST" REPORTED WEDNESDAY, CANNOT FLY IN ANY ATTACK ON 
IRAQ FOR POLITICAL REASONS.  "THE POST" SAYS THE AIR FORCE IS 
WORRIED ABOUT EITHER LOSING ONE OR MORE OF THE COSTLY PLANES, OR,
IF IT DOES VERY WELL, RENEWED DEMANDS IN CONGRESS FOR MORE OF THE
COSTLY AIRCRAFT, AT THE EXPENSE OF MONEY TO PRODUCE THE 21ST 
CENTURY PLANE, THE F-22.  SAYS "THE NEW YORK POST" OF THE STORY:

VOICE:   THAT LOGIC IS BIZARRE, IF THE STORY IS TRUE.  SENDING 
         LESS CAPABLE AIRCRAFT INTO COMBAT FOR ANY REASON IS 
         WORRISOME; SHOULD IT BE DONE TO PROJECT FUTURE 
         PROCUREMENT PROGRAMS, IT WOULD BE UNCONSCIONABLE.  ... 
         [IF] IT TURNS OUT THAT THE B-2 WAS NOT USED, THE AIR 
         FORCE HAD BETTER HAVE A CONVINCING ALIBI.

TEXT:  TURNING TO INDONESIA'S CRUMBLING ECONOMY, "THE WASHINGTON 
POST" WORRIES:

VOICE:   THE FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM IN INDONESIA NOW IS POLITICAL AS
         MUCH AS ECONOMIC.  WHEN THE STOCK MARKET AND CURRENCY 
         WERE COLLAPSING LATE LAST YEAR, PRESIDENT SUHARTO, 76, 
         AGREED TO A SERIES OF REFORMS IN EXCHANGE FOR THE 
         PROMISE OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN EMERGENCY LOANS FROM 
         THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, THE UNITED STATES, 
         JAPAN AND OTHERS.   ... THESE CHANGES, IF IMPLEMENTED, 
         WOULD CHALLENGE THE CRONY CAPITALISM THAT HAS ALLOWED 
         MR. SUHARTO'S CHILDREN AND FRIENDS TO GET RICH WHILE 
         WOULD-BE ENTREPRENEURS WITHOUT CONNECTIONS ARE STIFLED. 
         ... WHAT INDONESIA NEEDS, IN ADDITION TO FOLLOWING 
         THROUGH ON PROMISES ALREADY MADE, IS POLITICAL REFORM --
         THE DEVELOPMENT OF DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS THAT COULD 
         PROVIDE SOME CONFIDENCE IN A PEACEFUL, POST-SUHARTO 
         TRANSITION.  INSTEAD, MR. SUHARTO'S POLICE ARE ISSUING 
         SHOOT-ON-SIGHT ORDERS TO COMBAT HUNGRY DEMONSTRATORS, 
         AND HIS REGIME IS INTENSIFYING THE SURVEILLANCE OF 
         POLITICAL DISSIDENTS.  

TEXT:  NOTING SOME BRIGHTER ECONOMIC NEWS FROM BRAZIL, VARIOUS 
BANKING AND BUDGET REFORMS PUSHED THROUGH CONGRESS RECENTLY BY 
PRESIDENT FERNANDO HENRIQUE CARDOSO, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" HINTS 
OF THE WORK STILL AHEAD. 

VOICE:   THE POOREST HALF OF BRAZIL'S POPULATION MUST MAKE DO 
         WITH BARELY A TENTH OF THE NATIONAL INCOME, WHILE ABOUT 
         HALF THE NATIONAL INCOME FLOWS TO THE RICHEST TEN 
         PERCENT.  SOME 58-THOUSAND LARGE LANDOWNERS HOLD HALF 
         THE COUNTRY'S FARMLAND WHILE THREE MILLION SMALL FARMERS
         MAKE DO ON TWO PERCENT.  MR. CARDOSO'S REFORMS HAVE 
         BROUGHT AUSTERITY FOR ALL BRAZILIANS.  THESE SACRIFICES 
         ARE ALMOST SURE TO PAY DIVIDENDS FOR THE BETTER-OFF.  
         BUT BRAZIL WILL NOT LIVE UP TO ITS POTENTIAL UNTIL THE 
         BENEFITS ARE MORE JUSTLY SHARED. 

TEXT:  TODAY'S "WALL STREET JOURNAL" TAKES NOTE OF THE RECENT 
ATTEMPT ON THE LIFE OF GEORGIA'S PRESIDENT EDWARD SHEVARDNADZE" 
AND WHAT HE FEELS WAS BEHIND THE AMBUSH, RUSSIAN INTRIGUE DUE TO 
THE REGION'S OIL RICHES.

VOICE:   IF A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE WONDERING WHAT ROLE THE RUSSIANS 
         ARE PLAYING IN THIS LATEST FERMENT IN THE CAUCASUS, THEY
         HAVE REASONS.  THE NEIGHBORING CASPIAN SEA REGION IS 
         REGARDED AS ONE OF THE WORLD'S RICHEST SOURCES OF OIL 
         AND GAS, WITH DEPOSITS WORTH TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS.  THIS
         IS NOT A PRIZE THAT OLD RUSSIAN IMPERIALISTS ARE PLEASED
         TO SEE CONTROLLED BY THE LIKES OF AZERIS, TURKMENS AND 
         KAZAKHS.  ... OF COURSE, NO ONE CAN PROVE THAT THE 
         ATTEMPT ON MR. SHEVARDNADZE ...WAS ORCHESTRATED IN 
         MOSCOW.  ... [BUT] ONE WAY FOR RUSSIA TO DISPEL SUCH 
         SUSPICIONS AND ALLEGATIONS WOULD BE TO PROVIDE FULL 
         SUPPORT TO GEORGIAN AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATING THE 
         ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ...SILENCE FROM MOSCOW WOULD BE 
         OMINOUS.

                           /// OPT ///

TEXT:  THE REAPPEARANCE OF THE U-S FLAG IN TEHRAN, AND NOT IN A 
DEMONSTRATION WHERE IT WAS BURNED BY ANGRY PROTESTERS, IS DRAWING
A RESPONSE FROM "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES."

VOICE:   THE OCCASION -- A WRESTLING TOURNAMENT TO WHICH A U-S 
         TEAM HAS BEEN INVITED -- IS ABOUT AS FAR REMOVED FROM 
         THE WORLD OF DIPLOMACY AS IT IS POSSIBLE TO GET, BUT THE
         POLITICAL SYMBOLISM OF THE EVENT IS NOT LOST ON ANYONE, 
         LEAST OF ALL IRAN'S MOST VOCAL AMERICAN-HATERS.  ...THE 
         GAME OF DIPLOMACY VERY OFTEN TURNS ON SIGNALS AND 
         NUANCES, ON HINTS AND GESTURES AND WINKS AND NODS.  SO 
         LET THE GAME BEGIN.

                         /// END OPT ///

TEXT:  LASTLY, SOME THOUGHTS ON THE GLORY AND DISGRACE OF 
AMERICA'S TWO ICE HOCKEY TEAMS IN THE WINTER OLYMPICS FROM "THE 
MIAMI HERALD."

VOICE:   THE FOG OF INDIFFERENCE TO THE 1998 WINTER OLYMPICS 
         LIFTED BRIEFLY THIS WEEK, BLOWN ASIDE BY DISPARATE 
         RESULT IN A SPORT THAT BLUE-COLLAR [WORKING MEN AND 
         WOMEN] FANS CAN RELATE TO: ICE HOCKEY.  FIRST, A U-S 
         WOMEN'S TEAM OF HIGHLY MOTIVATED AMATEURS DEFEATED 
         CANADA 3 TO 1 TO WIN THE GOLD.  ALAS, U-S FANS' PRIDE IN
         THE WOMEN'S VICTORY WAS SOON ECLIPSED BY DISGUST AT AN 
         UNDERACHIEVING MEN'S TEAM THAT COMPRISED PRO'S 
         (PROFESSIONALS) DRAWN FROM THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE.  
         THIS U-S 'DREAM TEAM' LOST ITS FIRST TEST, FELL INTO THE
         LOSERS' BRACKET, AND SANK. ... THE UNITED STATES MIGHT 
         BE BETTER OFF NEXT TIME SENDING ANIMATED AMATEURS 
         INSTEAD OF WORLD-WEARY PRO'S.

TEXT:   ON THAT ATHLETIC, PHILOSOPHICAL NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS 
SAMPLING OF EDITORIALS FROM SOME OF THURSDAY'S U-S PRESS.

NEB/ANG/RAE

19-Feb-98 10:38 AM EST (1538 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America
.