OPINION

Opinion

. ..Washington’s European partners are concerned about the possible expansion of the military campaign beyond Afghanistan and against countries such as Syria and Iraq, although there is no sign of their involvement in the terrorist assault on the USA on September 11. Such a move would create tremendous tension among Washington’s traditional European allies – but not only there. It is indicative of the situation that such prospects are not voiced by US Secretary of State Colin Powell who is fully trusted by Washington’s European partners, but by a group which advocates a policy of polarization against the Arab world… It is this same group which is trying to bypass or downgrade Powell’s efforts to approach the Palestinians as well as US President George W. Bush’s vision over the establishment of a Palestinian state. The US should no doubt avoid giving the impression that they are transforming their Middle Eastern policy under the pressure of a terrorist act. This would render them the target of devastating attacks by every group that wants to promote its legitimate or illegitimate interests. On the other hand, however, one cannot possibly ignore the fact that the extremism of the Arab world is mainly a product of the Palestinian dispute and the realization of this reality is vital for the consolidation of stability in the region… There is only one weakness, which does not concern the measures and their implementation so much as education. People have to be given more detailed information and more practical directions about how they should react in similar incidents, what steps they should take and whom they should call. Cool heads and knowledge can both help the authorities and discourage hoaxers.