German Press Review: Bombing in Jakarta | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 06.08.2003
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German Press Review: Bombing in Jakarta

German newspapers on Wednesday focused on a terrorist attack on a hotel in Jakarta, the latest developments in the Middle East peace process and the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.


At least 13 people dead and 149 injured in Tuesday's bombing of a hotel in Indonesia.

The Indonesian government is blaming the usual suspects for Tuesday’s bomb attack in Jakarta– the Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamijah, the Frankfurter Rundschau wrote. But this attack also coincides with the expected verdict in the trial of a key suspect in the Bali bombings. The paper said that one only has to flip through the calendar to find that this bloody attack may even bear the mark of Al Qaeda. The paper pointed out it was five years ago on August 7, that the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Darussalam were bombed. And, the paper opined, it can be safely assumed that Washington will now make fresh new calls against the “war on terror”. But attacks like the one in Jakarta just prove that terrorism cannot be fought effectively by waging pre-emptive wars like the one on Iraq.

Berlin's Tageszeitung blamed Indonesian President Megawati Surkarnoputri for failing to act decisively on terrorism. The paper described Tuesday's bomb blast as the worst attack since Bali. But added much more shocking is that Indonesia still does not have control of the problem – despite all the anti-terror legislation and the trials of suspected Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists. The paper said this only came about due to international pressure and warns the group remains a real threat.

Whoever is behind the bomb attack in Jakarta dealt the island nation a heavy blow and highlighted the intensified the tensions there, wrote the Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten. The danger of potential terrorist attacks in the largest Muslim country in the world has been played down for too long, according to the paper. President Megawati was shocked into action after the devastating attack in Bali last year that killed 202 people. But the fight against terrorism will be fought only half-heartedly as long as corruption is rampant in Indonesia. The new anti-terrorism laws will do little if the police and army force remains corrupt. The paper said three bomb attacks in the Indonesian capital this year alone should be enough to sound the alarm bells. Not just in Indonesia, but world-wide because terrorism knows no boarders, concluded the paper.

Israel’s partially built wall of concrete and wire around the Palestinian West Bank is becoming a focal point of controversy that goes beyond the construction itself, wrote the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has to learn that now Washington won’t just accept everything Israel does, opined the paper. U.S. President George Bush is under pressure to see the Middle East peace plan known as the road map through – since he’s taken personal responsibility for it, noted the paper. As a mediator Bush has to stand in the middle which means he will have to distance himself from Sharon the paper concluded.

The left-wing paper Neues Deutschland made note that August 6 marks the day that the United States dropped an Atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan wanting to put an end to World War II. Now, 58 years later, even President George Bush has learned to love the bomb, the paper wrote. He’s given the green light for billions of dollars to be spent on building a new generation of “mini-nukes” which will one day lead to a new arms race. Although the U.S. government has branded countries like North Korea and Iran as ‘rogue states’, it was the United States who opened atomic Pandora’s box 58 years ago, the paper said.