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Terrorism and America : five Asia Pacific perspectives

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Publication Date: January 2001

Publisher(s): East-West Center

Author(s): Harry Bhaskara

Series: AsiaPacific issues ; no. 55

Topic: Government (Internal security)
International relations (International relations)

Type: Report

Coverage: Asia United States


Three weeks after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., five journalists-from India, Fiji, Japan, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka-visiting the East-West Center on an exchange program accepted an invitation to write about the attacks and "America's War on Terrorism" from the perspective of their own country. Their responses are frank and sometimes anguished. "As global terrorism evolved into a beast out of control, America enjoyed the good life," writes a Sri Lankan. The United States has declared a war on terrorism but, an Indian asks, is it only because now "the grief pours out of American eyes"? In Japan, resentment over America's increasing "unilateralism" coexists with an unprecedented willingness to send troops overseas, says a writer for The Mainichi Newspapers. A Fijian broadcaster notes that calls for international action are accompanied by "unease over violent retaliation." The mixed emotions described by many are dramatically evident in predominantly Muslim Indonesia where, says a newspaper editor, anti-American demonstrations defied President Megawati's assurances of support for the United States.