“When a superpower like the United States is confronted with such a brazen challenge as the September 11 terrorist attacks one can expect everything, including the start of a third World War and the use of nuclear weapons,” “Aravot” writes in an editorial. “The future of the entire world depends on what retaliatory steps President Bush will take.” Hasty acts of revenge against suspected terrorist bases abroad would be dangerous and useless. The US should instead “rally the humanity” for a joint fight against the evil. The paper also says: “We can not comfort ourselves with a thought that it is too far away and not relevant to us. It is relevant, very much so.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” agrees that eradication of international terrorist networks requires joint efforts of the international community, but says they will yield no results if any of the countries tries to use the struggle for its geopolitical interests. In an apparent reference to the US, the paper warns against the use of “double standards” in international politics.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” predicts that the international community will now concentrate on what it believes are the root causes of terror: nationalism, separatism, extremism and ethnic hatred. This should be a cause for alarm for Armenia where “terrorism for the sake of national salvation is justified.”
Some newspapers carry a statement by the chairman of the Yerkrapah Union, Deputy Defense Minister Manvel Grigorian, expressing “bewilderment and surprise” at some of Lord Russell-Johnston’s remarks made in Yerevan. Grigorian is unhappy with the Council of Europe official’s call for the “surrender of the liberated territories” and the abolition of the death penalty. “Aravot” is in turn surprised with the Yerkrapah leader’s rare decision to go on the record. Questioning the general’s sincerity, the paper adds tartly that it looks forward to hearing his thoughts about the Middle East crisis, the introduction of the Euro and turmoil on Wall Street.
“Hayots Ashkhar” continues to link the murder of Gagik Poghosian to his professional activities. It says that a few days before his assassination the head of the government’s oversight service revealed to the paper details of inquiries conducted at the ministry of environment. The documents give it reason to accuse the former minister of environment, Murad Muradian, of corruption. It is obvious to “Hayots Ashkhar” that Poghosian was killed by the “mafia,” by which it means a “narrow circle” of unnamed individuals. The authorities must at last move against them.
“Zhamanak” reports that the governing Republican Party (HHK) has been “deeply shocked” by the killing and demanded that law-enforcement authorities identify and catch the culprits. If the crime is not quickly solved several more such murders might be committed in the weeks and months ahead, the HHK warned in a statement.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” attacks Prime Minister Markarian for defending the use of force against opposition supporters protesting against the rise in telephone charges last week. Markarian said on Wednesday that citizens must obey “rules of the game” determined by law-enforcement authorities. The paper also criticizes Interior Minister Hayk Harutiunian for claiming that the protesters acted illegally. The chief of a police force “corrupt from the bottom up” has no moral right to speak about the rule of law, according to “Haykakan Zhamanak.”