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PACIFIC PARAMETERS : Inconvenient Facts That Spoil a Good Fight in the Gulf

December 16, 1990

Excerpts from magazines and newspapers around the Pacific Rim. TAIWAN

Why (Saddam Hussein's) nuclear capability should be any more of a threat to U.S. interests than Pakistan's nuclear capability, or South Africa's or, for that matter, the nuclear arsenals of the four other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council has not been explained. Perhaps they are inconvenient facts that could stand in the way of a good fight." --Editorial from The China News

"(Hussein) is likely to find the U.S. Congress far less adverse to war than he has anticipated. Although some congressmen have been playing rather tawdry political power games, when the chips are down, it is more likely Hussein with find President Franklin D. Roosevelt . . . was correct when he said 'partisan politics end at the water's edge.' " --Editorial from The China News NEW ZEALAND

"(James A.) Baker will enter (direct talks with Hussein) with the upper hand; ironically, Hussein is likely to be a major beneficiary of their success." --Editorial from The New Zealand Herald

"The so-called battle-hardened Iraqi army was always a ludicrous proposition, given their track record of merely fighting a lengthy draw with ill-equipped Iranian teen-age boys hyped up on religious and nationalistic fervor. --Bob Jones, Evening Post columnist THAILAND

"Bush lacks the bumbling charisma, charm and 'untouchableness' of Ronald Reagan and this has become evident as attitudes about his performance are shaped. He is a good man but has far to go before he can aspire to becoming a great President." --Editorial from the Bangkok Post

"The American people don't know (about their country's protectionist policies). Congressmen don't know this. But they look down from their Olympian heights and tell us to reform ourselves. Of course, negotiations don't progress." --Editorial from the Bangkok Post HONG KONG

"The Chinese government has transformed the gulf crisis into a springboard for its dramatic plunge into the international pool of diplomatic relations. As long as the United States needs Chinese approval to affect the often postponed settlement in Cambodia, their implicit support in pressuring Iraq and their general consent in its own plans to extricate its military from Asia, it appears prepared to make compromises in its policies, if not also its principles, toward Beijing." --Editorial from the South China Morning Post

"In looking for (role) models, it is inevitable that people turn to the United States . . . . But its record (of democracy) is not superior to that of Britain, the archetype of the parliamentary system.

Until the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, apartheid was officially practiced by some states . . . . (N)ative Americans were cruelly treated in the 19th Century, and 100,000 Americans of Japanese descent interned during WWII.

The U.S. judiciary is eminently fair, but no more so than France's. The United States gave the vote to women later (1920) than most European countries did." --Asiaweek magazine SINGAPORE

"When I first started out in journalism, I had to confront this question almost daily: Do you have an English name?

Why did they ask?

So they could remember my name better.

To this, I reply: If you want to remember me, you will. If not, even if I am known as Mary, you will probably ask: Mary who?" --Teo Lian Huay on the pressure exerted on Asians to adopt Western first names

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