Terror response must go beyond policing social media, US Paris accord withdrawal can benefit climate change movement, only Qatar's action can mend relations, what’s the ‘real reason’ Arab countries cut Qatar ties?, how Trump may have influenced Saudi move

A roundup of global commentary for the June 19, 2017, weekly magazine.

Charlie Riedel/AP
A wind turbine, left, part of the Lost Creek Wind Farm, stands with an electrical transmission line on June 1, 2017, near King City, Mo.

South China Morning Post / Hong Kong

Response to terror attacks must go beyond policing social media

“The third fatal terrorist incident in England in three months ... has sparked demands for a more effective response...,” states an editorial. “The government has social media in its sights, blaming it for giving space for extremist ideology to ‘breed’.... Tech giants are facing increasing pressure over patchy policing of violent and hate speech, with European regulatory data showing Twitter has failed to take down most hate-speech posts, while Facebook and YouTube have done better but not well enough. Now all three have affirmed their commitment to denying terrorists a voice online. But it is a complex issue.... Such curbs must therefore be part of a multipronged approach that addresses other security concerns on the ground.” 

The Irish Times / Dublin, Ireland

US withdrawal from Paris climate accord can benefit climate change movement

“The international community has been united and forthright in its condemnation of [President Trump’s] decision [to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change]...,” writes Joseph Curtin. “Domestically ... there has been a mix of anguish, embarrassment and constructive efforts to resist. These have included commitments to drive decarbonisation from mayors of cities, citizens groups, CEOs, environmental groups, universities and others.... The decision is hugely frustrating for the majority of people on planet Earth who realise the urgent nature of the climate crisis. Nevertheless, it will ultimately be counterproductive because it will mobilise powerful forces in opposition.” 

The National / Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Only action from Qatar can mend relations with Gulf states

“[The current crisis] is the result of years of problems with Qatar’s political positions, in particular its bafflingly close relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran...,” states an editorial. “This is an issue that the Gulf states genuinely feel affects their security and stability.... The continued prosperity of the Gulf countries – and that includes the prosperity of Qatar, because, as the severing of air, sea and land routes shows, the country is intimately connected to its neighbours – requires that Qatar come back into the fold.... There is still a way out of this crisis, but it will require some movement from Doha.... So serious has this crisis become that only concrete actions and political changes will finally mend relations.” 

The Peninsula / Doha, Qatar

What’s the ‘real reason’ Arab countries cut ties with Qatar?

“The recklessly fast pace of developments as they were created by irresponsible media outlets of Saudi Arabia and [United Arab Emirates] make one confuse (sic) on what is the real reason behind this crisis: Qatari support to Hamas or Muslim Brotherhood or its relation with Iran?” states an editorial. “The aggressive media onslaught on Qatar and its timing, and the way it has been suddenly sparked following the visit of President Trump to Saudi Arabia are other points that are making observers think about the real reasons beyond what the media is repeatedly claiming.... Relations with Iran and Hamas and Al Jazeera are being used just as a cover for an unjustifiable measure and pre-planned agenda against Qatar.” 

The News / Mexico City

How Trump may have influenced Saudi move against Qatar

“When Saudi Arabia says jump, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain ask ‘how high?’ ” writes Thérèse Margolis. “That’s essentially what happened ... when Riyadh decided to cut diplomatic ties with its former puppet Doha, officially because an uppity Qatar was not coming down hard enough on Islamic terror groups, but unofficially because it was playing too nice [with] Tehran.... To some extent, Saudi Arabia’s move to ostracize Qatar can be blamed on [President] Trump’s anti-Iran (and, by implication, anti-Shi’ite) rhetoric during his visit to Riyadh last month. There is no denying that the U.S. president’s spiel emboldened Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, which may have caused Uncle Sam’s new Middle East teacher’s pet to believe that he could do no wrong in the eyes of Washington.” 

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