How will Orlando affect the US election?

The motives behind the attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando remain unclear. Although the attacker swore allegiance to the IS, the US government says it has no evidence of ties between him and the terrorist group. Commentators hope the next US president will be able to prevent further attacks.

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Correio da Manhã (PT) /

Clinton would leave terror financiers in peace

Hillary Clinton has called on Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait to take measures to prevent their citizens from funding extremist organisations. But Correio da Manhã doubts she will change anything in US relations with the key oil producers:

“After the Orlando attack US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton harshly criticised Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait for supporting extremist Islamist ideologies. And Clinton was right to single out these three countries - particularly because they are US allies. The US oil companies maintain very close ties with the Saudi oil producers. So it seems highly unlikely that Hillary Clinton as US president would be able to change anything in the relations with the 'oil kings'.”

L'Obs (FR) /

Clinton takes on the gun lobby

After the massacre in Orlando Hillary Clinton has called for the reinstatement of the ban on assault weapons. L'Obs praises the initiative:

“For the first time a candidate with a real chance of winning the presidency - Hillary Clinton - is making opposition to the NRA a central theme of her campaign. The times of concessions to public opinion and the representatives of Democratic 'pro-gun' states are over. For the first time in decades a politician is basing her election campaign on a majority of Americans wanting to put an end to this stupid, collective and unprecedented bloodbath. In view of the gun lobby's power and the fact that the Republicans are exploiting the NRA's culture of paranoia, she faces a difficult mission. But not impossible: for ten years, from 1994 to 2004, the sale of assault weapons was banned by law. We can only hope that at least this simple rule of common sense is reintroduced one day.”

NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

Don't succumb to Trump's scaremongering

The events in Orlando were an attack on our open society, NRC Handelsblad comments:

“The real target was the West's open society in which different views, beliefs and ways of loving each other can exist side by side. And also in which ideas can be freely fought against. … How strong the ties [between the attacker and the IS] were remains to be seen. At any rate the Islamic State immediately praised the massacre. … And the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump - unfortunately just as predictably - seized the opportunity to use the massacre for his own purposes. This proved, he said, that he was right with his warnings against Islam. And he repeated his call to close the borders to Muslims. The easiest reaction is that which gives in to fear and distrust. But that boils down to closing the open society - and it would be a gift to fanatics of all stripes, inside and outside the US.”

Sme (SK) /

New massacre, old patterns of behaviour

America and the world once again appear to be completely paralysed after the shooting spree in Orlando, Sme comments:

“The killer, a second-generation Afghan-American, was interrogated twice by the FBI on suspicion of terrorism. But despite this he was able to buy a weapon in Florida only last week. The gun lobby has said nothing about his case, but no doubt it will soon go back to its mission and block all amendments to the ludicrous gun laws. ... President Obama continues to avoid using Trump's term 'radical Islamist terror', preferring to talk about 'violent extremism'. As if it were more important to avoid insulting people than to clearly define the challenges we face. And so it goes on. The voters are understandably irritated and vote for radicals who promise an end to the current system. For example Trump or the Brexit advocates.”

L'Echo (BE) /

Americans must be more united than ever

The US must do all it can to prevent further social division in the wake of the attack, L'Echo warns:

“President Obama called on Americans on Sunday not to turn against each other but to show unity. Politicians, however, have not set very a good example. What will the Americans do? Will this shooting aggravate the social rifts and pave the way for Trump's victory on November 8? Much water will pass under the bridge before the election, but let's hope that good sense prevails. Otherwise it would be a victory for the Islamist terrorists whose goal is to divide our society - independently of what ties they had with the Orlando attacker Omar Mateen.”

The Guardian (GB) /

US gun laws claim victims

The attack in Orlando shoes once again that the liberal gun laws in many US states cause more deaths than they prevent, The Guardian criticises:

“The awful truth is that American society is vulnerable to these attacks in a way that others are not because of its belief that freedom requires easy, widespread access to lethal weapons. . ... There have been 43 mass shootings in the US in the past 10 years, those in which more than four people were killed in a public space. Very few of them had recognisable ideological causes. Some occurred in states, such as Florida, where it is legal for almost anyone who applies for a licence to walk around with concealed, lethal weapons – something which does not in practice save anyone’s life if bullets start flying, but which is felt as a reassurance until they do.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

Killer plays into Trump's hands

The Orlando attack could have a significant impact on the US presidential campaign, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung surmises:

“Warnings against drawing rash conclusions will no doubt fall on deaf ears for the most part. Donald Trump, the presidential candidate of the Republican Party, let it be known long ago how he'd deal with Muslims in these days of Islamist terror: with a ban on entering the country. Forced deportation? Internment? Many American will no longer dismiss Trump's verbal excesses as idle talk. In their perplexity they'll agree with this extremist insinuator, even if he has neither the US's values nor its law on his side. ... Even if this is a case of 'home grown terror', international complications are not to be ruled out. The day the 'Sunshine State' was drowned in blood stands a strong chance of casting shadows beyond the presidential elections in November.” (GR) /

The twisted triumph of the individual

A new form of terrorism has emerged in Orlando, writes news website Protagon:

“This is not the first massacre, nor will it be the last. It will help us to understand that we are no longer witnessing a war of cultures but a guerrilla war in the form of a psychosis that has taken hold of lonely, obsessive souls. No matter how many missiles we rain down on the heads of the jihadists, in the cellars of Western metropolises oaths are being sworn to take revenge and punish the infidels. Now the West is pitted against individuals. And yes, in a perverse way this is the triumph of the individual. One person, a completely unknown and lonely man, is all it takes. Not to change history but to write it with the blood of innocent people.”

More opinions

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) / 14 June 2016
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