December 9, 2002
IRAQ WMD REPORT SKEPTICS STILL WANT 'PROOF'
BEFORE OKAYING ATTACK
**Euro media expressed skepticism about the
veracity of Baghdad's "full disclosure" on WMD.
**Many writers questioned Washington's intention
to "play by the book" on Iraq.
**Observers insisted that the U.S. or UN produce
WMD evidence before any attack on Iraq.
**Saddam's "backhanded" apology to
Kuwait was panned by some in the Arab media.
Writers expressed skepticism about Baghdad's "full disclosure"
on WMD and Washington's intention to "play by the book" on Iraq. Most throughout the continent contended that,
despite doubts about Iraq's "innocence," the international community
must fulfill its obligations by "ploughing through" Baghdad's WMD
report. Dailies left, right and center
anguished over "worrying signals" that Washington will "pursue
its (war) agenda no matter what happens with the inspectors." Broad support for any military action, they
said, would be contingent upon the "irrefutable proof" of Iraqi WMD
violations yet to be provided by U.S. intelligence services. Several insisted that the UN "have the
last word." The U.S. "would
doubtless win a solitary war against Iraq" but at the "great
expense" of igniting a radical Islamic backlash and
"anti-Americanism, even in Europe," Madrid's conservative ABC
ASIA, LATAM, AFRICA: Editorialists insisted that the U.S. or
UNMOVIC produce WMD evidence before any attack on Iraq. Many adopted a "so far so good"
attitude on the inspections. Writers
withheld judgment on the veracity of Iraq's WMD report to UN inspectors. The consensus was that it is the inspectors'
word that counts, not Washington's or Baghdad's. Observers cited U.S. statements as proof that
the U.S. was bent on an attack regardless of UNMOVIC's verdict. Echoing Europe, they warned that the world
will never agree to a military attack "without having the proof for Iraq's
possession of WMD."
Saddam's 'backhanded apology' to Kuwait shows he's 'learned
nothing.' Saddam's regime got some
credit because "Iraq is being fully cooperative this time." But the Iraqi dictator's apology for the 1990
invasion of Kuwait only reminded regional observers that "Baghdad still
has yet to realize either the extent of the danger it faces or the accelerating
effect of its own counterproductive 'diplomacy.'"
Steve Thibeault, Gail Hamer Burke
This analysis is based on 63 reports from 45 countries over 1 - 9
December. Editorial excerpts from each
country are listed from the most recent date.
"Bush Has Little Intention Of Playing By The Book"
Richard Norton-Taylor, wrote in the liberal Guardian
(12/9): "Saddam has won the opening
round in his final attempt to stave off military action by the United
States.... And whatever the frustration
of the hawks, however deep the skepticism of the doves, American and UN experts
have no choice but to plough through Iraq’s 12,000-page declaration of
innocence.... The United States and
Britain insist they have solid evidence that Iraq has restocked its pile of
chemical and biological weapons.... But
if this intelligence is so certain and specific, why are they so desperate to
get the UN inspectors to whisk Iraqi scientists out of the country for
questioning.... Ultimately the logic of
the United States argument is that, whatever is in the Iraqi declaration, and
regardless of whether the UN inspectors find nothing and feel the Iraqis have
cooperated, there will still be a case for war.... This could drive a wedge between the United
States and the rest of the Security Council....
It may be argues Iraq would not have got this far without the threat of
force. But the onus is now on those who
want to use force to provide evidence for such a course of action.”
"Iraq Insults Our Intelligence"
The conservative Daily Telegraph stated
(12/9): “Nothing would please us more than to be able to believe that Saddam is
a reformed character.... But Saddam’s
claim for the dossier simply cannot be believed.... His claim to have got rid of the whole lot is
an insult to the meanest intelligence....
Saddam’s claim that he has suddenly disposed of all weapons stretches
credulity too far. His dossier is yet
another of his games, played to weaken the resolve of the Western democracies
and to retain his grip on power....
President Bush will deserve the support of the UN’s Security
Council. But even without that support,
the United States is likely to press ahead with its plans to attack Iraq, with
any allies who offer their backing. An
honest, warts-and-all dossier from Saddam would have made war less likely. This one, drawn up to cock a snook at the
United States, makes it more so."
"A Welcome Shift: No Evidence, No War"
The centrist Independent opined
(12/9): “Very few people would trust
Saddam to make a full disclosure.... But
it is important that he is given the chance to do so. International justice
must both be done and be seen to be done.
Already, the Americans seem to be engaged in the traditional diplomatic
sport of goalpost-moving.... Have they
learnt nothing from the expulsion of the last team of UN inspectors four years
ago? However, there are welcome signs
that Britain is not slavishly following the U.S. line.... Bush, having been persuaded by domestic
opinion to go to the UN to seek its authority for war, cannot change the rules
of the game simply because the outcome does not suit his prejudices. No evidence, no war. The world should make that clear now, before
the Americans try to create any more wriggle room.”
"U.S.-Iraq: Power Rather
Than The Law"
Renaud Girard wrote in right-of-center Le
Figaro (12/7): “Is international law still alive? Are the UN resolutions
meant to apply to weak nations and ignored at will by the powerful? We may honestly ask that question today in
connection with the U.S.-Iraq conflict. To
date the Iraqis have complied with the UN resolution to the letter. The inspectors have been treated with
courtesy. The list furnished by Iraq to
the UN is a long one: It claims that
Iraq has no WMD. The inspectors’ job is
to verify that none of the Iraqi plants can be used for devious ends.... One might have expected that such cooperation
from Iraq would have lessened the tension in the region. Curiously, this is not
the case. Nothing seems to be able to
stop the American political-military and media machine. Western opinions are being prepped, proving
to them that war is unavoidable. Four
days ago President Bush said that the signs coming from Iraq were not
‘encouraging.’ He was forgetting that
Iraq was applying Resolution 1441 and that there is no resolution allowing
British and U.S. planes to fly over Iraqi territory. If the Bush administration wants to engage in
a colonial-type campaign against Iraq in order to change its regime, it should
say so clearly. Is the United States
afraid that maybe its European allies do not trust its ability to properly
manage the post-war era?”
"A Game Of Poker Between Washington And
Dominique Bormberger on government-run France
Inter radio said (12/9): “Iraq and the United States are playing a dangerous
game… Iraq is lying and Baghdad has made things worse by challenging the United
States to prove Iraq has WMD. The White
House is in an embarrassing position, because any proof it can bring cannot be
as clear-cut as the proof brought in the Cuba missile crisis.... There are voices in Washington saying that if
the United States could bring proof of Iraq’s lying, it would give the United
States the right to use force.... Every
step of the procedure defined by the Security Council seems to have built-in
its own dose of danger.”
"Cat And Mouse"
Center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine
(12/9) noted in a front-page editorial:
“Even if Baghdad has listed all of its weapons programs, some things
will remain open to interpretation. The
Washington hawks accusing Iraq of continued secrecy...will not give up their
position easily. Saddam is playing for
time.... Some of the more moderate
American voices, like Secretary of State Powell, probably do not mind this
right now. After all, it still remains
unclear whether a military campaign is inevitable.... Washington will have to give the UN all the
evidence supposedly proving Baghdad’s cat and mouse game. Meanwhile, time pressure is
increasing.... As soon as the warm
season begins, a war would be unbearable for the soldiers and their
equipment.... A decision over war or
peace will have to be made over the next few weeks.”
"Saddam’s Advent Package"
Dietrich Alexander stated in an editorial in
right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (12/9): “Saddam’s report will be
scrutinized meticulously. It is
difficult to imagine that Washington will be content with any result that does
not lead to a militarily enforced change of regime. The Bush administration, however, is now
facing the pressure to put its evidence on the table in an effort to reveal Saddam’s
falsehoods. Moreover, Baghdad’s report
might also contain a few embarrassments--incriminating exports by U.S. and
European companies to Iraq, for example.”
"Washington And London Must Make Their
Intelligence Reports Available"
Siegfried Buschschlueter commented on national
radio station Deutschlandfunk of Cologne (12/6): “There are, of course, good
reasons for not trusting the Iraqi regime….
Anyone who believes that Saddam stopped working on weapons of mass
destructions when the UN inspectors left the country in 1998 is out of touch
with reality. Nevertheless, now that the
United States has agreed to the return of the inspectors, it must allow them to
do their work.... If Washington and
London have intelligence reports, they must make them available to the
inspectors. It is not enough to
maintain: ‘We know better, Saddam is lying.’”
"Final Verdict Against Saddam"
Washington correspondent Vittorio Zucconi wrote
in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (12/9): “If the United States
asked for a UN dossier--even if it has said since the very beginning that it
would not believe a single line of it--it is because Washington wants a formal
document, the evidence of a lie for which it can hang the Iraqi dictator while
still respecting procedures.... The
arrogance of the (U.S.) hyper-power always seeks a legal justification, since
it must look impeccable from a procedural point of view.... Such formal approach contains the ultimate,
and very frail, possibility that the rope to hang Iraq may be cut at the last
minute, and this is creating some anxiety among the administration’s
‘hawks’.... They are angry about the
victory of ‘formalists’ like Secretary Powell.
They would have certainly preferred a clearly unilateral action, decided
in Washington and possibly joined by ‘those who want to go along’--without so
much diplomatic and political pantomime....
Bush’s America will do what it has already decided to do. But since a 12,000-page document inevitably
contains omissions, mistakes, or ambiguities, the ‘puritan’ will be satisfied
to discover that the accused is guilty of something. And the United Nations, the Arab nations and
the European governments will have an excuse to give their final O.K. to George
An analysis by New York correspondent Ennio
Caretto in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera said (12/7):
“The U.S. president says that he has never worried about opinion polls, and
that he has a historic mission: to lead the forces of good to victory over the
forces of evil. This is a theological
concept of the new international order that promotes America to ‘world
judge.’ It is undeniable that the Iraqi
dictator must disarm himself, but this is not only an American issue, and the
United Nations should have the last word about when and how Iraq must disarm.”
Maksim Yusin said in reformist Izvestiya
(12/9): "The United States, would-be adversary Number one, has been
unimpressed by the volume of the report.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has noted dryly that what counts is
the contents, not the number of pages.
Unless the UN inspectors discover nuclear, chemical or bacteriological
weapons in Iraq, the United States will go public with its own intelligence to
expose Saddam's regime. This means that there is no alternative to war
anyway.... The main thing is to have
what would sound like a convincing rationale, be it the UN inspectors'
conclusions or U.S.-provided ideological reasoning. Donald Rumsfeld and other hawks in
Washington are sure to take care of that."
"Hard Evidence Needed"
Yevgeniy Verlin remarked in centrist Nezavisimaya
Gazeta (12/9): "To give the lie to the Iraqis effectively, the CIA and
other U.S. structures may have to produce specific proof."
"No Change Of Course"
Foreign affairs writer Walter Friedl opined in
mass-circulation Kurier (12/9): "It is highly unlikely that Bush
will still call a stop to the U.S. war machinery. However, if he fails to come up with really
good arguments that convince his allies of the necessity of a preemptive
strike, America will continue to lose international support. At the hour of victory, the 'lonesome cowboy'
could find himself all alone."
"War Is A Certainty"
Foreign affairs writer Lieve Dierckx in
financial De Financieel-Economische Tijd (12/7), "The Bush
administration is unilaterally saddling the world with a war against Iraq. In Europe, only Germany continues to be an
obstacle. Of course, that is embarrassing,
but Chancellor Schroeder now has too many domestic problems to continue to be
against a war. With some arms supplies
to Israel and free access to German airspace for American bombers, Berlin is
choosing the camp of the American president--albeit not whole-heartedly. The war against Iraq is a certainty for the
United States--with 112 billion barrels of oil as the ante. Bush is determined not to let those barrels
BULGARIA: "The Plot
Socialist affiliated Duma maintained
(12/5), "Whatever happens, there will be a war. And this has nothing to do with Iraq's
weapons. It is a matter of geo-politics.
The plot may thicken only if Baghdad's expected declaration about its
arms arsenal reveals something. Despite conflicting reports for the Iraqi
capital, however, it is clear that the declaration will not change Bush's
intentions. Admission or no admission,
Saddam will get what the United States promised he would get."
"Intervention In Iraq In A Month Or Two?"
Zagreb-based Government-owned daily Vjesnik carried a
commentary by Foreign Affairs Editor, Jurica Korbler (12/6): “'Dangerous weapons haven't been found up to
now, but it is very likely that war will occur anyway!' This is more or less the summary of the first
week of the inspectors’ search for Iraq’s weapons, which has started with
rarely seen harmony, only to become cooler and tenser on the fourth
day.... The latest tragic slaughter in
Africa has sobered up even those who do not see the global danger in terrorism. Fanaticism has obviously spread throughout
the world, and literally threatens everyone at every moment. That’s why even those who until yesterday
shrieked at the very thought of ‘intervention without foundation’ against Iraq
(France, Russia, China, and Germany), no longer protest too loudly.... Power against power isn’t a popular solution,
but sometimes it gives results. Let’s
just remember aggressive Milosevic’s Serbia when all stood by their leader, but
things changed fast when he fell. The
most loyal ones turned against him the very night he was arrested in his Dedinje
villa. That’s what will happen with Saddam as well. Stories about whether inspectors will find
this or that weapon will no longer interest anyone at that point.”
CZECH REPUBLIC: "Iraq,
Petr Pravda commented in centrist MF Dnes
(12/6): "It looks like a dramatic exchange of arguments, which is decisive
in whether there will be a war in Iraq tomorrow or not. However, the main thing is what Iraqis have
written in the report on the state of their weapons of mass destruction, which
will be published this Saturday. This is the key to what will follow in the
upcoming days, weeks, and months. There are three options for Iraq: (1) confess to developing and storing the
weapons, enable access for UN inspectors to them, and finally destroy the
weapons under the inspector's supervision, (2) continue to lie and lose
everything, or (3) eventually defend its statement that it doesn't have the
weapons any more and support this statement with evidence. It would be hard within the atmosphere of
deep mistrust toward Iraq, but it isn't out of the question."
"A Vast Work Awaits The Weapons Inspectors In Iraq"
carried a one-page report about the UN inspectors’ current work in Iraq
(12/5): "Outgoing Senate member
Joseph Biden is quoted as saying that 'It’s a waste of time to turn to the UN
(or its inspectors) to decide whether Saddam Hussein has circumvented or not
the UN resolutions.' Why? Because it will be the President of the
United States who decides.”
IRELAND: "Relying On
The United Nations"
Dublin's leading, centrist Irish Times
observed (12/9): "The vast bulk of
the information provided and the need to assess it carefully mean it could be
weeks before much is known about its quality.
More time will then be required to intensify the inspection
process. It is vital that Iraq maintain
its co-operative attitude and that the UN Security Council retains full control
of the inspections procedure in coming weeks and months.... Now that this stage has been reached there is
evidence of mounting frustration in Washington over potential delays with
inspections and how they are conducted.
Those who want an attack on Iraq are seeking to find a plausible casus
belli. But only the Security Council
can decide whether Iraq has fully complied with the resolutions on reporting
and destroying weapons of mass destruction and what to do if it has not. The United States government insists Saddam
Husayn possesses such weapons and in support is likely to offer evidence from
its intelligence services; but that must be verified through the UN arms
inspectors, not by increasingly belligerent assertions from those who are
intent on forcing a regime change to replace the Iraqi ruler."
LATVIA: "UN Managed One Resolution On Iraq,
Maybe It Can Adopt Another"
Columnist Pauls Raudseps wrote in largest daily Diena
(12/9): "The Iraqi disarmament issue was put on the agenda by the United
States. Therefore the solution of the Iraqi problem could for a long period
determine what the world order of the 21st century will be, in particular, what
will be the relations between the only remaining superpower and the rest of the
world in the new century.... The new
world order will be largely determined by how the United States will use its
military and economic dominance as well as how the rest of the world will be
able to cope with it. At the beginning
of the Bush administration, many were afraid that the concerns about a
unilateral United States might become true....
However, Washington's action during the past half year during its
soliciting support for Iraqi disarmament clearly has been multilateral. But Saddam [is trying to hide] behind the
submitted report as behind the 12,000 veils and tries to dance away from 'the
serious consequences.' If anyone still
had any doubts, now it is clear that Hussein will not disarm of his own free
will.... The UN Security Council managed
to adopt one resolution about Iraq. We
should hope that if it is needed, it will manage to adopt another one as well."
Centrist Algemeen Dagblad editorialized (12/4): "The Dutch Cabinet said it would
consider support to the US in case of a war against Iraq...the US is currently
sounding out its allies and other countries on how prepared they are to
participate in a possible attack on Iraq....
But an answer cannot be provided if it is not clear what the requested
support would consist of. As long as it is unclear what contribution Washington
would expect from the Netherlands and under which circumstances, no answer can
be provided.... We can always talk to
the Americans but the situation -both nationally and internationally- does not
provide room for any kind of agreement at this point."
NORWAY: "A Welcome
Pause For Thought"
The independent Dagbladet commented
(12/9), "We notice that also the U.S. President George W. Bush emphasizes
that the report should be investigated closely before the United States should
do anything. And from the British Isles
we hear that the USA’s leading armor bearer, Prime Minister Tony Blair, is explaining
that world society does not have the right to go to war to topple President
Saddam Hussein without any reason. Blair refers to International Law. This toned-down war rhetoric does not mean
that the campaign against Iraq is cancelled.
But we hope that Bush and Blair have understood how strong the
resistance against a war is in almost all parts of the world. We still believe
that a war in Iraq should be avoided, irrespective of the contents of the
report, and hope that the Iraq question will stay where it belongs, in the UN.”
"Iraq Investigators Must Use The Time"
(12/9), "Iraq’s massive resistance
to open up for inspections in the country’s weapon programs and experiences
from the last time that the UN inspectors were in the country, might indicate that
the report will not be fully correct… The question about war or peace is too
serious to have an impatient United States, that for tactical reasons would
like to see a war by February, apply pressure through a conclusion about the
material too early.”
POLAND: "The Countdown
Anatol Arciuch wrote in rightist monthly Nowe Panstwo
(12/6): “Everything indicates that the
countdown has begun for a U.S. intervention in Iraq.... The return of UN weapons inspectors will
surely not weaken America’s determination, since no one doubts that their
mission will only confirm what the Iraqi sources claim--that Baghdad does not
violate UN Security Council resolutions, and that it neither produces nor
accumulates weapons of mass destruction.
The point is that the Iraqis have had almost four years--since the last
team of inspectors left Iraq in 1998--to successfully hide laboratories,
factories, and stockpiles of such weapons.
Should that not suffice, they could always expect that their
sympathizers and agents in the UN itself will tip them off to every movement of
Influential moderate-left Público
Editor-in-Chief José Manuel Fernandes noted (12/8): "Will there be war in
Iraq? I'm am convinced of it. First, because Saddam Hussein's regime, even
if tightly watched by the United Nations, constitutes a mortal danger,
especialy for Israel. Then, because
without resolving the Iraqi problem there is no way to redesign the map of the
Middle East--and that is the ever-clearer objective of the United
States.... For decades,... the strategy
of Great Britain first, and then the United States, was based on a calculated
and hypocritical alliance with Saudi Arabia....
But its stability ignored the bonfire that burned, and burns, underneath
the Saudi regime: Wahhabite
radicalism.... Al-Qaida is the daughter
"Convincing The Convinced [While] The Volcano Is About To
Left-of-center Delo said (12/9) in a
front-page editorial by Barbara Surk: “Saddam Hussein’s apology to the Kuwaiti
people…can be understood as an act of a statesman who became aware of his
vulnerability and mortality just a couple of minutes before America’s attack.
However, the contents of the declaration, which--together with an admission
that Iraq possesses some prohibited weapons which will be shown to the UN
inspectors--might complicate America’s imperialist plans in the Middle East, is
the opposite. So is also the apology to Kuwait.
In reality, it is an appeal to the Arab people to resist the regimes
which support America’s war against [Saddam’s] regime.... In reality, this was yet another attempt to
raise Iraq to the position of the pan-Arabic leader of humiliated and insulted
people prior to America’s unavoidable invasion. But Saddam Hussein had lost
contact with these people;…he has failed to persuade the majority of those
Arabs who know why they have been paying dearly for past wars in the region and
for post- 9/11 political repression....
He offered to Washington what it has been searching for…; a link between Iraq and international
terrorism. He opened the door for Bush’s
rearrangement of the Middle East according to America’s geo-political interests
in the moment when--according to an Egyptian newspaper--the region is a volcano
about to erupt."
"Saddam's Report In A Pre-war Atmosphere"
Conservative ABC wrote (12/9): The United States is emitting worrying
signals. One has the impression that
Bush will maintain his agenda no matter what happens with the inspectors. Washington maintains the unalterable
conclusion that Iraq is hiding and producing prohibited weapons. Military intimidation is becoming preparation
of a total war... Saddam takes a serious
risk if he has lied in the report, but Bush should allow the inspector to
continue their work until they've checked all the information. Unfortunately,
all signs indicates that Bush has already made his own decision. And if that's so and Bush couldn't publicly
and convincingly give credibility to the 'irrefutable proofs' that his
intelligence services say they have, the president is taking serious political
risk with a war which he will have to fight almost alone, and that will give
fuel to Islamic radicalism and feed anti-Americanism, even in Europe."
"Saddam's Christmas Message"
Social Democratic Stockholm tabloid Aftonbladet
editorialized (12/9), "Only an unconcerned naive imagines that Iraq will
provide all facts about its access to, or possibility to produce weapons of
mass destruction. The documents that have been forwarded will no doubt be
negotiable. The main question now is whether deficiencies and non-declared
information would be serious enough to violate UN Resolution 1441.... On 26 January 2003, UNMOVIC will forward its
report. Until then, the numbers of inspectors will increase and their
technological aids become refined. But
it is uncertain whether the United States will assist Hans Blix and his group.
The risk might be that the work of UNMOVIC would eliminate the arguments for
war that exist in the difficult to interpret UN resolution. President Bush, who thinks that he has been
given an assignment by God, wants to strike no later than the end of
"Saddam's Long Shadow"
Deputy Editor-in-Chief Hansrudolf Kamer wrote in
center-right Neue Zürcher Zeitung (12/7), "It is not very likely
that the Iraqi document will satisfy the Americans. Washington has already declared several times
that Saddam does possess weapons of mass destruction. In Washington's view, the 'last chance' which
the Security Council has given the Baghdad dictator consists of allowing him an
opportunity to confirm as much. Other members of the Security Council may have
read the text differently, but according to the Americans the idea is not to
have UN inspectors searching up, down and across Iraq for traces of these
weapons, in order either to certify Iraq's innocence or to nail it for
deception. That could take months, if not years. And Bush is not likely to wait
that long. A whitewashed Saddam, freed of UN sanctions, would be a nightmare
for the region. It may be assumed that Washington still hopes to reach its
goal--regime change in Baghdad--without a major passage at arms. To achieve
that, it may perhaps be willing to give UN inspectors more time, along with
demands for tighter inspections and a release of selected intelligence
information. At the same time, the military and political buildup is
proceeding, not very rapidly, but steadily and methodically.... A coalition of 'willing' allies is being
assembled. This support is necessary for the Americans. They are the world's leading power, but still
not the only ranger in the global park.
They could, of course, conduct a solitary war against Iraq and doubtless
win it, but at great expense, with great stress to their not-inexhaustible
military resources, and at an unnecessary political cost. Harmonization with
their allies and a tacit understanding with Russia and others is important for
their future position in the concert of powers."
TURKEY: "The Cards Are
Being Turned Face Up On The Subject of Iraq"
Oktay Eksi wrote in center-right, mass-appeal Hurriyet
(12/3): "Evidently, the United
States wants 'to use our air space and bases...to make use of the Turkish
territories...to use the Turkish ports' and wants us 'to give our soldiers in
case they want them', that is, they want us to send our soldiers to the
front. No doubt, the United States wants
all of these as required by its own long and short-term interests and
objectives.... But just as the United
States, no doubt Turkey also has--at least it should have- long and short-term
interests and objectives. For that
reason, the responses that Turkey will give to these requests must coincide (or
at least not damage) the subject interests and objectives. For example, the United States has actually
given all kinds of support up until now for the formation of a Kurdish state to
the south of Turkey. To what extent is
it possible for the United States now to commit (if it would) itself to a
completely contrary policy on the same subject or for it to be a reliable
"The Turkomans in northern Iraq could mean
nothing for the United States, but for Turkey they are important both due to
their influence in Karkuk and the region and also due to our similar
lineage. Does the United States have a
commitment on this subject? Even if the
United States undertakes the Iraqi operation and reaches its goal and leaves
there in the future, Turkey will always remain a neighbor with Iraq. Despite this, would it be possible to forget
that Turkey, which does not have any hostile relations against Iraq, would send
its own soldiers to the front and fight against the Iraqis?...
"No one is hiding the fact that at the core
of the present Saddam crisis lies the fact that the U.S. companies control the
Iraqi oil.... The only problem is to
satisfy Russia, China and France, which are uneasy about the oil resources of
Iraq passing into the sovereignty of the United States. But on the one hand, while a solution is
being sought, on the other hand, it is targeted to establish three large oil
companies and leave the management of the oil in the Shiite, Sunnite and
Kurdish regions of Iraq to these companies."
Belgrade's influential Politika commented (12/9): “UN inspectors have a very hard task because
chemical and biological weapons can be produced with new technologies in
extremely small premises therefore control of it is virtually impossible. In the past, whole factories were needed for
production of such weaponry and their identification was easy because they
emitted a lot of gases but new technologies eliminated this.... An ordinary detergent or soap factory can be
transformed in 12 hours into facilities for the production of biological or
chemical arms. And vice versa, of
course. Genetic engineering contributed
also and now poisons can change very quickly. Therefore all protection devices
are useless… Former assistant to U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Douglas
Seith, who was in charge of negotiations on biological weapons, said in 1986
that ‘the problem of biological and chemical weapons cannot be solved through
arms control.' However, UN inspectors in
Baghdad now try to do that. Therefore, the war is almost inevitable.”
"Oil As A Weapon"
Belgrade Politika’s military commentator analyzed whether
the U.S.’ ‘non-American-casualties’ military doctrine is applicable in the Iraq
case as well as Iraq’s possible defense tactics (12/7): “One strategy can be
for Iraq to light its oil fields and installations and to create a huge smoke
cloud that can cause problems for American anti-radar systems and laser-driven
missiles. If Iraq decides to use such a
defense, a grand ecological catastrophe would be a problem for American and
British soldiers in this region after the eventual topple of Saddam Hussein’s
regime; and ‘the Gulf syndrome’ still shakes the American media scene… Iraq’s
defense probably will be located in layers, and the northern part of the
country will be mined while strong forces of regular army and Republican guard
could be expected in a radius of 200km round Baghdad, a capital which will be
strongly defended. Street fights are
always hard for attackers, and if Iraqis decide to defend aggressively, the invasion
forces could experience big losses.... A
political alternative to an American raid of Baghdad is to invade Basra, to
install an opposition regime to Saddam Hussein, to declare Kurdish autonomy in
the north and to wait for internal mutiny to change a regime. American military doctrine in the past few
years had an imperative of ‘zero of its casualties.’ If this can be applied to Iraq, depends only
Senior Middle East affairs analyst Zvi Bar'el
wrote on page one of independent Ha'aretz (12/8): "The lists provided by Saddam are at
best a symbolic act: had anyone believed their authenticity in the first place,
there would have been no need to send the UN weapons inspectors to Iraq. As the expected American and British response
to the report is that the delaration is no more than a bluff coming on top of
eight previous false reports submitted by Saddam to the international community
since 1990, one can assume that the whole purpose of requiring Saddam to submit
the report is to put him in his place, or rather to humiliate him and perhaps
provide the U.S with justification, or a further pretext to launch a war. Theoretically, even if the listings in the
report are true and contain new information, the U.S. Administration will not
be able to use them as a casus belli, because if Saddam is relaying accurate
information and they do contain evidence of the existence of weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq, then he will only be complying with the Security Council
resolution. If it transpires that Saddam
has been lying, based on findings on the ground, then even a lie isn't a casus
belli; rather, the weapons and materials of mass destruction will be
destroyed. That, after all, is the
mission of the inspectors. The more
important report is to be submitted on January 28 by the weapons inspectors....
In the meantime, the weapons inspectors are, in the words of one American
diplomat, 'a human shield for Saddam under the auspices of the UN,' because as
long as their mission continues, the U.S. will find it difficult to launch a
"Bush Won't Let Saddam's Compliance Disturb
Washington correspondent Orly Azolai-Katz wrote
in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (12/8): "Every
preparation made by President Bush towards an offensive against Iraq were based
on one single working assumption: Saddam Hussein would spurn the UN demands and
provide a pretext for the outbreak of a war... Bush assumed that Saddam would
continue his lying game in the meantime, but he has found out that the Iraqi
president also knows how to comply when such an attitude pays off.... As a result, at least for now, Saddam is
determining the moves of the game. But
Bush is resolute in not letting him spoil his plans. Bush has already decided to go to war, marked
his target and moved his pawns.... If in
the coming days Bush doesn't manage to convince that he is embarking upon a
just war, he will lose world sympathy, and, what is worse for him, the support
of the American public, which, following the failure to capture bin Laden in
Afghanistan, will not rush into supporting another unnecessary war."
Battle In Iraq"
Cairo's leading, pro-government Al Ahram
editorialized (12/8): "This process
is proceeding without obstacles and in accordance with UN Security Council
resolution 1441, which Iraq has accepted unconditionally. However...the inspection process involves
seemingly contradictory assessments....
Officials from the UNMOVIC and the IAEA emphasize that the inspection
teams have not run into any obstacles and that Iraq is being fully cooperative
this time.... The inspectors are
following a strict routine, but their comments are positive, while the U.S.
administration continues to send mixed signals about the entire inspection
process. On the other hand, Iraq
criticizes the behavior of inspectors without impeding their work. All this indicates that the inspection
process will probably move forward and the current state of trepidation will
eventually end. This is a positive
development that all parties concerned must build on, if the Iraqi crisis is
really about weapons of mass destruction."
"Saddam's Speech Was Not An Apology"
Yousef Al-Yaqout asserted via Kuwait's official
news agency (12/8): "The speech of
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein yesterday was the last episode of a multi-chain
episodes and foiled Iraqi attempts to disunite Kuwaitis and cause turmoil between
the people and their leadership. The Iraqi
President knows well how strong is the Kuwaiti people's adherence to its
leadership, which shocked him and the world when Saddam did not find, during
Iraq's invasion of the country, anyone that collaborated with him, thus, his
last chance is part of his foiled bids on an issue which he personally has been
shocked of.... Instead of apologizing
for the Kuwaiti government and people, Saddam Hussein called on the Kuwaiti
people to live free, forgetting that the Kuwaiti have always been free since
the country was established and until this moment and that they have never felt
oppressed until the Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait and declared that human beings'
freedoms were killed and then the Kuwaiti person had felt his freedom has been
buried alive similar to the freedom of the Iraqi person a long time
ago.... The official Iraqi speech was
supposed to have tackled Iraq's willingness to implement the U.N. resolutions
as well as those adopted during the recent Beirut summit concerning the release
of POWs and return of looted Kuwaiti properties, it included expressions that
deserve no reply. The Iraqi President
also spoke a lot about the presence of foreign troops in the area and forgot
that these troops did not come to the area until his troops invaded Kuwait in 1990.... Saddam's speech was not an apology, as he has
not fulfilled conditions of such an apology."
"Washington And Baghdad Steer Course For War"
Beirut's independent, English language Daily
Star (12/9): "The crisis is
being driven by two forces which appear to have no limits. One of them is Washington's determination to
impose its usual double standards on the Middle East--and to do so in a manner
that sharply reduces the number of avenues via which hostilities might be
avoided. The other is Baghdad's obduracy
in presuming that it alone has the ability and the right to decide what is best
for other Arab countries. The knee-jerk
skepticism with which the White House has greeted the revival of international
weapons inspections in Iraq speaks volumes about the Bush administration's
goals. The American people have been
told that their government sees war as a last resort, but their leaders are
leaving little room for anything else.
But Washington has had a willing partner in this dance of death because
Baghdad still has yet to realize either the extent of the danger it faces or
the accelerating effect of its own counterproductive 'diplomacy.' The latest
evidence of this came on Sunday, when Saddam Hussein had his information
minister read out a statement on television in which he issued a backhanded
apology for having invaded Kuwait in 1990.
In actuality, the statement showed only that even after leading his
people to ruin, Iraq's president has learned nothing."
"Iraq--The UN: First
The independent French-language Le Maroc Aujourd'hui
editorialized (12/3): "The Pentagon
is taking care of the final touches of the military plan of action. Four people were killed after the
British-U.S. strike. The Security Council will have a week to resume the 'oil
for food' program. Iraq must submit, on
Sunday at the latest, the updated list of its weapons of mass
SAUDI ARABIA: "Between
One Report And Another"
London's Saudi-owned Al-Sharq al-Awsat
(12/8): "Until this very moment,
the international inspection team that has begun its work inside Iraqi
territory has not said anything that may be construed as obstruction attempts
by the authorities in Baghdad. In fact,
the opposite is true.... Furthermore,
the past few years have concretely demonstrated that it is easy to contain and
deter the recalcitrance of the Iraqi leadership. In fact, the two strategies of domination of
Iraqi air space and the 'oil for food' program have accomplished and continue
to accomplish exactly that. Even if the
continued presence of the Iraqi regime is undesirable, there are regional and
international priorities that should take precedence over what a large part of
the international community thinks is a spiteful targeting that is exploiting
the climate of the war on terrorism....
The Iraqi authorities are required to demonstrate total candor and to
show complete transparency. They have no
other choice in this regard. However,
the international community is also required to take the correct political and
ethical decision if the specialized experts conclude that Baghdad has done what
it was supposed to do. If some choose to
ignore the evidence and deny the facts merely because they have a plan that
they insist on implementing under all circumstances, the principal loser will
not necessarily be Baghdad alone as the weaker side in the forthcoming
confrontation. The principal loser will
be international legitimacy and all the principles, concepts, and institutions
of international legitimacy."
"Pre-Judgments And Hidden Intentions"
Government-owned Tishreen editorialized (12/8): "As soon as Iraq announced that it will
present its report on arms programs to the UN, U.S. officials hastened to say
that if the report does not contain WMD, then it will be incorrect.... U.S. officials made their judgment in record
speed.... They do not give any
consideration to the Iraqi government's assertion nor to the international
inspectors' mission, which is proceeding smoothly due to Iraq's
cooperation.... The U.S.
administration's alleged insistence on Iraq's WMD raises many questions and
contradictions especially that the U.S. has not provided a single piece of
evidence on the truthfulness of its claims....
As the United States doesn't own the evidence and insist on it, this
means that it is contemplating aggression and pays no heed to a peaceful
"Too Much Injustice!"
Editor-in-Chief M'Hamed Ben Youssef wrote in
independent French-language weekly Tunis-Hebdo (12/9), "Saddam
Hussein continues to show his good intention and seriousness by complying with
all the exigencies of UNSCR 1441 and even by presenting his excuses to the
Kuwaiti people.... Hence, after 12 long
years, the master of Baghdad has acknowledged his faults. He should have done the same thing for Iran,
which he dragged into an eight-year war...
Saddam Hussein, who for a while regarded himself as the Napoleon of the
Middle East, and his hegemonic policy have not only ruined Iraq for several decades,
but have plunged all the Middle East in an infernal cycle of diplomatic
submission to Uncle Sam.... Absent the
Kuwaiti invasion, which provoked a war in the Gulf region, the United States
would not have brought such an armada into the Gulf countries, in particular in
Saudi Arabia, to be established for ever....
And without this offending presence to Islam and morals of so many
Marines in the holy place, there would not have been such an untimely reaction
against the U.S. interests by an Arab-Muslim youth that is fed up with the
American 'offensive' domination. ...The ball is now in Saddam's court. He has
the ability to play tricks on President Bush.
He has only to give power to his son....
It would at least delay the deadlines...and muddle up the cards."
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: "Justification For War"
Commenting on Washington's request to question Iraqi scientist abroad, Abu
Dhabi-based pan-Arab Akhbar Al Arab editorialized (12/8): "This request underlines that Washington
will request WMD inspectors to provide the United States any information to
start the war for which it moblizes....
If the United States. is sincere in its efforts to achieve peace by
wiping out WMD, it must not attempt to create a justification for war."
"Beyond The Iraqi Report"
Sharjah-based pan-Arab Al Khaleej opined
(12/8): "The Bush's administration
is reaching the point of no-return for a war on Iraq.... A historical decision by the leaders of the
(Arab) nation is required as the whole region is threatened.... Otherwise, Arab countries will suffer a
defeat and failure, especially as more time passes and the drums of war become
"Both U.S. And Iraqi Pressure On Inspectors"
Commenting on what it called the psychological
pressure imposed on WMD inspectors by both the United States and Iraq, Abu
Dhabi-based semi-official Al Ittihad editorialized (12/6): "Both sides must not precipitate
events. More time and patience are
required to resolve the issue.... There
is a great hope that international diplomacy will be reactivated, and the SC
will regain its rule in defusing the crisis, which threatens world peace and
"Too Early To Judge"
Characterizing as Iraq's cooperation with WMD
inspectors as good, Abu Dhabi-based semi-official Al Ittihad said
(12/4): "It is too early to judge the success of the inspections before
making sure Iraq has no WMD. However,
Baghdad must continue this flexible and wise way of dealing with WMD
inspectors, and never deviate from this way by all means. This is the only way for Iraq to rejoin the
international community and lift the tough sanctions on the Iraqi people."
"Both Iraq And U.S. Credibility At
Dubai-based pan-Gulf Gulf News
editorialized (12/7): "Iraq has an
obligation to prove to the world that it does not have any WMD.... The United Nations knows it cannot afford to
be lenient or lose its neutrality on the issue.... The United States will need a very high level
of comfort if its allegations of the presence of weapons in Iraq are to be
refuted. All this requires the
inspectors to continue their work at the highest levels, despite any
"International Community Wants Proof Of Iraq's WMD Program"
Commentator Mr Kheradmand declared on Tehran's
official Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran Radio 1 (12/8): "Although American and British officials
have said that the report presented by Iraq to UN Security Council lacks
credibility and honesty and although they still accuse Iraq of possessing mass
destruction weapons, I should point out this important fact that Americans need
precise documents in order to accuse Iraq of violating UN Security Council
resolutions and possessing WMD and they should present such documents to the
inspectors. The inspectors should prove
the accusations made by America in the course of their inspection of the field. It is only then that the Security Council and
the world community will agree to the belligerent disarming of Iraq. Otherwise, it is highly unlikely that America
which has been preparing for a probable attack on Iraq within two months from
now in February, could get the Security Council's authorization for attacking
Iraq; although America has been saying repeatedly that it has intelligence
reports indicating that Iraq possesses WMD but has not said that in its report
[to the UN]. Whereas almost all of the
members of the international community and most of the members of Security
Council support the idea of peaceful disarming of Iraq, they will never agree
to a military attack on Iraq without having the proof for Iraq's possession of WMD."
"Bush The Bully"
Noted columnist Prem Shankar Jha declared in the
nationalist Hindustan Times (12/7):
"At the end of 1998, when UNSCOM finally withdrew its inspectors on
the eve of the American air attack on Iraq, Saddam Hussein had virtually no WMD
left and, more important, no factories for fabricating them. What is equally certain is that Iraq has not
been able to make any new chemical and biological weapons since then.... Ritter debunks the current Anglo-American
attempt to convince the world that Iraq has become a threat to its neighbors
and even to the rest of the western world by pointing out that it is impossible
to keep a nuclear enrichment or chemical weapons program secret.... Ritter's disclosures explain the chasm that
is opening between the U.S. and UK, and the UN Secretary General and other
permanent members of the Security Council....
The gap is seemingly unbridgedable.
The UN may not in the end be able to prevent a US-UK invasion of Iraq,
but it must ensure that they are given no opportunity to claim the mantel of
"Iraq's 11,807-Page Weapons Declaration And..."
Leading, mass circulation Jang observed
(12/9): "President Bush and his
subsequent premature rejection of Iraq's weapons' declaration has yet again
brought to the fore more openly the U.S. eagerness to implement its aggression
against Iraq. In complete disregard of
the ground realities and without even waiting for the final report of the
weapons' inspections, the U.S. has decided to use its military might against
Iraq within the next few weeks.... The
decision of any action against Iraq should be taken by the UN Security Council
and not by any individual powerful country.
The question is whether the international community will allow the
United States to destroy world peace as well?"
"New Scenario Of Iraq-U.S.
Karachi-based, right-wing, pro-Islamic Jasarat
opined (12/9): "The latest posture
adopted by the United States and Britain is even more ridiculous than their
previous ones and does not mean anything else other than the U.S. wish to
thrust war upon Iraq. There is no other
option left in the Muslim world than to forget their experiences of the past
and collectively fight against U.S. aggression."
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: "Polls Make
Political commentator Brian Toohey observed in
his tabloid Sun-Herald (12/8) column: "Unlike George Bush, John
Howard does not have an itchy trigger finger when it comes to first strike on
Iraq. The reason is straightforward: too many things could go wrong in Iraq for
an Australian politician whose popularity depends largely on national security
issues going the right way... Most Australians seem willing to accept the
potential repercussions of taking a hard stand against bin Laden. But it could be a different matter if
Australians are killed as a direct result of support for a contentious U.S.
policy of 'regime change' in a country such as Iraq which does not appear to
pose a plausible threat..... The idea of
poking Saddam with a stick is electorally risky, especially after Howard stirred
up a hornet's nest last week with his comments on supporting a pre-emptive
strike on a terrorist cell in a neighboring country."
"The U.S. Does Not Believe In The Iraqi Report"
Wang Junru reported in the official Communist
Party international news publication Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao,
12/9): "Analysts think that it is
not clear yet which party, Bush or Saddam, is more patient? At present, since
the U.S. military is fully armed, it does not have any other choice. Sooner or later, Bush will seize an
opportunity to launch the war against Iraq.”
(HONG KONG & MACAU SARs):
"Bush's Dangerous Game"
The independent English-language South China
Morning Post opined (12/8):
"The U.S. may consider the WMD it claims Iraq possesses a powderkeg
of regional insecurity, but it should also consider the implications of its own
strategy.... President Bush was
reiterating that no matter what Baghdad said, there was already conclusive
evidence of its WMD.... But the U.S. and
its allies must also remember that the more they push Mr. Hussein's regime, the
more they are being perceived by Arabs and Muslims as anti-Islam. Although Mr. Hussein may not be well liked in
the Muslim world, there is a danger of his being elevated to martyr status. As increasing numbers of young Muslims turn to
extremist, anti-American groups, it is clear Mr. Bush is playing a dangerous
game. He and his advisers would be wise
to tone down their rhetoric and let Mr. Hussein be judged fairly, rather than
force him into a war with uncertain implications."
"UN Busy With Inspection; U.S. Busy
Preparing For War"
The pro-PRC Chinese-language Macau Daily News
remarked (12/9): "Iraq has shown a
cooperative attitude in the process of nuclear weapons inspection, which has
'astonished' the inspection team. UN
Secretary-General Annan is satisfied with the very good beginning of the
inspection work, and he believes the inspection is effective. This situation gives kind-hearted people some
hope. They wish that Iraq can continue
to be cooperative and let the inspection prove that the Saddam regime did not
make any violations. Then the Iraq issue
could be settled through political means, and war can be prevented.... The Bush Administration is dealing with Iraqi
issue in the same way as counter-terrorism.
At present, it is making deployments to launch possible attacks against
Iraq. All traces show that the U.S. is
resolved to use force against Iraq.
Nuclear weapons inspection is not the decisive factor that will
influence the U.S. consideration of whether to wage war or not."
"Iraq, Between War And Peace"
Van Khanh wrote in Ha Noi Moi, the daily
run by Hanoi capital city's government, (12/6):
"People recognize that when more positive signals are sent out by
the UNMOVIC, it is also the time Washington is working more busily to seek
support and figure out new conspiracies that serves the goal of ousting the
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein....
Washington's recent moves make people think that Mr. Bush is playing the
Iraq card to sustain his presidency and the position of the Republican Party in
"Bully U.S. Throwing Its Weight Around"
A letter to the editor in the independent,
regional Ghanaian Chronicle said (12/2): "The world has spoken out
against America's or is it Pentagon's top brass's intent to go to war against
Iraq, but to no avail.... After Desert
Storm in which the White House failed under Bush No.1's administration to flush
out Saddam Hussein, new terrible weapons of destruction have been built, tested
and assembled to teach Iraq a bitter lesson for its insolence at taunting the
United States' nose.... To go to war to
add to the suffering and perishing millions would be the unkindest cut, civilized
Christian America can give to God....The people of Iraq have a right to live in
peace, which they have despite ten years of strangulating sanctions. To
continue to preach that Iraq had been producing weapons of mass destructions is
just a shade too pink as per Bush's British collaborator's dossier did not
present any new evidence, neither has the Bush/Powell/Blair triumvirate.... It
is quite on the cards the West want to lay its powerful grip on the oil
reserves of the region to boost its developmental growth, while its allies in
Israel continue with the cruel approach to the Palestinian people.... Might may not win and if it should, it will
only be pyrrhic this time and it will usher in the era of the big bullying
nations who will be tempted to throw their weight about a David arising to stem
"Can 12,000 'Truth' Pages Save Iraq?"
The Monitor stated (12/9):
"The Iraq cat and mouse game with America has entered another
high-tension phase.... Handing over the
declaration...a senior Iraqi official said about the truthfulness of the
declaration: 'Iraqis have learnt telling the truth and honesty from our leader,
Saddam Hussein. When we say we have no
banned weapons, we are telling the truth.'...
However, the declaration reiterates claims that Iraq has no WMD. President Bush’s administration has in the
past scoffed at such claims as an act of intransigence and provocation. Bush officials have already said they
consider such a claim to be tantamount to a 'material breach' of the recently
passed UN Security Council resolution that orders Iraq to disarm and threatens
'serious consequences' if it fails to comply.
The question now is; will America accept the Iraqi truth? The world waits with apprehension."
"Let Inspectors Do Their Job"
The independent Post commented
(12/9): "We doubt if the United
States will accept a United Nations' weapons inspection report which clears
Iraq of being in possession of WMD. It
would appear the United States is not satisfied with the work being done by the
United Nations inspectors. There is so
much noise coming from Washington about Iraq not being honest and hiding such
weapons. But we are not hearing anything
that is helpful to this inspection. If
the United States knows where these weapons are, why not hand over such
information to the inspectors and let them do their work? The truth is the United States, the main
complainant over Iraq's alleged possession of WMD, does not have any information
beyond that which is already in the hands of the inspectors to support its
claims. It seems to us that the United
States is not satisfied with only being a complainant, it wants to also be a
prosecutor and the judge into its own complaint."
The liberal Toronto Star opined (12/6):
"hile most of Iraq's arsenal was destroyed after the Gulf War in 1991,
some missiles remain unaccounted for. So do stockpiles of chemical and
biological weapons, and chemicals needed to develop them. Iraq's nuclear
ambitions remain murky.... It will take
weeks if not months to pore through Saddam's declaration, to match it against
American and British intelligence, and have the UN carry out aggressive
inspections to verify Iraq's claims. Only then will the Security Council be in
a position to decide what comes next.
But this is the moment of truth. Saddam must come clean, and pass the
sniff test. The world will not tolerate anything less."
"Reasons Why There Won't Be War"
International analyst Claudio Uriarte opined in
leftist Pagina 12 (12/8).
"War against Iraq won't take place for the simple reason that
George W. Bush is not interested in it.
And he keeps proving this....
Yesterday, the U.S. president added new evidence of his bluffing when he
said 'We will judge the honesty and thoroughness of Iraq's declaration once we
have examined it carefully..'... This is
a surprisingly calm declaration coming from the unilateral 'hawk' that
repeatedly says no declaration from Saddam is worthy of trust. The imaginary war against Iraq already served
his purpose--muffling the Democratic Party's opposition on economic issues and
guaranteeing the recovery of the Republican majority in Congress in the
November 5 elections.... A successful
invasion on Iraq needs at least 250,000 men but, since the drums of war began
in September, the Pentagon hasn't made a single addition to the 60,000 soldiers
deployed in the region.... Nor have we
witnessed the deployment of tanks.... If
Bush, the famous unilateralist, had wanted to launch a real war against Iraq,
the last thing he would have done is go to the UN--the natural enemy of any
unilateral action.... Rumsfeld firmly
excluded NATO from Afghanistan....
Because this time war won't take place, Bush has candidly requested NATO
countries a list of possible favors in case of an eventual war against
Iraq.... The last 'war plan' that was
disclosed fully unveils the farce: After occupying the country, Saddam wouldn't
be attacked in the cities, but would be left to collapse on its own. And what if he doesn't fall? Nobody asked this question and nobody
answered it. It was also disclosed that
the U.S. would annex the oil fields and then name a military governor like
McArthur, but this is really very hard to believe."
"The Non-Existent Iraqi Opposition"
Ambassador Antonio Amaral De Sampaio commented
in center-right O Estado de S. Paulo (12/5): "Eager to remove
genocidal Saddam Hussein from power, the USG is trying to reactivate and
coordinate the Iraqi domestic opposition. This initiative seems to me a mere
exercise in futility because, in a nation without [free expression of] public
opinion, a free press and a parliament that honors its name, the dictator has
eliminated every movement capable of opposing his personal power.... If it wants to recruit domestic opponents to
Saddam Hussein, the U.S. must search for them in Baghdad's cemeteries."
"Inspectors Under Pressure"
Far-left La Jornada editorialized (12/5): "If the U.N. inspectors conclude that
there aren’t any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, then the White House will
be forced to discredit the team’s work in order to resurrect its main pretext
for waging war against Iraq. The a priori
discrediting of UN arms inspectors only serves to contribute to a new conflict
in the Persian Gulf. The European Union,
Russia, and China should demand that Bush and Saddam--so similar at times, in
their war-like passions--give the inspectors the chance to finish their work
without pressure, because this is the only way to prevent war."
Far-left La Jornada said (12/1): "A British official of the International
Atomic Energy Agency has said that it was possible for Iraqi citizens to hide
mass destruction weapons in their own homes....
Her reason for this reasoning is that everything is possible in
Iraq. This is another replay of Tony
Blair's campaign in the British media in full support of Washington's
plans. Anybody with a brain would
realize immediately how false her statement is.... The war is not against Hussein but against
the Iraqi people who would be deprived of their oil and their sovereignty. Were there not mass destruction weapons in
Iraqi factories or barracks, there would always be the possibility of the
Iraqis hiding them in their homes or where they keep their chickens. However, even if weapons are not found there,
the offense of the Iraqi people is what needs to be addressed--the offense of
having nationalized the oil from British hands 50 years ago."