February 6, 2003
POWELL MAKES 'PERSUASIVE' CASE BUT DOESN'T SWAY
foreign media judged that Secretary Powell made a strong case demonstrating
Iraq's deception of UN weapons inspectors, but remained unconvinced of the need
to go to war.
concluded that the U.S. is now poised to forcibly disarm Iraq, with or without
praised Powell's "compelling" presentation, but detractors found
cast doubts about the "veracity" of the evidence, and others
questioned why UN inspectors were not given the same intelligence as presented
to the Security Council.
Powell gets high marks for presentation, but the 'unconvinced remain
unconvinced'-- Commentary in British, French, German, Italian and Russian papers
generally reflected prior editorial leanings.
Some called the evidence "comprehensive and disquieting" and
"an impressive dossier"--even London's liberal and reliably anti-Bush
Guardian termed it "persuasive, disturbing information." Others, while praising the
"serious," polemics-free presentation, maintained the material was
"nothing new" and not "irrefutable evidence of the
existence" of Iraq's WMD. A few
dailies, like France's right-of-center Le Figaro, sniffed about
"garbled pictures" and "inaudible communications" or
satellite photos showing "trucks that might have carried milk." Italy's left-leaning, influential La
Repubblica struck a common theme: The evidence "only convinced those
who were already convinced." As
London's liberal Independent put it, Powell's evidence of Saddam's WMD
has not convinced those who worried about "the even more terrible risks
involved in a war."
Likewise, observers in Austria, Greece, The
Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland did not deny that Powell gave a
"powerful performance," but parted ways in determining whether the
evidence was strong enough to follow the U.S. into war. While the Greek press defiantly declared that
the secretary "failed to prove" that Iraq posed an immediate threat,
more shared Vienna's liberal Der Standard's view that: "After the
presentation there can be no doubt that Iraq has been deceiving the UN
inspectors." Lisbon's leading
financial Diario Economico nevertheless cautioned that no one can
confirm with the necessary "degree of certainty" that the Iraqi
regime has the WMD or al-Qaida links "that would legitimize a military
attack." Madrid's left-of-center El
Pais declared that "the danger [Saddam] represents...does not justify
unilateral, immediate and, by any reckoning, disproportionate action."
A few outlets also wondered if this were
"the first time" the UN and its arms inspectors had seen this
intelligence. If so, argued Dublin's
liberal Irish Times, "it raises grave questions about the
seriousness with which the U.S. treats...the arms inspectors' obligation to
verify and evaluate these allegations."
Israelis praise 'masterful presentation' of evidence, Arabs see U.S.
'deception'--Most Israeli writers saw Powell's presentation as closing the
books on whether Iraq's WMD capabilities needed to be taken out by force. The conservative Jerusalem Post was so
impressed by Powell's "masterful and devastating" case that it
declared: "Scratch everything the Jerusalem Post has said about
Powell. We love him." Arab dailies slammed the secretary's
"evidence" against Iraq. Many
argued that the U.S. will not succeed in selling its "logic" to the
world by “manufacturing pretexts for its aggression.” They also stressed that a peaceful solution
to the conflict must be found and that the inspectors need more time to
complete their work. Calling the UNSC
meeting "a sad time" for the UN "as a chamber of wisdom and
peacemaking," the government-owned Syria Times opined that
"the time has come to reform the UN and liberate it from American
ASIA/PACIFIC: Most remain skeptical about the
'evidence'-- Asia/Pacific editorials
emphasized the administration's readiness to go to war in Iraq. Japanese dailies were the most impressed in
the region by the secretary's evidence on Iraq's WMD deception, with liberal Mainichi
comparing the U.S. case to "the presentation of aerial photos showing the
construction of a missile base in Cuba during the 1962 crisis." India's centrist Hindu also
acknowledged Powell's "irrefutable proof." Many other outlets in the region, however,
put quotation marks around the word "evidence." They observed that while Washington clearly
considered the intelligence information sufficiently damning to warrant an
attack on Iraq, they themselves remained skeptical.
WESTERN HEMISPHERE: Powell 'strengthened Bush's hand,' but reasons
for war still questionable-- Most
observers concluded that the secretary, while presenting a compelling and
persuasive case, had "failed to change any minds." Dailies in Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico,
Chile, Peru and elsewhere continued to ask "why attack Iraq now?"
Anticipating a "solo military aggression," many refused to believe
that war was "the only alternative to ensure that Hussein is no longer a
threat to world peace." A number
shared the liberal Toronto Star's argument that Iraq is "enfeebled,
isolated, encircled and contained" and "poses no more threat today
than it did last week, last month or last year." Joining others who refused to be swayed,
Brazil's liberal Folha de Sao Paulo asserted that "despite its
photos and videotape pyrotechnics, Secretary Powell's presentation did not
offer more grounds to justify a war against Iraq." Some disparaged the "evidence,"
charging that the Bush administration was creating excuses to "stubbornly
further a war with Iraq." Mexico's
far-left Jornada suggested that the photographs were
"blurred," and that "the taped telephone conversations could
have been made anywhere in the U.S."
'Long overdue evidence' welcomed; but will Washington continue to go
through UN? Kenyan, Nigerian and
Zambian editorialists jumped to the conclusion that the U.S.-Iraq confrontation
"is about to begin." On
balance, Powell's "long overdue evidence" was believed to firmly
place the onus on Iraq to fully "cooperate with the weapons
inspectors." Writers warned, however,
that "Iraq should be given the chance to respond to all queries and
allegations raised against it." A
columnist for Kenya's left-of-center Nation slammed Germany and France
for "undermining" Powell. The
writer argued that German and French resistance to a resolution authorizing war
reduces both "Saddam Hussein's incentive to comply with the Security
Council" and Powell's influence on President Bush to stay multilateral by
putting "the UN...at the center of whatever action is taken."
Irene Marr, Gail Hamer Burke, Steven Thibeault, Steven Wangsness
This report is an expanded version of today's Early Report. The survey is based on 149 reports from 58
countries, Feb. 5-6. Editorial excerpts
from each country are listed from the most recent date.
"Powell Shoots To Kill"
The liberal Guardian editorialized (2/6): "This was not the dread moment that war
became inevitable. As the French foreign
minister was quick to point out, there remain other ways of defusing this
crisis. But the U.S. secretary of state
did provide persuasive, disturbing information suggesting that Iraq's efforts
to circumvent the inspections are well-planned, thorough and centrally directed
and as such constitute an unacceptable defiance of the UN's will. Most powerful, perhaps, was Mr. Powell's
detailed listing of the many ways in which Iraq has apparently sought to
conceal proscribed activities. But as he
reeled off case after case...only one conclusion was possible.... Saddam, the bloodiest of dictators who has
caused so much pain and suffering for so long, is once again recklessly
courting the very disaster so many people rightly fear. Iraqi behavior must change radically and
without any more delay. Much of the U.S.
evidence must be accepted, if it is accepted at all, on trust. Mr. Powell's sources were mostly anonymous
defectors, detainees, third country spooks and U.S. intelligence.... Mr. Powell certainly did the UN a service in
finally opening his Iraq dossier to public view. But the way forward must now be expanded,
intensified inspections equipped with this new evidence, as France
proposes. Iraq must disarm. The U.S. and Britain must not jump the
"The Case For The Prosecution"
The independent Financial Times lead editoral judged
(2/6): "Using the measured approach
of a prosecutor--albeit with evidence requiring a high degree of trust--Mr.
Powell has powerfully reinforced the judgement of Hans Blix's that it is five
minutes to midnight for Mr. Hussein. He
can now fully cooperate in his disarmament or face war. The next few days of debate will be
exceptionally difficult, culminating in Hans Blix's report next Friday. Only if he states unequivocally that the
inspections route has run its course is there much chance of a consensus
forming in favor of using force. But a consensus is what the UN and the world
"Powell Makes The Case"
The conservative Daily Telegraph took this view (2/6): "Colin Powell's presentation yesterday
to the United Nations on Iraqi defiance of the Security Council was an
extraordinary event.... The fact that the
case against Saddam Hussein was being made by the leading dove in the Bush Administration
was a powerful reminder that Baghdad has been given ample time to demonstrate
compliance with the UN. Mr. Blix will
report again to the Security Council tommorrow week. It will then have to decide whether to face
up to its responsibilities. If is does
not, America and its allies will go to war without its blessing. The risk, post-September 11, of leaving
Saddam in possession of deadly weapons is not one that they are prepared to
"An Impressive Show But Powell Failed To Make Case For War"
The liberal Independent editorialized (2/6): "General Powell asked the international
community to understand that, in the light of all we know about Saddam and all
the intelligence that the Secretary of State shared with the UN, the United
States government could not 'run the risk' of allowing Saddam to remain in
power. In turn, General Powell and the
Bush administration must understand that much of the rest of the world is not
ready to countenance the even more terrible risks involved in a war. Such an act of aggression by the U.S.
threatens to destabilize the whole region, would be a huge encouragement to the
fundamentalists from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan and would virtually guarantee an
upsurge in global terrorism. The policy
of containment and sanctions, pursued for 12 years, has been frustrating and
messy; but it has constrained Sddam.
General Powell did not tell us why we must abandon it."
The conservative Times held (2/6): "This was, as the general had said it
would be, a sober presentation, but the cumulative effect of his
circumstancial, visual, and auditory evidence powerfully reinforced the U.S.
and British contention that Iraq continues to deceive UN inspectors, to defy
the UN Security Council, and to manufacture weapons so appalling that they are
outlawed by UN conventions. In Iraq, the
world is not up against a diminished threat lingering from the past, but
confronting a dangerous serial offender, a dictator as contemptuous of human
life as he is of international law.
Containment has failed to to prevent him building and hiding weapons
that, he must be assumed to believe, would make him ultimately impossible to
restrain. Even if it ultimately takes
war, he must be stopped."
"And We Still Wait For The Evidence"
The liberal tabloid Daily Mirror opined (2/6): "Some smudgy old photos and blurred
taped conversations are not the basis for war.
Saddam Hussein is an abominable tyrant--a deceiver and liar who no doubt
glories in trying to cheat the UN's weapons inspectors. But is he a serious threat to the world? Mr. Powell says so, without producing real
evidence to back up his claim. Everyone
can agree that Saddam Hussein must be controlled. And he is being--not because the U.S. and
Britain are threatening him with war but because the United Nations has taken a
strong line. The greatest protection the
world can get is by uniting behind the UN.
Unilateral action will divide it and weaken the front against
terrorism. Colin Powell said that this
is a defining moment for the United Nations.
He is right in that--but not in the way that he intends. It is a defining moment because the world's
only superpower threatens to go it alone--apart from Britain's help."
Yves Therard commented in right-of-center Le Figaro
(2/6): “During 80 minutes Secretary
Powell used words that frighten, he heaped [accusations] on the rogue state of
Baghdad, showed garbled pictures, broadcast inaudible communications and tried
to prove that war was necessary. What do
we, the public, know today that we didn’t know before? Not much....
Secretary Powell presented arguments that only experts can
evaluate. Intangible proof, presumption,
clues? To Saddam’s lies we can probably
add the U.S. administration’s own lies....
The truth is that since Sept. 11 America is hungry for revenge and needs
to reaffirm its power.... It has chosen
Saddam, an old acquaintance, for its purpose.
It could have picked North Korea...or Pakistan.... One way or another everyone owes
Even France, which has been threatening to use its right of veto, seems
to be speaking with less determination, as was apparent in de Villepin’s
remarks. As for the UN it is in the
hands of the Americans.... The stage has
been set from the beginning. What
remained was convincing pubic opinion, which is largely hostile to war. That was Secretary Powell’s job. While he may have convinced the Minnesota
cattle breeder, the European farmer is probably still doubting. But so what.
America’s leadership does not care about differences. It is in itself justification for every
"Arsenal of Persuasion"
Gerard Dupuy held in left-of-center Liberation (2/6): “Powell’s long presentation was only
convincing to those who are already convinced, not because the presentation was
lacking in substance but because between probability and proof there is firm
belief.... Last fall, French diplomacy
forced the U.S. to recognize the legitimacy of the UN and in doing so won a
significant diplomatic battle.... Colin
Powell’s arsenal of persuasion was an indirect homage to this international
institution.... Even if the U.S. decides
to act without the approval of the UN, it would do so only after acknowledging
that this unilateralism is a choice by default.
The question is to know whether the U.S. can quickly obtain (perhaps
before the end of the month) a green light.
Will it be able to speed things up?
This will depend on its ability to pressure and seduce the Security
Council members. The French...fear that there will be a second resolution, yet
they were the first to support this option....
Yesterday, de Villepin spoke of a French military participation as the
last resort. Is this a clear change or
are we still limping along?… Powell’s
intention was not to convince but to influence. If his interlocutors refuse to
be influenced he can always ignore them.”
"Who Will Judge?"
Catholic La Croix editorialized (2/6): “The U.S. decided yesterday to turn the UNSC
into an international tribunal.... It
would be presumptuous after this presentation, which was nevertheless
troubling, to pass sentence.... The
‘truth’ does not jump out at us to the point that all of our doubts vanish.... It has become clear that since the beginning
George Bush and his team have lost all faith in the inspectors’ work. Emphasizing the ambiguous role of being both
accuser and judge does not mean that the accused is beyond reproach. We do not need ‘new’ proof to be convinced of
the duplicitous and cruel nature of the Iraqi regime. But this ‘trial’ does not involve Saddam
Hussein alone, it involves all of the people who live under his rule. It
involves other people in the region. It
involves perhaps the security of the whole world. And the only judge that is competent remains
the UNSC. Now it is up to each of its
members to assess the scope of the proof and of the doubts.”
"Peace As Proof"
Patrick Le Hyaric in communist l’Humanite (2/6): “The important
revelations that Secretary Powell was supposed to make to the world turned out
to be an empty bag of ‘clues, suspicion and proof.’ The famous ‘material
breach’ remained unproven. Will manipulation go so far as to demonstrate that
the absence of proof is proof in itself? Secretary Powell’s declaration must be
read in light of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s recent affirmation: ‘we will
change the name of the ‘bureau’ but that will not keep us from lying’... What
is at stake is much too serious to base decisions on unclear satellite photos
and CIA-tapped conversations whose validity the FBI doubts. The whole thing was
staged to give more time to the deployment of troops.”
"The Last Card"
The editorial by Pascal Aubert in centrist business-oriented La
Tribune (2/6): “The assignment that
Colin Powell handed in was well-presented but lacked the substance necessary to
convince the world of Saddam Hussein’s duplicity so that the deliberate
dramatization that preceded the presentation of the ‘evidence’...fell flat. Those countries that have already decided to
join the ranks of the U.S. saw in the Secretary of State’s explanation a
justification of their conviction....
The others, among which is France, saw in these explanations ambiguous
accusations, biased connections and hypothetical arguments that further
legitimize the need to continue the inspections.... Today the ball is clearly in Baghdad’s
court. Faced with President Bush’s avowed
hostility, Baghdad still has one card left to play...that of transparency. America has laid out what it sees as Saddam
Hussein’s underhandedness.... Now it is
up to him to meet the challenge...by complying without reserve or ruse to all
of the UN demands. This is Iraq’s only
chance to convince the international community to hold George Bush back. The point of no return will be reached next
week when the inspectors hand in their report.
It will be up to Saddam Hussein to decide if he wants to undertake the
rehabilitation or the annihilation of his country.”
National radio station Deutschlandfunk of Cologne (2/5) aired the
following commentary by Burkhard Birke:
“What Secretary of State Powell presented sounds conclusive but is not
really convincing in all its details. In
a courtroom we would probably talk about a trial based on circumstantial
evidence.... Of course, it is up to
Saddam to prove that he is innocent, but it would be naïve to think that the
despot from Baghdad would give up his cat-and-mouse game without massive pressure. That is why one thing is important: To take a
coherent position and increase pressure on Saddam and to build up a credible
position.... Basically, a fundamental
thing is now at stake: the credibility of the United Nations. Thus far, the United States has left it to
the international community to resolve the Iraq crisis. It must now make clear to Saddam that the
hiding game must come to an end once and for all. At the same time, Washington should be aware
of the consequences of a military strike that has not been sanctioned by the
United Nations. Bush would place himself
above international law. And this is
something nobody can seriously want.”
"The Iraq Case"
Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger noted in a front-page editorial in
center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (2/6): “Powell’s presentation made it clear that
Saddam represents a genuine danger, that he continues to strive for weapons of
mass destruction and does not intend to disarm, cooperate with the inspectors,
or fulfill the Security Council resolutions.
Powell’s presentation has not made it any easier to believe in the
purpose of ongoing inspections. This
much should be clear to anyone by now--the U.S. administration is not willing
to live with a danger it judges unacceptably high.... The other Security Council members...will not
suddenly accept the U.S. position. The
reluctance to say ‘yes’ to a war that could create much greater dangers for the
world tomorrow cannot be overcome with a few satellite images.... Powell has reminded the Europeans what kind
of deal they accepted with resolution 1441.
And it is true--anyone who accepts that Council resolutions are being
ignored...risks disappearing into meaninglessness.”
"Powell Makes His Case"
Andreas Oldag judged in an editorial in center-left Sueddeutsche
Zeitung of Munich (2/6): “Powell
gave a perfect performance, coming across as an experienced statesman.... He did not present any material that could
count as irrefutable evidence of the existence of weapons of mass
destruction. While there was plenty of
information about the alleged ties between Saddam and Al Qaida, the material
remained inconclusive.... The Security
Council is not a court. It must make a
political decision to avoid becoming superfluous--a second UN resolution that
unmistakably underlines that time is running out. The Council will have to take into account
that another dictator is playing with nuclear fire in North Korea, representing
at least as much of a threat to global peace as Saddam. Finally, Powell’s speech was also meant as a
wake-up call for the Europeans on the Council.... Their recent disagreements have helped only
the Washington hawks.”
"Baghdad Must Deliver Evidence"
Jacques Schuster stated in a front-page editorial in
right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (2/6): “Powell’s material did not and could not have
the strength of irrefutable evidence....
The most important piece of evidence for Iraq’s power games has been
available for a long time. It is Saddam
himself.... The German government and
people must be aware that more is at stake than the Iraqi danger. This is also about the consequences of a
‘without us’ position. A strict ‘no’ in
the Council, maybe together with Syria, would alienate Germany from its most
important ally, damage the Western alliance, and create distrust about the
‘unpredictable Germans’ in Europe....
One cannot imagine a worse scenario.”
"Guilty But Not Yet Overpowered"
Washington correspondent Malte Lehming filed the following
front-page editorial for centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (2/6): “Powell’s words did not fail to have an
effect. He spoke with an impressive
voice, strung facts together did not agitate nor did he use polemics. This man is surrounded by an aura of
sincerity. That is why he is a stroke of
luck for the U.S. government and its Iraq policy.... He is now ringing the alarm bells. Those who still continue to close their eyes
to the tricks with which Saddam operates...will be convinced by no evidence at
all. Until proven the opposite, one
thing is true: Iraq has biological and chemical weapons. In addition, the Iraqi regime continuously
violates UN resolution 1441.... What
does the UN plan to do about this?...
Powell’s address gave this question new urgency. The German government
must also face this question. A simple
‘go on and give the inspectors more time,’ will not be enough. But the decision over war or peace has not
become easier since this historic meeting of the UNSC.... The controversy is based on the question
whether there is an appropriate cost-benefit ratio for the costs of a war,
including the civilian casualties and the burden of an occupying regime that
will stay for years. This was a question
even Powell was unable to answer. He
exerted considerable pressure on the members of the UNSC to act, but he did not
convince them of the need and the inevitability of a war. Not yet.”
ITALY: "Without A
Prominent foreign affairs commentator Franco Venturini opined in
centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (2/6): “In reality, not only we incompetent people,
but also intelligence specialists will have to roll up their sleeves to judge
every aspect of the U.S. Secretary of State’s multimedia tirade. What we can immediately grasp is the
political impact of Powell’s much-anticipated report, its influence on the
‘impossible’ task of the inspectors, its impact on the disagreements that, both
at the United Nations and in Europe, indicate different paths to disarm
Iraq. In the intentions of the
Americans, the stakes were high: the ‘evidence’ against Saddam...,was meant to
convince the uncertain.... A pro-war
majority could be formed within the UNSC...and (then) a second resolution would
have sealed the UN’s go-ahead to legitimately punish Saddam. If these were the premises, then Powell
didn’t reach his goal.... After the
inspectors’ February 14 report, we can hypothesize a U.S. ultimatum to the
Security Council. We (U.S.) are going to
war and you decide whether or not to give us UN backing. ”
"The Longest Day Of Good Soldier Colin"
Washington correspondent Vittorio Zucconi commented in
left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (2/6): "Colin Powell had in front of him the
most important speech of his life....
However, his ‘evidence’ only convinced those who were already convinced,
without really making skeptics change their minds.... Calm and never strident, sad as every true
man should be in front of the gravity of war, Powell knew how to use the great
advantage coming from his personal credibility.... However, the material that his government had
provided him to take to the UN for the ‘road show,’ impressed the audience much
less than did the protagonist. Apart
from those ‘cartoons’ with a Disney flavor showing Saddam’s trucks, the logical
progression of his harangue showed all the structural limits of the argument
related to the war...but it was not able to explain to those who are still
perplexed why a war would be necessary now, and why only against Iraq."
"The Unhappy War Of The Old Trooper"
Gianni Riotta wrote in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della
Sera (2/6): “Yesterday’s performance
was a masterpiece.... If war has to take
place, Powell--the reluctant warrior--says it is necessary that the American
and world public opinion be convinced, till the very end, without
hypocrisy.... If war has to take place,
and Powell has been trying to avoid it for months, it must be supported by the
trust of America and the world. Yesterday, the former general showed his face
to the world. ‘Trust me,’ he asked once
more. The coming days will tell us if,
even in this litmus test of his life, was successful and the world believed in
"The Game Is Open"
Ugo Tramballi argued on the front page of leading business daily Il
Sole 24 Ore (2/6): “With firmness
and passion...Colin Powell convinced the world of something everyone was
already convinced of: that Saddam Hussein is a scoundrel.... Rather than providing a fixed point,
yesterday’s address renders implicit the need to give the inspectors more time
to do their job: Powell gave them a new mandate, strong clues to investigate;
(and he gave) to Saddam Hussein, if he has ears to listen, his last chance.”
RUSSIA: "World Shocked
Into State Of Trepidation"
Reformist Vremya Novostey carried this commentary
(2/6): "Divided on the subject of
war in the Persian Gulf, the world is nonetheless preparing for it. This in spite of the fact that Secretary of
State Colin Powell fell short of doing what U.S. Ambassador Edlai Stevenson did
in the autumn of 1962, when he silenced Soviet officials by producing
satellite-taken pictures of Soviet rockets in Cuba. Powell was not as convincing as he was
eloquent, even though he spoke for a full hour and a half.... It could be that the Americans did not tell
everything for fear of disclosing their methods and sources. Their arguments in favor of a military
operation seem weak, anyway. You can
interpret them either way, depending on whether you are for war or against
it.... The world's reaction has been one
of mistrust. Speaking more precisely,
everyone stands his/her ground....
Powell's speech has made divisions in the world even deeper, causing
more complications inside many countries."
"There's Nothing There"
Igor Fedyukhin wrote in business-oriented Vedomosti (2/6): "Secretary of State Colin Powell
submitted to the UN Security Council one more illustration of Saddam Hussein
possibly hiding WMD from the inspectors.
This evidence is circumstantial, too, but, because of it, the Euro has
fallen slightly against the dollar....
Washington remains firm, insisting that Baghdad should prove its
innocence to the UN. The Administration
has made it plain that it can by rights launch an invasion without UN
authorization, based on November's resolution 1441 alone. Washington is of the opinion that it just
does a favor to the UN by discussing the matter with the organization."
Mariya Zelezneva remarked in reformist Novyye Izvestiya
(2/6): "References to a need to
protect 'sources and methods' are clever.
You can use them to parry all charges by participants in yesterday's
session that the 'disclosed' intelligence is nothing new."
"U.S. Tries To Rewrite Law"
Valeriy Panyushkin stated in reformist business-oriented Kommersant
(2/6): "Generally accepted norms
presuppose that even an exposed criminal has a right to use a lawyer, open
hearings, competition between the sides, the benefit of alleviating
circumstances, and a jury. Open hearings
are the most important of all.... It
appears that the United States is trying to rewrite international law so Iraq
looks like a criminal."
"UNSC Or Will U.S. Go-It-Alone?"
ORF TV's Washington correspondent Peter Fritz
analyzed reactions to the presentation on Austrian radio early morning news Morgenjournal(2/6):
"The documents and new evidence are likely to convince only those who
already believe in the Iraqi threat. Furthermore, because of continued skepticism
among some UNSC permanent members the US is still a long way from its goal of
convincing the international community that intervention in Iraq is
unavoidable. However, the issue no longer seems to be whether there will be a
war or not, but whether military interventions will be endorsed by the UNSC, or
if the US launches a go-it-alone operation."
"U.S. Plea For An Iraq War"
Foreign affairs writer Peter Friedl commented in
mass-circulation Kurier (2/6): "It is no longer inconceivable that
the UNSC will give the United States the green light. War is apparently
sometimes more powerful than moral considerations.... Even France might now attempt an
"A Powerful Performance"
Chief editor Andreas Unterberger wrote in
centrist Die Presse (2/6):
"The world would be much worse off without such a global
policeman.... The strongest argument in
favor of the United States' position:
Just imagine a world where in the end Saddam Hussein emerges victorious
from this crisis."
"Colin Powell: Opinion-Maker For The U.S."
Foreign affairs editor Martin Stricker opined in
independent Salzburger Nachrichten (2/6): "On the diplomatic
front--thus the U.S. assessment--the electronic intercepts and satellite
photographs and other documents should be powerful enough to convince the other
members of the UNSC of the necessity to endorse Saddam Hussein's dethronement
by military means. As it is certain that Baghdad has wasted the 'last chance'
it was given with Resolution 1441, a second resolution containing an ultimatum
and authorizing the use of force will have to follow."
"Bringing Up The Big Guns"
Managing editor Eric Frey stated in liberal Der
Standard (2/6): "After the (Secretary of State's) presentation there
can be no doubt that Iraq has been deceiving the UN inspectors for
weeks.... The UN chief weapons
inspectors, Hans Blix and Mohamed el-Baradei, recently confirmed that Iraqi
cooperation has been virtually non-existent....
Even if a second UN resolution on Iraq should fail because of opposition
from Russia and France, it is clear that the United States will not stand alone
in the upcoming Iraq war--and Powell's speech left no doubt it will come to
BELGIUM: "Ball In Iraq's Court"
Baudouin Loos in left-of-center Le Soir
(2/6) editorialized: "Many will say that Colin Powell's presentation
lacked irrefutable evidence... However,
everything indicates that war will take place. This assertion is first and
foremost based on the determination of the United States, whose impressive
influence is able to convince countries like Turkey -- although an Islamic
regime is in power there -- China, and Russia, not to oppose the U.S.
President's plans.... The United States
has succeeded in sending the ball in the Iraqi court. If Iraq does not respond in
detail to the inspectors' still unanswered questions, war will probably
"Insufficient, Mr. Bush"
Foreign editor Gerald Papy in independent La
Libre Belgique editorialized (2/6):"Colin Powell's presentation was
more disappointing than convincing.... One must admit that he did not supply
any conclusive evidence. Of course, this does not exonerate the Iraqi regime
and Saddam Hussein of the obligations that the international community is
expecting them to fulfill, especially since their bad faith was highlighted
again. But is this attitude sufficient to justify a war? It probably is in the
eyes of the British and of the Americans. But with so little conclusive
evidence, waging that war can only be complicated But the war will be inevitable if the Iraqi
leaders do not seize the opportunity of the visit of Messrs. Blix and El
Baradei this week end to radically change their behavior vis-à-vis the United
"No More Standing On The Sidelines"
Deputy chief editor Bart Sturtewagen in
independent Christian-Democrat De Standaard asserted (2/6): "All the cards are on the table
now. Powell not only made it clear that
the United States will remove Saddam Hussein with violence, but he also
methodically refuted all the arguments of the hesitant countries that the
inspectors must be given more time.
Given the scale of Saddam's cheating, that exercise is barely relevant
now. The question is whether the UN will succeed in maintaining some impact on
the further process. If that is not the
case, the consequences will be even more alarming for the world. In that event, there will no longer be an
institution that can be a counterweight, in the name of the world community,
against American economic and military hegemony. The countries that delayed
their judgment until irrefutable evidence of the Iraqi threat was available can
no longer stand on the sideline idly.
They must make every effort to increase pressure on Saddam to a maximum. At this moment, only the Iraqi dictator can
prevent bombs from falling on his country before the spring. He must feel the decisiveness of the entire
world. A war in Iraq will cost many
innocent lives. It will lead the Middle
East and the rest of the world into extremely dangerous times. The shock waves of even a short conflict will
be felt very far away. Unfortunately, a
pious hope that there will be no war is no longer sufficient after Powell's
speech. That is the terrible but
"Powell's Speech Does Not Produce A
Foreign editor Jean Vanempten in financial De Financieel-Economische Tijd
commented (2/6): "For Powell, the
moment of truth has come. The UNSC must
not procrastinate anymore. The United
States, supported by Great Britain, wants a UN resolution as soon as possible
that makes a war under the international flag possible. The United States no longer wants to
negotiate. In America's view it is clear
that Iraq violates resolution 1441....
America's conclusion is that it already has a mandate to attack Iraq....
The United States and the UN totally agree on essential issues. All forbidden weapons must be found and
destroyed. But, for the time being,
unanimity does not go farther than that.
Powell's speech does not seem to produce a breakthrough in the positions. In the eyes of certain members, war remains
the ultimate option - and clear evidence must be put on the table for
"Saddam Doesn't Stand A Chance"
Pavel Masa wrote in the leading center-right daily Lidove
noviny (2/6): "If Secretary of
State Powell were a state attorney he might be quite successful. Yesterday in the UN, he managed to sell
circumstantial evidence as trustworthy exhibits. Mr. Powell's British colleague Jack Straw
could then pass the final verdict (judgment): Saddam will either reform himself
in nine days, or he will be punished.
The problem however is that it is up to the Security Council to pass the
verdict, and it was evident that the other SC members did not see the presented
evidence as proof of a criminal act. The
logic of the UN resolutions speaks in favor of Powell; the harshness of
punishment (war against Iraq) would
however call for more credible evidence.
It would be unfortunate if the different approaches would lead to the
loss of unity among the international community. Saddam doesn't deserve another adjournment,
but the UN should definitely get 'a second chance'."
"The End Is Near"
Jiri Roskot argued in the leading center-left daily Pravo
(2/6): "The presented evidence
was...only indirect and did not prove anything, especially in light of the
marketing efforts which preceded it.
Hans Blix's report from the day before, which cast doubt upon the
critical issue--no proof of camouflage or work of heavy army machinery had been
found--makes the situation even more serious.
It is, nevertheless, evident that President Bush will attack Iraq
regardless of the UN stand. Powell's
presentation was only a formal entr'acte and a psychological preparation of the
audience for the war soon to come."
"Iraq Is Sliding Downhill; Regardless of Proof"
Milan Vodicka held in the mainstream daily Mf Dnes
(2/6): "It was chilling to listen
to Colin Powell's presentation yesterday.
Those who expected 'smoking guns' got only lots of smoke. But all the smoke might be worth something.
It is now finally clear what Mr. Powell wanted to say--Saddam does not
cooperate and is hiding something....
Why didn't the U.S. give this information to the Blix's inspectors? Why didn't the U.S. destroy the Al-Qaeda
training camp in Kurdistan if it knew about it?.... Yes, the presented evidence wouldn't stand a
chance in court. But now it is not the
evidence which counts, the matter has already shifted into the world of
politics and there Saddam is sliding down the hill."
DENMARK: "War Is Worst
Center-left Politiken commented (2/6): "War is not the only alternative and the
U.S. is yet to convince the world--despite Powell's speech--that war is a
better alternative than continuing pressure."
"Onus Of Proof On Iraq"
Center-right Berlingske Tidende held (2/6): "Huge gaps exists in Iraq's accounting,
but nobody seems to be interested in the fact that Iraq cannot account [for the
destruction of its chemical weapons]. Instead,
the discussion appears to be centered on U.S. evidence.... Skeptics ask why Iraq has to be disarmed
right now and raise concerns about other rogue states. The answer is that after September 11, the
U.S. is not taking any chances. The
answer is that, as far as we can see, Iraq is in possession of large amounts of
WMD. The answer is that Saddam Hussein
has shown that he is willing to use these terrible weapons against his
neighbors and his own people. However,
if you believe that Saddam Hussein has honorable intentions, the best thing
would probably be to wait and hope for the best."
"Communication Problems Cloud U.S. Case Against Iraq"
Center-right Fyens Stiftstidende judged (2/6): "The American government's position is
clear. Bush wants to see Saddam removed
form power, but he has not succeeded in explaining the urgency of the
issue. It should still be possible to
avoid the worst possible solution."
"Strong Evidence Points To Saddam's Removal"
Sensationalist tabloid Ekstra Bladet argued (2/6): "Colin Powell's address was about as
close as you can get to a declaration of war.
His speech contained a lot of very strong evidence and his conclusion
was clear: Saddam must be removed from
ESTONIA: "A Little More Time"
Postimees commented (2/6): "Powell's presentation was
convincing. It could have been even more
convincing if the U.S. had practiced calm, well-argued policy from the moment
that the Iraq problem became an issue.
But in late summer of 2002, the U.S. said they were ready to fight alone
and considered consultations with the UN senseless. Then Washington agreed that a UN resolution
would not hurt and agreed to wait until weapons inspectors reach Iraq,
promising that they would quickly find evidence revealing Iraq's evil. When this was not found, the U.S. began to
claim that it is impossible to find evidence, because it is like looking for a
needle in a haystack. Such mercurial and
insufficiently thought out policies are not worthy of a superpower. But it is good that the result was a decision
to work with the UN and to find convincing arguments to prove the danger of
Iraq -- which can be found in the U.S. as Powell demonstrated yesterday.... One
has to agree with the Russian Foreign Minister.
It would be an ideal solution if Saddam understood that his cat and
mouse game has failed. The Iraqi nation
has suffered a great deal because of Saddam, and surrender would be the best
thing Saddam could do to redeem himself.
But this is an idealistic wish.
Therefore we have no option other than to wish the UN Security Council,
and particularly the U.S., the wisdom to conduct themselves so that years later
we don't recall this as the great mistake at the beginning of the 21st
FINLAND: "Guilty and Sentenced To Be Overthrown"
Independent Aamulehti editorial (2/6):
"Secretary Powell's presentation at the UNSC was well-prepared but not
necessarily convincing enough. Analyzing
the evidence will take time but the basic problem is that there were no smoking
WMD. Some of the evidence was
circumstantial ... while other evidence was based on hearsay. Many pieces of the evidence, especially the
satellite photos, arouse serious questions which Iraq did not answer anywhere
nearly satisfactorily. But was it enough to justify war against Iraq? The
majority of the UNSC members are still unlikely to mandate an attack. The United States, meanwhile, appears
convinced of its case and will not wait long for a UN permission to send its
troops to Baghdad. That would be a
serious setback for the UN and others who have worked hard to come up with a
peaceful solution to the crisis."
"Evidence Comes and Evidence Goes"
Leftist Kansan Uutiset editorialized (2/6):
"Iraq has hidden at least some of old weapons of mass destruction. But in order for the case to be strong enough
to justify a war, the arms inspectors should be able to find at least something
to back up Powell. The arms inspectors
need more time but the U.s. wants to start the war in the coming weeks, with or
without a UN mandate."
"Powell Was Not Convincing"
Liberal Swedish-language Hufvudstadsbladet
editorialized (2/6): "Did Powell succeed in convincing the UNSC and
television audience around the world that a war against Saddam Hussein is
necessary. Not highly likely. Powell
sounded like one of the talented public prosecutors that the entire world has
gotten used to see in U.S. court room TV dramas. But those who think that Saddam must be
disarmed with violence got a host of new arguments from the speech. Nothing in
the speech indicated that the U.S. might be reconsidering its plan to disarm
Saddam Hussein with violence. The coming
days will show if he managed to turn around any of the many sceptics who oppose
Iraq Deceives The UN and Hides Weapons Of Mass Destruction"
Finland's leading daily,independent Helsingin
Sanomat (2/6): "The
much-expected speech contained messages for various audiences. Providing
evidence of Hussein's WMD programs and his efforts to deceive the arms
inspectors, Powell sought to rally UN support and mandate for a war against
Iraq. In stressing the links between
Saddam and Al-Qaida, the Secretary was, above all, talking to Americans to whom
Al-Qaida continues to be an incarnation of evil."
The lead editorial in influential independent Kathimerini
said (2/6), "Secretary Powell...failed to prove that the Iraqi attempt to
rearm itself poses any immediate threat; most crucially, he failed to make
clear why war is a better response than inspections and systematic monitoring
of Baghdad. Powell in fact succeeded in
demonstrating the need for further weapons searches. Snubbing the UN inspectors' recommendations
for a few satellite photos and recordings would mean that the UN disregards its
team giving them their mission merely for show.
The West, which has rightfully taken pride in its humanist tradition,
should not pull the trigger before doing its utmost to achieve a peaceful
The lead editorial in best selling, pro-GoG,
influential Ta Nea said (2/6), "Everybody knows that the US has
long ago made up its mind to launch a war against Iraq. Everybody knows that this war has nothing to
do with Saddam Hussein and terrorism....but with oil and the geo-strategic
interests of the Americans.... The
performance staged by the United States at the UN with the leading role played
by moderate Powell was certainly flawless....
According to all indications the countdown for the launching of an
irrational war has started, and among other, the war may make a dictator a martyr
and multiply terrorism, which Mr. Bush says he is fighting!"
"Crime And Immunity"
The lead editorial in popular, pro-government
and anti-American Eleftherotypia held (2/6), "The evidence
presented by Secretary of State Colin Powell convinced only Britain.... The British public opinion, military, and
legal experts have a different view from that shared by warmongers Tony Blair
and Jack Straw.... Caesar Bush II and
his American accessories, Secretaries and Generals, have secured immunity for
their crimes. Their accessories,
however, like Tony Blair, who do not have the privilege of being citizens of
New Rome run the risk of being taken to Court for their participation in the
crime which is underway."
"Powell Puts The U.S. Case"
The liberal Irish TImes editorialized (2/6): "Colin Powell made a powerful
case...that Iraq has systematically evaded and deceived UN arms
inspectors.... Not a great deal of this
case is substantively new. What is so is
the intelligence evidence on which it is based.
Has this been released for the first time to the UN and its arms
inspectors? If this is so it raises
grave questions about the seriousness with which the U.S. treats the Security
Council's mandate and the arms inspectors' obligation to verify and evaluate
these allegations. If a system of
collective security is to work it must be based on trustworthy pooling of
information about breaches of Security Council demands.... Powell's case that Iraq plans regional
domination by using these weapons and must be stopped by the use of force is not
proven.... But even if his case about
evasion and deceit is shown to be correct it does not necessarily follow that
military action is the best means to deal with the threat.... The U.S. must fully respect the UN's role in
"Flimsy Evidence On Al-Qaida"
Conservative, progressive Irish Independent took this view
(2/6): "On one major point,
Secretary Powell's charges did not even have the support of Britain.... He alleged close links between the Baghdad
regime and al-Qa'ida. His evidence was
flimsy, and among the sceptics is British intelligence.... Yesterday Mr. Powell said that the tyrant has
'utter contempt for human life'. That is true.
And the world, carrying the banner of an institution that stands for the
noblest aspirations, must not conduct war and peace according to the standards
NETHERLANDS: "War Will Take Place"
Baudouin Loos argued in left-of-center Le Soir (2/6): “Many will say that Colin Powell’s
presentation lacked irrefutable evidence....
However, everything indicates that war will take place. This assertion is first and foremost based on
the determination of the United States, whose impressive influence is able to
convince countries like Turkey--although an Islamic regime is in power
there--China, and Russia, not to oppose the U.S. president’s plans.... The United States has succeeded in sending
the ball in the Iraqi court. If Iraq
does not respond in detail to the inspectors’ still unanswered questions, war
will probably follow.”
Gerald Papy commented in independent La Libre Belgique (2/6): “Colin Powell’s presentation was more
disappointing than convincing.... One
must admit that he did not supply any conclusive evidence. Of course, this does not exonerate the Iraqi
regime and Saddam Hussein of the obligations that the international community
is expecting them to fulfill, especially since their bad faith was highlighted
again. But is this attitude sufficient
to justify a war? It probably is in the
eyes of the British and of the Americans.
But with so little conclusive evidence, waging that war can only be
complicated. But the war will be
inevitable if the Iraqi leaders do not seize the opportunity of the visit of
Messrs. Blix and El Baradei this week end to radically change their behavior
vis-à-vis the United Nations.”
Deputy chief editor Bart Sturtewagen wrote in independent
Christian-Democrat De Standaard (2/6):
“All the cards are on the table now.
Powell not only made it clear that the United States will remove Saddam
Hussein with violence, but he also methodically refuted all the arguments of
the hesitant countries that the inspectors must be given more time. Given the scale of Saddam’s cheating, that
exercise is barely relevant now. The
question is whether the UN will succeed in maintaining some impact on the
further process. If that is not the
case, the consequences will be even more alarming for the world. In that event, there will no longer be an
institution that can be a counterweight, in the name of the world community,
against American economic and military hegemony."
NORWAY: "Closer To
The newspaper of record Aftenposten commented (2/6): "The most convincing sections in
Powell’s long presentation described the significant efforts to trick the UN
inspectors, and described President Saddam Hussein’s work to develop biological
and chemical weapons and missiles with a range that has been prohibited to
Iraq.... Less convincing was the
documentation of a direct connection between the regime in Baghdad and the
terrorist organization Al-Qaida....
There is a very clear message in Powell’s reminder that the Security
Council risks making itself irrelevant if it doesn’t decide to take
action.... Colin Powell’s presentation
leaves no doubt that the U.S. has decided that a war is necessary to disarm
Saddam Hussein.... But the actual UN
track is found today not in the story that warns about war, but in the
continued work to discover and disarm the Iraqi despot without a new major war
in the world’s most inflammable region.”
"Evidence--And No Proof"
An editorial in social democratic Dagsavisen held
(2/6): “The intelligence information
that Secretary of State Powell presented to the UNSC yesterday did not provide
any clear and convincing answer to the whether Saddam Hussein really has
weapons of mass destruction and whether the land is linked with the terrorist
network Al Qaida.... The intelligence
contained nothing that actually indicates that Iraq is in a position to produce
atomic weapons.... Powell left no doubt
that the U.S. has already made up its mind for war. For the USA, it doesn’t matter what role the
UNSC plays from here. But it’s the
UNSC--and that alone--that shall define what one determines is going to be
'serious consequences' for Iraq, per Resolution 1441. For the UN, war has always been the last resort. And that the way it should continue to be.”
"But The U.S. Has Made Up Its Mind"
The independent Dagbladet judged (2/6): "The material evidence against Iraq that
the U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell presented yesterday to the UNSC was
comprehensive and disquieting.... Colin
Powell made it perfectly clear that the U.S. has no doubts, and has already
pronounced its judgment. The U.S. has decided to disarm Iraq by force and to
remove Saddam Hussein.... It is serious
and disheartening that Iraq does not cooperate with the international society
in finding a peaceful solution to this conflict. It strengthens this negative development in
the conflict that the hyperpower USA undermines the UN by its attempt to press
ahead toward war now.”
POLAND: "Respect To
Maciej Rybinski wrote in centrist Rzeczpospolita
(2/6): “Colin Powell’s presentation
before the U.N. Security Council... might have seemed a needless ritual. Those
convinced that Baghdad violates successive resolutions and pursues dangerous
weapons programs did not have to be convinced.
Those unconvinced who want to believe that the Saddam Hussein regime is
an exemplary, peace-loving democracy will be convinced by nothing. However, Powell’s speech was necessary as it
showed that war decisions are not made recklessly, without patient
consideration and careful investigation, but are made in accordance with the
U.N. charter and Security Council resolutions, as a logical consequence of
gathered evidence. It was only a gesture,
but a gesture of respect toward the international public. If anyone thinks that what Colin Powell
presented was not evidence but circumstantial evidence, they must be reminded
that when the perpetrator is a recidivist, circumstantial evidence is of great
material significance. And Saddam
Hussein is a repeated recidivist, one who is guilty of crimes against peace and
Bartosz Weglarczyk, U.S.-based correspondent of liberal Gazeta
Wyborcza opined (2/6): “Powell’s
speech was a gesture of goodwill from Washington.... It shows that President Bush reaches out to
allies, but he is prepared for war should America have to fight alone."
"We Came, We Heard"
Editor-in-chief José Manuel Fernandes noted in
influential moderate-left Público (2/6): "Anyone who expected to
see images of Saddam Hussein sitting on top of a Scud was certainly
disappointed. However, anyone who knows
that to make biological weapons you only need disguisable installations inside
an inhabited building wouldn't have expected much more [than what Secretary
Powell presented].... Even so, the
careful way that the permanent members of the Security Council reacted was
significant.... Elements of proof are,
in some cases, only circumstantial, but they cannot be carelessly discarded as
'evidence', in quotation marks.... Thus, we find ourselves ever more faced with
the question of time. Little by little, the Bush Administration...has been
building an international coalition and doing so within the framework of the
United Nations. So we shouldn't be
surprised when an attack on Iraq, contrary to the Kosovo operation, ends up
with the authorization of the Security Council.
Even more so since, at this moment, if anyone is disrespecting
international law and the resolutions of the Security Council, that someone is
"The Madness Of An Unjust War"
Leading financial Diário Económico's
editor-in-chief Miguel Coutinho published this (2/6): "The war that the
United States has internalized and decided upon--before obtaining any
sustainable proof against Iraq--is, above all, a war of conquest.... No one doubts Saddam Hussein's disdain for
human rights or democratic Western regimes.
No one, however, can affirm with the degree of certainty that would
legitimize a military attack that the Iraqi regime has weapons of mass
destruction or links to al-Qaida. This
is the weakness of the American case: It
is based upon suspicions and not on facts....
Portugal's involvement in this conflict cannot be decided on the margins
of the Constitution of the Republic, cannot fail to be grounded on a United
Nations resolution, and cannot fail to observe two essential requirements:
prior consultations with the President of the Republic and with the Assembly of
the Republic. Portugal, as a sovereign
nation, and its sovereign organs cannot allow itself to assume the status of a
mere American protectorate. Any and all
existing agreements with the United States of America, including those involving
authorization for the use of Lajes Base, have their content and validity
determined by the Constitution of the Republic."
João Vaz, deputy editor-in-chief of
high-circulation center-right tabloid Correio da Manhã, had this
commentary (2/6): "Today, the case is clear. As Colin Powell said at the United Nations,
Saddam and his regime won't stop for anything until something forces them to
stop. The case is obvious, and lies in
one of the basic principles of physics, the law of inertia.... Saddam Hussein took power in Iraq in a
bloodbath.... Thus a tyrant was
installed who skillfully knew how to build counter-alliances later of every
kind, and put the whole world in danger."
"Colin Powell's Hour"
Influential moderate-left Público's
foreign affairs editor Teresa de Sousa provided this analysis (2/6): "The
new elements that he furnished simply ended up giving added force to the
evidence and the legitimate doubts provided by UN chief inspector Hans Blix on
January 27. This is not what was
fundamentally at issue in yesterday's Security Council session. What was at stake was the capaity of the
American Secretary of State to demonstrate before the international community
that Iraq today constitutes a sufficiently credible and immediate threat to
merit a preventive war.... We will have
to wait another ten days, until Blix's next report, to judge the degree of
Powell's success in his final move to keep multilateralism partly alive."
Portuguese wire service LUSA chief Luís Delgado
observed in his daily 'Straight Lines' column in respected center-left Diário
de Notícias (2/6): "In a speech
that was consistent, much more so than expected, and profusely documented,
Colin Powell...showed substantial proofs to the world and the countries that
still might have doubts.... It was a
credible demonstration that makes an armed intervention--with or without the
United Nations--urgent and necessary, unless Saddam abandons power, in order to
finish off the dangerous threat that comes from Iraq.... [Powell's speech was] simply
demolishing. All doubts are gone."
Political analyst Roxana Frosin opined in business-oriented daily Curentul
(2/6): “The evidence presented yesterday
by Powell, in the presence of the mass media, did not seem to have the
necessary weight to justify the use of force.... But it is enough for the United States to
reiterate that Iraq is defying the international community by manufacturing and
concealing its weapons of mass destruction, and by cooperating with the
terrorist Al Qaida network.”
"Opponents Not Conquered"
Political analyst Costin Ionita opined in the independent daily Cotidianul
(2/6): “The opponents to war did not
allow themselves to be easily 'conquered' and arrived at yesterday’s reunion
disappointed by Powell’s preliminary presentation. Moreover, one of the main arguments of the
American official, namely the cooperation between Iraq and terrorist
organizations, received a hard blow from a BBC story on a British intelligence
report saying that there is no evidence of Saddam’s relations with Al-Qaida,
contrary to what the Bush Administration is claiming.”
Left-of-center independent Vecer eidtorialized (2/6): "Those who expected Powell’s speech...to
give new--and above all--firm evidence of the dangerousness of Saddam’s regime,
were wrong. [Secretary Powell]...listed
supposed evidence about the existence of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, which
were not very persuading.... Proofs
given by Secretary Powell are on such shaky legs that no court in a country
observing the rule of law would even begin a trial based on them. Tapes of telephone conversations…could have
been made in a studio of any radio station in the world. Satellite images are slightly more credible,
but they only showed trucks that might have carried milk.... Powell did not tell why America had not
shared its findings with the international inspectors.... It is impossible to get rid of the feeling
that Powell’s speech was directed to the American public, among which...support
for military intervention in Iraq has decreased, rather than to the
international community which will not be persuaded by such unconvincing
SPAIN: "The U.S.' Reasons"
Left-of-center El País wrote (2/6):
"The United States has strengthened its case against Saddam
Hussein.... It's difficult to imagine a
step backwards from Bush’s military plans, after listening to the string of
indicators that reinforce the supposition that the Iraqi dictator has violated
the unanimous 1441 resolution through the hiding of biological and chemical
weapons.... From the documents that
Washington has decided to finally share with the international community, to an
observer of good faith, it can be deduced that Baghdad had embarked before the
arrival of the inspectors on a plan of concealment.... Washington cannot loose reason, which is
assisting [it's case], by ignoring international legality. But the danger [Saddam] represents...does not
justify unilateral, immediate and, by
any reckoning, disproportionate action....
Nobody can predict the consequences of a war in the Middle East, and the
impact in the Moslem world of an U.S. occupation of Iraq. But there are enough signs to judge that the
risks are of a nature that make the last option the military one."
"There Are Reasons For Keeping Saddam In
His Place, But Not For Attacking Iraq"
Independent El Mundo wrote (2/6):
"U.S. Secretary of State provided some serious pieces of evidence that
Saddam has weapons of mass destruction, but failed in his attempt to prove the
links of [Saddam's] regime with Al Qaeda...
Powell played an important card yesterday and... this emphasizes the
pressure from the countries that are demanding an extension of inspector's
mandate. If Powell and Bush want to be
coherent with their search for international support, they should put aside
their threats to act unilaterally and accept the prolongation of the
inspector's mandate...they should try to generate a consensus for a second
resolution that would serve to put the handcuffs even more on Saddam, but this
would not be a blank check for an invasion...Yesterday's meeting of the
Security Council corroborates that there are reasons for keeping international
pressure on the Iraqi leader and even for approving new diplomatic and economic
sanctions, but that there still is not a clear justification for war."
Conservative La Razon wrote (2/6/):
"Colin Powell limited himself... to showing some loose facts, that are
perhaps insignificant if you consider them in an individual way, but in
totality they paint a pretty troubling shadow of suspicion about the real
intentions of Saddam."
Centrist La Vanguardia wrote (2/6):
Naturally, you have to look at this from the basis of [intellectual] rigor and
good faith. If as some [Spanish
parliamentarians said yesterday] the evidence is manipulated, then no
reasonable discussion is possible, because it all comes down to a question of
faith....The photos obtained by satellite that were presented...are not easy to
interpret...But, even to those not well-versed in the complicated logistics of
chemical and biological weapons, some of the conversations released by Powell
reveal clear Iraqi obstructionism to the mission lead by Hans Blix."
"War Is Not More Distant"
Centrist La Vanguardia said (2/6) in a
piece by Xavier Batalla: "Colin
Powell...did not provide the definitive piece of evidence against Saddam
Hussein.... Powell was a different
Powell yesterday, more impatient and less diplomatic.... The logic of war was reinforced yesterday
with two announcements favorable to Washington.
On the one hand, ten countries of Eastern Europe agreed with Powell; on
the other, Turkish Prime Minister, Abdullah Gul, let it be known that his
country, key in the conflict, has decided to join the United States in its
military plans against Saddam."
"The Sad Face"
Left-of-center El País carried this piece
by Josep Ramoneda (2/6): "The organizational chart that Powell
demonstrated to show the collaboration of Iraq with terrorists did not have the
support of any evidence... The evidence
provided by Powell on the chemical and nuclear materials the dictator has at
this moment not only would not pass the slightest judicial review, but is also
irrelevant for common sense reasons. And
it could not be otherwise."
SWITZERLAND: "Bush's World Theater"
Erich Gysling of the Berner Zeitung
commented (2/6): "Either you are with us or you are insignificant-this is
the main message of the U.S. Secretary of State to the 14 members of the UN
Security Council. One could conclude
from Powell's speech that the United States will start the war against Iraq anyway. Whoever will be on the boat then will be
rewarded (NATO newcomers and candidates in East Europe have realized this
quickly and have revealed themselves as friends of America), whoever stays
outside will have to suffer the consequences."
Mehmet Barlas commented in mass appeal Aksam (2/6): "Powell's presentation to the UNSC is a
serious development by itself and reminds me of the previous acts of
Washington. The U.S. has always been
acting unilaterally whenever it felt necessary and urgent.... Secretary Powell's presentation about Iraq is
similar to the Libya case. The U.S.
administration presented the phone records between Tripoli and the Libyan
Embassy in East Germany, and the then-president Reagan ordered U.S. bombing of
Libya, including the residence of Qadhafi....
The phone records and other documents presented by Secretary Powell are
the clear indication of upcoming U.S. strike."
"Powell's Presented Evidence But..."
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (2/6): "The presentation of Secretary Powell to
the UNSC stirred a debate in many countries about making their positions
defined in the case of a war. First of
all there are some question marks which vary from the validity of these proofs
to the issue of legitimacy for conducting a military operation based on
them.... It remains to be seen what
would be the world-wide stances, particularly of France and Russia as well as
NATO and the UN. They all have to define
the nature of their support in the case of a U.S. military action against Iraq
based on the facts presented by Powell....
If a war is going to happen--and most probably it will--Turkey should be
provided with a defense system prior to the strike, and thus it requires a NATO
decision. NATO has failed to reach a
consensus on this issue because of France and Germany, and it causes a serious
weakness within the Alliance. We'll see
whether they will change their attitude following Powell's presentation. In case they don't, it will not only harm NATO's
credibility but also damage Turkey's trust to the Alliance."
"Most Worrying For Israel:
Revelations About Chemical Material In W. Iraq"
Senior columnist and chief defense commentator
Zeev Schiff wrote on page one of independent Ha'aretz (2/6): "If
anyone still had doubts that the U.S. plans to attack Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein and his regime, those doubts were removed yesterday by Secretary of
State Colin Powell's sometimes emotional address to the UNSC.... If the United States retreats now, after the
presentation of the evidence by Powell, President Bush and his administration
will lose credibility and prestige and America's stature in the world will be
undermined.... From the evidence
[Powell] presented, Israel should be most worried by the Iraqis' having
apparently hid chemical or biological material in western Iraq, the closest
part of Iraq to Israel. From Powell's
revelations, one may deduce that U.S. intelligence is focused on western Iraq
no less than on Baghdad.... There is one
area that Powell avoided. He reported
that forbidden equipment and material was smuggled into Iraq.... But he he did not say a word about how the
smuggling took place. That means the
U.S. Administration knows the smuggling routes--the forbidden equipment did not
arrive via Iran or Kuwait, nor Jordan nor Turkey. That means it arrived via Syria--and Syria
was never mentioned in his speech."
Chief Economic Editor Sever Plotker wrote in
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (2/6): "'Enough,' said
Secretary Powell to the Security Council on Wednesday. Up until now the enlightened world has
ignored Saddam wicked deeds and was silent to his hide-and-seek games. From now on, we must react. From now on, the time leading up to the
military blow on Saddam Hussein and his regime will be measured in days, not in
months.... This was a blood-curdling presentation. However, the evidence presented by Powell to
the Security Council did not convince those who preferred to bury their heads
in the sand, out of convenience, interests and worshipping the Moloch of a
'peaceful solution,' even if it means giving up to the dictator and accepting
his misleading and deceiving deeds....
Many Security Council members were not 'convinced' by Powell's
speech. Not because it was unconvincing
but rather because they had made up their minds not to take part in the war
against Saddam Hussein. As far as they
are concerned, it makes no difference whether Saddam is threatening to execute
scientists who would dare to give evidence to the inspectors. They do not care whether Iraq is granting
al-Qaida not just accommodation but also active assistance in weaponry and
training. Even the accelerated purchase
by Saddam Hussein's regime of WMD has no effect on their permanent stance. They have no desire for a preemptive war, and
are willing to pay any price to make sure it will not break out.... 'Enough,'
said Powell publicly on Wednesday, marking the patience limit to Saddam
Hussein: Either the UN Security Council approves a military action against him,
or the U.S. and its allies will do it alone, causing the UN to become
irrelevant as happened in the past with the League of Nations."
"To Frighten Europe"
Military correspondent Amit Cohen wrote in
popular, pluralist Maariv (2/6):
"Wednesday, Colin Powell went back several years.... He sounded less like the diplomat number one
than a young intelligence officer eager to convince his superiors that bits and
pieces of information and circumstantial evidence are enough to establish the
intelligence report he assembled.... Had
such an intelligence assessment, mostly based on speculation and guesses, been
presented to decision-makers, one can assume that it would have ended up in the
garbage can.... In his speech, Powell managed to preach to the
converted.... But one must remember that
Saddam does possess weapons of mass destruction; therefore, at the conclusion
of the war, the Americans will have enough time to say, 'We told you so.'"
"The UN's Last Chance"
The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post
editorialized (2/6): "Scratch
everything the Jerusalem Post has said about Secretary of State Colin
Powell. We love him. Powell's presentation to the UN Security
Council was masterful and devastating.
He reduced any conceivable case for inaction in Iraq to rubble.... If the quavering Security Council does not
support the U.S., it is because they know the truth, but will attempt to resist
U.S. leadership until the last second, and after their choices have been
reduced to ratifying a given or being left behind.... In the 1930s, the League of Nations ignored
similar warnings that Germany was violating the arms limitations imposed upon
it by the Treaty of Versailles. One can
imagine Winston Churchill making a presentation like the one Powell made
yesterday. It is not necessary to
imagine the war that came when those warnings were not heeded, and that the
League of Nations itself became a casualty of that war. Saddam has lost his last chance. The question now is, will the UN lose its as
"The Wolf And Lamb Concept"
Independent Al-Quds opined (2/6): “The speech of American Secretary of State
Colin Powell at the Security Council yesterday reminded us of the story of the
wolf and the lamb that talks about the notion of manufacturing pretexts to
justify a hostile or an unethical act against someone.… Colin Powell expressed
his government’s dwindling patience with Iraqi breaches of international
resolutions.… The reactions of Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and his
Chinese counterpart Tang Jiaxuan, in which they demanded that the inspectors be
given more time, shows that it is not easy to deceive the world. The world community has started to realize
the danger posed by the existence of a sole superpower dominating small
countries in order to serve American interests regardless of UN principles and
conventions governing relations between different countries.”
"How Would Iraqis Confront War?"
Abduallah Awad commented in independent,
pro-Palestinian Authority Al-Ayyam (2/6), “The American administration thinks that the
real [diplomatic] initiative expired on January 29 and that we are now in the
overtime period. If this report did not
contain anything new, Iraq would be accused by the Americans of continuing
deception. During this overtime, the
Bush administration will be working towards passing a new resolution at the
Security Council that will give the United States a ‘fake’ authorization for
waging war against Iraq.”
"Crisis Of Credibility"
English-language Al Ahram Weekly’s
editorial voiced leading pro-government Al Ahram’s position (2/6): “This
week the UN Security Council faces a serious challenge to its credibility. The
way in which it deals with the Iraqi crisis will decide, once and for all,
whether or not it has any continuing relevance when it comes to maintaining
peace in the world, or whether it will become little more than a backbench
supporter for policies formulated by the U.S. State Department.... Judging by statements that have emerged from
Washington so far, it would appear that Colin Powell is going to [the UNSC] armed,
at most, with...circumstantial evidence rather than the hard proofs Washington
insists it has in its possession....
Powell’s aim is to secure authorization for war against Iraq. If the
UNSC agrees to offer such authorization in the absence of compelling evidence
of wrong doing on the part of Iraq, then its credibility will be left in
tatters, particularly among Arab countries that have spent decades pointing to
this same body’s refusal to take any action to compel Israel to comply with
resolutions expressing the will of the international community.”
The centrist, influential among the elite
English-language Jordan Times (2/6) editorialized: “Powell’s presentation contained little that
was new.... Many people will question
the authenticity of these documents, and their mere presentation is unlikely to
change many minds. Yet, even if we give
the United States the benefit of the doubt, these new elements did not amount
to convincing evidence of Iraqi non-compliance, or that Iraq presents any real
or imminent danger to any party.... On
Powell’s claims that Iraq has close links with al-Qaida, we have to wonder why
it is that reports from all of the leading intelligence agencies over the past
two years consistently contradict this view.
Powell presented precious little evidence in this regard, but made
allegations which can only increase irrational fears about terrorism at a time
when the war on terrorism is faltering precisely because the United States has
incomprehensibly shifted the focus to Iraq.…
We have every reason to believe that the Iraqi crisis can be solved by
peaceful means and insist that all parties, including the United States and
Iraq, should work tirelessly for that outcome.”
“A Few Hours Before Saying ‘I Got It’”
Columnist Jawad Bashiti wrote in independent,
mass-appeal Al-Arab Al-Yawm (2/6):
“All the world has to do is show the slightest confidence...in Powell’s
evidence to be dragged, willingly or not, into a crime that is exactly like the
Hiroshima crime in terms of the perpetrator, the tools, the victims and the
consequences.... The Bush administration
has no other means to convince the American people of the necessity of this war
except to scare and frighten it of the possibility of a new terrorist attack by
al-Qaida with chemical and biological weapons supplied by Saddam Hussein. The Americans must be made to view this war
as a preventative measure. Without this
link between Saddam Hussein’s weapons and Osama bin Laden’s terrorism, the Bush
administration would not be able to frighten its citizens and then convince
them that war is inevitable.”
LEBANON: "A Last
Chance For The Security Council"
Joseph Samaha asked in Arab nationalist As-Safir
(2/6): "Why did the United States
wait until now to present the information it has? Why hasn't it given this information to the
chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix and Mohamed El Baradei who heads the
U.N. agency that monitors nuclear programs?
Why didn't President Bush lay out this information to Europe and the
world during his closed meetings with world leaders? It was clear that Washington wants to win two
wars: a diplomatic war and a media war. Powell himself was an effective weapon
because he has credibility and, despite everything, was able to hint that his
country prefers to listen and consult with others."
"A Definitive Indication That War Is
Rafiq Khoury noted in centrist Al-Anwar
(2/6): "Despite the fact that
Secretary Powell sounded as if he is giving the Security Council a final chance
to exert pressure on Baghdad and try to avoid the war, nevertheless he
prejudged Baghdad's reaction and opined that Saddam Hussein will never stop if
not stopped by someone.... The military
buildup is almost complete and positions of countries in the region are
adapting to the U.S. preparations for war....
However, what looks easy at the beginning will have serious and
dangerous consequences on the U.S. and the region."
MOROCCO: "No Evidence
Of Iraqi 'Flagrante Delicto.'"
Mustapha Moulay wrote in semi-official French-language Le Matin
(2/5): "Secretary of State Colin
Powell tried hard before the UNSC to convince the international community on
the necessity to strike Iraq. This was a
difficult task as the majority at the UNSC is presently opposed to this
idea.... Powell thinks, however, that
the UN would be useless in the case the UN did not react to the violations of
the UN resolution by Iraq.... Just
before his appearance at the UNSC, Colin Powell promised a 'convincing'
demonstration of non-respect of the UN
resolution by Baghdad; but he admitted that there would be no 'smoking
"Washington Exerts Pressure On The U.N. By Using
Mohammed Lakhdadi noted in semi-official Arabic-language Assahra
Al Maghribyia (2/6): "Powell's
address yesterday represents Washington's evidence that Iraq has weapons of
mass destruction...this will bring us to the last phase of diplomacy before the
military aggression.... Powell talked
about convincing elements and information that came from CIA that highlight Iraq's style.... Meanwhile, the Arab League is discussing
the details of its next summit."
"Iraq Is Not The Only Challenge To The U.S."
The semi-independent English-language Gulf
Times held (2/6): "U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell yesterday
delivered his long-awaited speech in front of the UN Security Council,
presenting some new tapes and photographs that raised additional questions
about Iraq's sincerity in accepting Resolution 1441. Powell's aim was to demonstrate that Iraq's
actions showed, beyond reasonable doubt, that it was cheating on its obligation
to disarm and to co-operate with the weapons inspectors. But while Washington focuses on what it
believes to be the threat posed by Iraq, a much more potent danger is
developing in the Far East. North Korea
announced that it had put the nuclear facilities, which are at the heart of its
nuclear weapons program 'on a normal footing' in an announcement that must have
been deliberately timed to coincide with Powell's address. The North Koreans have adopted a very
assertive and at times provocative attitude dashing last year's hopes that
Seoul's 'sunshine policy' would lead to normalization on the divided peninsula. Washington's treatment of Pyongyang has not
been entirely fair. As a result, the
greatest peril threatening the United States and its allies lies in the Far
East, where Pyongyang either has or could very soon have nuclear weapons. Despite that, the White House remains
obsessed with the economically and militarily crippled Iraqi regime and has
sent only token reinforcements to its East Asian garrison while flooding the
Gulf with men and materiel. Time will
tell whether the United States is making a strategic blunder of historic
"Wisdom Is Most Needed Now"
Semi-independent Arabic-language Al-Watan
said (2/6): "Secretary of State
Powell constructed a strong case to show that Baghdad's co-operation has fallen
short of the obligations placed on it by the Security Council. The
presentation, which the Secretary gave yesterday strongly markets the U.S. plan
to attack Iraq. Even the statement, which the Secretary gave, seemed to be very
strong but it did not really affect either Russia or France. On the contrary,
both countries believe that the American statement is a great motivation to
continue the inspectors' mission. The
Secretary worked very hard to back his statement with proofs. However,
patience, which is the highest form of wisdom, is the most needed now in such a
situation. It is very easy to declare a war, but it is almost impossible to
control its horrible effects."
"Americans Are Themselves Engaging In Deception"
Government-run Damascus Radio commentary
maintained (2/5): "The (U.S.) tone
has started taking on a new and rather strange turn. This tone indicates
confusion on the one hand, and an exaggerated insistence on launching an
aggressive war against Iraq and its people on the other, regardless of reasons,
justifications, and pretexts.... They
(Americans) said the evidence would be very convincing and would support the
idea that Baghdad is not honestly cooperating and is attempting to remove or
hide equipment behind the inspectors' backs, as (Powell) he put it. In keeping with this new approach, there were
references accusing Iraq of eavesdropping on the inspectors and claims that
their work has been hampered. In addition, there were those who volunteered to
provide special information personally obtained from a source inside Iraq and
other such naive talk that shows disregard for the issues to be discussed in
the Security Council's meeting today. They (Americans) also show deception in
seeking to achieve a floating resolution or a position that does not conform to
any measure of justice, logic and law."
"The Iraqi Issue Between Facts And
Dr. Mahdi Dakhlallah, editor-in-chief of
government-owned Al-Ba'th, editorialized (2/5): "The mountain has
given birth to a mouse! The American
Secretary of State's report to the UNSC did not present anything new to justify
the eagerness of war-mongers on both sides of the Atlantic. Rather the report presented a collection of
hypotheses and personal evaluations presented in an aggressive speech. At best the speech included unconfirmed
information that needs to be reviewed and verified by the inspection
teams. Anyone who listened to the report
would imagine that Iraq is a great power that manufactures all kinds of weapons
of mass destruction. But is it logical for a country that has been suffering an
economic and political siege for over 12 years to produce all these advanced
weapons? The writer of the report
unintentionally admitted what he termed 'Iraq's genius' in manufacturing and
hiding all these weapons. Does this mean
that the powers that are watching Iraq with their advanced technological eyes
are stupid? Or do we find ourselves in
front of the clash of geniuses? (i.e. the U.S. versus Iraq). As for the information about a link between
al-Qaida and Iraq, this raises the question for which everyone knows the
answer: Which is the 'superpower' that
established al-Qaida and supported it, and set up many other 'Qaidas' in the
different corners of the world? Which is
the 'superpower' that has supported organized Israeli state terrorism since the
establishment of the Zionist entity? The
one who does not have material evidence for his accusations uses illogical
exhortations of the type: 'Believe me... because I am saying the truth.' And such an exhortation is followed up with
the threatening tone along the lines of 'we... or else!' The chief of American diplomacy used this
expression and stressed that the UNSC must either 'shoulder its
responsibilities' or it will be a 'useless forum.' So the question now is: Is the objective of all of this (rhetoric) to
find a way to salvage peace or to find 'justifications for declaring war?"
Ahmad Hamadah, a commentator in government-owned
Al-Thawra, wrote (2/6):
"Anyone who followed the direction of the U.S. wind preceding
Secretary Powell's alleged evidence about Iraq's possession of weapons of mass
destruction and its linkage with al-Qaida and international terrorism
immediately realized that the issue had nothing to do with presenting evidence,
rather it is merely a new U.S. attempt to militarize the world against Iraq and
fabricate lies to justify Washington's military misadventure.... The alleged evidence was no more than a link
in the chain of war against Iraq, the goal of which is not to help the
inspectors find weapons of mass destruction, but rather to invade Iraq and
establish a new scheme for Iraq and the region.... If the U.S. administration is serious in its
claims, shouldn't it have presented its evidence to the inspectors? The
inspections have been taking place for more than two months; if the US
possesses definite information it should have presented it to Blix and Al-Baradei to implement UN Resolution 1441.
It didn't because such evidence is no more than a collection of weak and
unconvincing pretexts. Powell himself acknowledged that he had no irrefutable
"Reforming The UN Is The Answer"
Fouad Mardoud, chief editor of the
government-owned Syria Times, editorialized (2/6): "It was a sad time for the idea of the
United Nations as a chamber of wisdom and peacemaking. Colin Powell's speech at the Security Council
represents a tragic event in the Council's deliberations, and illustrates the
need for quick and dramatic reform of the world's body. Keeping international peace and resolving the
world's conflicts will require greater leadership from the United Nations than
has been in evidence in recent years....
The time has come to reform the UN and liberate it from American
hegemony and disdain. The February 5 meeting of the UNSC showed how much the
Bush Administration scorns the United Nations and the contempt it holds for
"Dissipate The Doubts And Protect The Iraqi People"
Mustapha Khammari wrote in independent
French-language Le Temps (2/6), "Lots of accusations without
tangible proof, one is tempted to write after Colin Powell's presentation to
the Security Council. This presentation,
for which a meeting of the Security Council was called, does not appear to have
provided information that the world did not already know, nor has it provided
irrefutable evidence that Iraq is hiding WMD.
Neither precise details nor sure proof, were brought by the American
Secretary of State, who contented himself
for the majority of time in making accusations , already heard, against the
Iraqi leadership... Certainly, the report of the American Secretary of State
will not be enough to close the file and evoke a war. One could even admit that the American initiative
before the Security Council could even serve the Iraqi point of view. How can one understand, in effect, that the
U.S., with all its intelligence services of listening and spying, could not
place its hand on the stocks of prohibited arms that are, according to Powell,
hidden by Baghdad?... Certain grave
accusations advanced by the American Secretary of State, such as those relative
to chemical and biological weapons, must be provided in order to overcome doubt. Simple accusations are insufficient to
authorize a destructive war with heavy consequences for the Iraqi
people.... The Iraqi authority must
itself measure the danger threatening its people. It is still possible to further the specter
of war and to cooperate better with the UN to remove all doubts and thereby
show that the accusations made by Powell are unfounded."
Editor-in-chief Abdelhamid Riahi wrote in the
independent Arabic-language As-Shourouq (2/6), "American
circus...meant to dissuade the international community. SecState Powell's speech to the Security
Council was part of a long American endeavor to justify waging a war on
Iraq.... Powell's report was replete
with information, data, satellite-taken pictures and recordings to try to
persuade the world of evidence incriminating Iraq... We really felt sorry for the United States
which, through this report, was desperately trying to cling to a straw so as to
avoid drowning.... The alleged phone calls between Iraqi officials discussing
the issue of modified mobile factories can be totally fabricated. Also, why did
the U.S. conceal the satellite pictures from UN inspectors for so long? The
U.S. has made the mistake of hiding such evidence, which could have been
inspected meticulously by the UN. The real motivation behind the aggression has
become evident to everyone. It concerns Iraqi oil and U.S. domination of the
"The Final Indictment Procedure"
Abu Dhabi-based, semi-official Al-Ittihad editorialized
(2/6): "What came in Powell's long
submission to the UNSC is extremely dangerous; it goes beyond speeches and
mobilization to pave the way for the actual use of force to eliminate Iraq's
WMD that are carefully hidden in mobile containers and camouflaged positions in
Iraq.... There is no doubt that Powell's
presentation has opened the Iraqi crisis up to catastrophic possibilities
unless Baghdad stops its efforts to hide and eliminate any trace of its banned
weapons and takes a step towards clearing the huge congestion which threatens
to explode. Only then will it gain the
support of the world community which seeks to avert war by all available
"Evidence Which Needs Someone To Believe
Sharjah-based, pan-Arab Al-Khaleej known
for its vociferous anti-American rhetoric, editorialized (2/6): "Powell's
speech before the UNSC yesterday comes within the framework of speeding up the
aggression, especially after he deliberately showed satellite images and phone
conversations in an attempt to demonstrate Iraq's violation of UNSCR 1441, which
permits exposing Iraq to grave consequences....
Powell and others who blow the trumpets of war can present more images
and phone conversations. But who would
lend them credibility, since the U.S. has (already) made its decision and the
mobilizations have reached their peak?
All we understood from Powell is that he brought to the Security Council
evidence which needs someone to believe it and ratify it in order to finalize
the war to destroy Iraq."
"Powell Makes His Case For War As Countdown Starts"
While most papers (2/6) ran international wire
reports on the Secretary's presentation, the centrist Hindu had its own
story by Sridhar Krishnaswami. Typical
headlines included: "Powell Makes
His Case for War As Countdown Starts" in the centrist Indian Express;
"Powell Exposes Iraq Lies" in the centrist Statesman; and
"Iraq Hiding its Weapons, Says Powell" in the centrist Times of
"Operation Historical Madness"
Pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer ran this
piece (2/6) by V.K. Grover: "Having
made up its mind to attack Iraq, with or without sufficient evidence, and with
or without United Nations backing, the United States is determined to oust the
villain of the day--Saddam Hussein....
So what are the U.S.' real objectives?
If they are to oust Mr Hussein as a potential supplier of WMDs to
terrorist outfits, one can live with it. Also, if this action results in
bringing down the price of oil, and in reducing the cash flow to Islamic
fundamentalists, then India stands to benefit.
On the other hand, if the objective is to cut the Islamic countries down
to size and redraw the map of this region, then we are in real trouble."
"Powell Presents Evidence, Seeks UN Action Against Iraq"
A news story in the centrist national News
held (2/6), "U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on Wednesday played
tapes and showed satellite pictures which he said proved the Iraqi military had
conspired to conceal banned weapons from UN weapons inspectors. In a high-stakes address at the United
Nations to win over skeptical countries to the U.S. view that force may be
needed soon if Baghdad fails to cooperate, Powell said Iraqi officers hid
weapons, gave orders to sanitize documents referring to 'nerve agents' and
cleaned up chemical weapons sites."
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: “Final Outcome
Not Up For Negotiation”
Washington correspondent Peter Hartcher observed
in the national, business-oriented Australian Financial Review
(2/6): “In culling the material
for...Colin Powell to present to the UNSC today, the top U.S. intelligence
experts needed to get a threshold decision from the White House--have we
decided to attack Iraq or not?… If the
administration had already decided to invade Iraq...Mr. Powell could draw on a
much greater array of intelligence in appealing for world support. The answer that came back from the White
House? The decision has been made, the
U.S. will attack so use broad latitude in choosing intelligence, according to a
well-placed U.S. official.... Only a
total capitulation by Saddam Hussein can now halt the advance of the U.S. was
machine.... As the very act of compiling
Mr. Powell’s testimony demonstrated, the final outcome is not up for
CHINA: “Powell Plays His
‘Intelligence Trump Card’”
Guo Lijun and Duan Jiyong reported on the
website of the official Xinhua News Agency (2/6): “According to analysts, first, U.S. President
Bush’s further publication of the necessity to attack Iraq in the State of the
Union speech shows the U.S.’ determination to resolve the Iraq issue at any
cost even through unilateral military means.
Powell’s presentation of the evidence about Iraq delivering and
concealing WMD is obviously to echo Bush’s national general mobilization for
war. Second, the U.S. presenting the
‘evidence of Iraq’s crime’ at this moment is for the purpose of expediting its
diplomatic efforts to gain the authorization for war from the UN. Third, the U.S. has not only accused Saddam
of having relations with terrorist organizations, but also clearly related the
Iraqi Government to al-Qaida. This
behavior is to warn Americans that the ‘dangerous weapons’ Iraq has can
directly threaten every American through terrorist organizations.”
CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):
"Easy To Win War, But Hard To Deal With Aftermath"
The independent Chinese-language Hong Kong
Economic Journal editorialized (2/6):
"With Secretary Powell's submission of 'evidence' of Iraqi
non-compliance to the UNSC, U.S. diplomatic efforts were brought to a temporary
close. As the Secretary of State
appeared in person to submit the 'evidence of crime,' the evidence is naturally
proven. If the Security Council and its
allies still refuse to support military action, the U.S. will have 'sufficient
grounds' to act alone. In fact, U.S.
aircraft carriers deployed to the Middle East have already sailed closer to
Iraq, within the range of fire.
Everything is ready. War on Iraq
could break out at any moment. Although
the U.S. did not secure strong support from its allies, its military
deployments continue to go smoothly.
According to the Deputy Secretary of State Armitage, 21 countries have
shown their support for a U.S. strike against Iraq, and they promise to provide
assistance to the U.S.... People are
more concerned that if the U.S. ignores the UN and no longer needs the support
of its traditional European allies to act, this will show the U.S. is a huge
military power that can command the world.
Unilateralism will become the leading force behind U.S. national
policy. Will the world no longer have checks
and balances on U.S. power!?"
"Powell Blows The Trumpet; Iraq On Brink Of
The independent Chinese-language Hong Kong
Economic Times commented (2/6):
"Secretary Powell yesterday addressed the UNSC. He submitted 'evidence' showing Iraq
possesses weapons of mass destruction.
Regardless of whether or not the evidence is sufficient, Powell used it
to lobby for other countries' support....
[He] appeared in person at the Security Council, lifting the curtain on
the last show of the U.S. war against Iraq.
Many people feel that the so-called 'evidence' Powell submitted, which
included satellite photographs and audio tapes, contained nothing new. U.S. President Bush and Secretary Powell,
however, are not concerned about whether the evidence is shocking. They were simply using the Security Council
'show' to justify war and show that they are not fighting alone."
Attacks On Iraq Raise Concern"
Golkar Party’s Suara Karya (2/6)
commented: “Is it all these pieces of
evidence [as Powell laid out at the UN] that make the U.S. so enthusiastic to
launch strikes on Iraq? Everything is
not clear yet. And thus far, Saddam
Hussein has never provided such evidence to the UN weapons inspection
team.... Therefore, U.S. attacks on Iraq
must be strongly rejected. The solution
to the Gulf crisis must be made through peaceful means by pushing Bush to
cancel his desire to use force and push Saddam to disarm itself publicly.”
Conservative Sankei's UN correspondent Uchibatake noted
(2/6): "The evidence Secretary
Powell submitted to the UNSC--satellite photos and monitoring records of Iraqi
communications--was much more compelling than expected. In making a case against Iraq, the Secretary
spoke like a prosecutor throwing the UNSC into temporary silence. After Mr. Powell's submission of compelling
evidence, the U.S. claim for the use of force appears to be prevailing at the
Liberal Mainichi's UN correspondent
Uemura observed (2/6): "Secretary
Powell effectively used satellite photos to give other UNSC officials the
'visual' impression that Iraq's WMD development is an 'irrefutable' and
'undeniable' fact. Powell's
presentation of 'concrete' evidence is likely to become a 'historic
performance' similar to the presentation of aerial photos showing the construction
of a missile base in Cuba during the 1962 crisis." Another Mainichi correspondent Nakajima
observed: "Secretary Powell's submission of evidence was aimed at closing
the gap between the U.S. and its allies over Iraq, but it is not immediately certain
whether there will be rising calls at the UNSC for adopting a new resolution
authorizing the use of force against Iraq."
“Evidence Is Not An Issue; U.S. Has Decided On War From Day One”
Café Dam commented in elite, business-oriented Krungthep
Turakij (2/6): “Whether the evidence
is ‘new’ or not is not an issue here.
Actually, there is nothing ‘newer’ than what the U.S. and U.K. have
attempted to tell the world earlier. The
only difference is that the U.S. Secretary of State has re-arranged that
information and used stronger wording to convince the world that this is ‘the
CANADA: "Powell Makes The Case"
The conservative National Post opined
(2/6): "Just as he did last November, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell
presented himself to the United Nations Security Council yesterday to make the
case against Iraq. His multimedia presentation provided the international
organization and the world with an impressive catalogue of Saddam Hussein's
violations and evasions."
"Going To The UN Was A Waste Of Time"
David Warren commented in the conservative National Post and the
nationalist Ottawa Citizen (2/6): "Colin Powell's presentation to
the UN Security Council yesterday was a waste of time and energy. While his
show was effective enough in itself, and met the demanding criterion of
entertainment, by holding its audience, no one was swayed by it one way or the
other. It is impossible to gauge the effect on world public opinion, which is
anyway impossible to measure given contextual differences from country to
country. But my gut sense is that the effect on opinion outside the United
States will be slight.... Nobody, or at least nobody who is properly informed,
said it was going to be easy. But it is going to be done, and as would now
appear, done over the dead body of the United Nations."
"Powell's Strong Case And The Coming
The leading Globe and Mail editorialized
(2/6): "[I]n methodically laying out damning demonstrations of Iraq's
efforts to conceal weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. Secretary of State
came as close as anyone expected. There can be little doubt that Iraqi
President Saddam Hussein's regime is lying to the countries of the world. He is
playing them for dupes. The question now
is how the international community responds.... In sum, though, there can be
little doubt that Mr. Hussein is in violation of Security Council Resolution
1441, passed unanimously on Nov. 8, which gave Iraq one last chance to disarm
under the watchful eye of the UN.... In
the end, if the United States is determined to attack, it is unlikely any of
those three would wield their vetoes to deny Washington the imprimatur of the UN.
It is the UN's credibility that is put at stake by Mr. Hussein's actions. Mr. Hussein will have brought this
invasion on himself unless he has a full and complete change of heart now. Few
"Saddam's Web Of Lies"
The liberal Toronto Star opined (2/6):
"Powell's 'smoking intercepts,' satellite photos and a litany of
informants' claims merely lent colourful, if thin, support to U.S. President
George Bush's angry claims that Saddam is hiding ambitious nuclear, chemical
and biological programs. Powell brought forward no 'smoking gun' to justify
war.... There was nothing in Powell's presentation that answered the questions:
Why attack Iraq now? Isn't Iraq militarily hobbled and sufficiently contained?
But those queries become less relevant the longer Saddam thwarts this
process.... Every peaceful option must be explored. And another Security
Council resolution should be obtained before launching a war. But that day
cannot be far off. Saddam is close to paying a terrible price for defying the world."
"Let The U.N. Seal Saddam's Fate"
Foreign affairs editorial writer Gordon Barthos
commented in the liberal Toronto Star (2/6): "...While his
theatrics yesterday fell far short of an 'Adlai Stevenson' moment and produced
no 'smoking gun,' it was a forceful indictment.... Happily, Iraq poses no
comparable, urgent threat. Saddam's regime may be malevolent. But it is
enfeebled, isolated, encircled and contained. It poses no more threat today
than it did last week, last month or last year. Canada is right to hold out for
formal U.N. authorization before going to war this time. It's more than 'highly
desirable.' It's a shield against anarchy."
"The Case Against Iraq"
Under the sub-heading, "Colin Powell's UN
speech shows why Saddam Hussein must go," the nationalist Ottawa Citizen
wrote (2/6): "U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, armed with clandestine
recordings, satellite photographs and evidence from various intelligence
sources, made a convincing case before the United Nations Security Council yesterday
that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is continuing to conceal weapons of mass
destruction in direct defiance of council resolution 1441... Despite Mr. Powell's impressive performance
yesterday, critics of the United States will continue to insist it provide
unassailable 'proof' of Iraq's non-compliance.... Mr. Powell has made a compelling case that
Iraq is not obeying resolution 1441. Those who disagree will have to present an
equally convincing counter-argument that Iraq is co-operating with the UN.
It won't be easy."
An editorial in the conservative tabloid Ottawa
Sun held (2/6): "There was no smoking gun, no irrefutable piece of
evidence -- a satellite photo of Saddam Hussein sitting on a nuclear warhead,
perhaps. But Powell did present a case against Iraq so detailed, so utterly
damning, that even the most ardent skeptic of U.S. policy on Iraq would be
hard-pressed and foolish to ignore the message contained in it. And that message, drawn from intelligence
files gathered over a decade, was this: That Iraq has deceived the world time
and time again. It has continued to construct weapons of mass destruction and
to hide the evidence while opening the doors to fraudulent UN
inspections.... Powell's warning wasn't
aimed at Iraq, it was directed at countries like France and Germany, key allies
and Security Council members who remain opposed to military force to end
Saddam's rule, who still cling naively to hopes of a political solution, not a
military one. Even squeamish little
Canada, while admitting that Powell presented a disturbing and persuasive case
against Iraq, still clings to hopes of a political solution, as though Iraq can
still be convinced to co-operate. Silly us."
"Like In 1962"
Murray Maltais editorialized in Ottawa's only
French-language Le Droit (2/6):
"The Iraqi regime, far from repent and showing a willingness to amend its ways, is sinking
deeper. It has no credibility.... What
Powell failed to say yesterday is that the Bush
administration wished to remodel the Middle East to serve the United States' interests. Interests that start with
its own security.... Force must be used
as a last resort. But Colin Powell's presentation is disturbing. It demonstrates that the Iraqi regime is
becoming more and more dangerous for its
neighbors. Its policies are based on lies to the world and terror and repression within. Since
yesterday, hope for peace is more fragile. And Baghdad's reaction's is to be
relentless. This is a suicidal strategy.
Editorialist Mario Roy wrote in the centrist French-language La
Presse (2/6): "The fundamental
question is not the quality of the proof presented by Colin Powell.... Almost everyone knows that Saddam Hussein is
hiding chemical and biological weapons and that he is hiding them to eventually
use them if only during his last stand before being thrown on the garbage heap
of history. The question remains: is war
the solution to this crisis? Despite
Colin Powell's brilliant and calm intervention, we still believe the answer is
"The Burden Of Proof"
Julie Lemieux judged in the centrist Quebec City Le Soleil
(2/6): "Expectations were low for
Colin Powell's presentation.... But...in
the end we heard a solid expose from the Secretary of State who gave the world
disquieting pieces of information which Saddam Hussein will have to answer
quickly.... The American case does not
justify by itself the start of a war.
But it now forces the dictator to prove that these suspicions are not
founded.... To do this Saddam Hussein
will have no choice but to comply with UN requirements and finally fully
collaborate with the inspectors."world of maintaining a military presence
in Iraq for months and maybe years after the war. Financial costs but also
political costs directly tied to the
"Powell, Not Convincing, But Insists On Attacking Iraq"
Alberto Armendariz, daily-of-record La Nacion
political columnist, argued (2/6): "Yesterday, in his highly expected
presentation of evidence against Iraq, Secretary Powell was unable to convince
the UNSC that Saddam's regime still has WMD, and most member countries promoted
the need to give UN arms inspectors more time, while they also made a last
minute plea to Baghdad for cooperation. Facing a skeptical UNSC, and armed with
satellite photos, videos, audio tapes and even a small flask with a substance
similar to anthrax, Powell tried - during 83 minutes -- to show that Iraqis
continue to produce chemical and biological weapons, that he has even tried to
produce a nuclear bomb and that he maintains close ties with Al Qaida. The
Secretary of State insisted on the need for an offensive to disarm Iraq and
urged the UN not to avoid its responsibility in doing so."
"U.S. Presents Evidence, But UN Still
Marina Aizen, leading Clarin New
York-based correspondent, stated (2/6): "In a dramatic presentation at the
UNSC that appeared to be the prelude of war, Secretary Powell accused Iraq of
having WMD and actively supporting Al Qaida. Though he didn't provide a
'smoking gun' as the irrefutable evidence so many were expecting, the U.S.
official relied on audio recordings of allegedly secret conversations,
satellite images and other pieces of 'intelligence information' in an attempt
to convince the UNSC that Saddam keeps deceiving the international community
regarding his terrible arsenal.... But this presentation seemed to be better
received by the U.S. people... rather than by UNSC members. Despite his
striking presentation, Powell was unable to reverse the opinion of most people
in the UNSC who are in favor of peace.... The presentation had a clear goal:
casting a negative shadow on the inspections process, showing how Baghdad
repeatedly fools UN inspections.... On the alleged conversations between Iraqi
officials on WMD, Powell didn’t even try to explain how he obtained them... He
addressed the Council as if he were a district attorney at a UN crimes
court.... More compelling than taped conversations were the satellite images he
provided though, here too, there was nothing more than Powell's words to
guarantee their veracity."
"Closer to Unilateral War"
Ana Baron, leading Clarin
Washington-based correspondent, opined (2/6): "The evidence against Saddam
Hussein presented yesterday by Secretary Powell at the UNSC triggered negative
repercussions at an international level - exactly the opposite reaction to what
the White House wanted. Powell's presentation was unable to increase support
for war within the UN, but weakened it, instead. Most countries now believe
that they need to give arms inspectors more time. In this context, chances that
the U.S. may have to launch a military offensive without UNSC support grew
significantly. Therefore, after presenting the world evidence which -- in
opinion of the U.S. President-- proves that his cause is just, it will now be
more difficult for Bush to backtrack. As
Powell himself had previously announced, the evidence was not irrefutable. On
the contrary, the presentation was more of the same: a display of what judges
call circumstantial - but not direct - evidence. So, after listening to Powell, the three countries
with veto power that repeatedly expressed their opposition to attack Iraq
(China, France and Russia) didn't change their position an inch and pointed out
the importance of arms inspections, highlighting that inspectors need more time
to analyze the information provided by Powell.... On repeated occasions, Bush
has said the U.S. has the right to launch a unilateral military offensive.
Judging by the deployment of U.S. troops in the Gulf area, the decision has
already been made. If in the past there had been a remote possibility of backtracking,
yesterday's presentation leads Bush to a dead-end street where, unless he
acknowledges a mistake in his strategic views, the only way out is war."
BRAZIL: "War Diplomacy"
The lead editorial in liberal Folha de Sao
Paulo (2/6) held: "Despite its photos and videotape pyrotechnics,
Secstate Powell's presentation did not offer more grounds to justify a war
against Iraq. General Powell showed a series of circumstantial evidence that
Iraq has not been fulfilling the terms of UN Resolution 1441.... Not complying
with this resolution, however, does not necessarily mean war.... The concrete
fact is that Powell did not demonstrate that Saddam Hussein is a real and
imminent threat to the world order who must be contained by an immediate
war.... What has been discussed at the UNSC is whether the international
community is or is not willing to give the U.S. license to act at the same time
as the world's policeman and hangman. The answer can only be a vehement
"Closer To Midnight"
Center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo's lead
editorial (2/6) commented: "The 'accumulation of facts' Secstate Powell
presented yesterday can be summarized this way: Saddam Hussein has never
provided any indication he may cooperate with the UN's arms inspectors; the
evidence that Iraq continues to develop arms of mass destruction is
'irrefutable and undeniable'; Saddam has not given up producing nuclear
weapons; the Baghdad regime has maintained operational links with Al Qaeda; the
war, therefore, is unavoidable. The matter is not 'if,' but 'when'.... The
question Powell failed to answer is whether the attack against Baghdad would
not be precisely the thing to lead Saddam, as final revenge, to launch the
terrible arsenals he has been accused of possessing, not only against enemy troops,
but against Kuwait, Israel and oil wells in Saudi Arabia as well."
Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo political
columnist Clovis Rossi opined (2/6): "The U.S. does not need evidence to
attack Iraq and will not be stopped by its absence. But it must convince the
largest number of nations possible to join the attack, which would
theoretically make the war 'cleaner' and less costly, and with less collateral
damage (a terrorist strike, for example).... If Powell failed to present a
smoking gun, the BBC produced the contrary: a document from the UK's
intelligence service that denies the existence of ties between Saddam and Al
Qaeda.... Even without links with Al Qaeda, Saddam is as dangerous today as he
was ten, five or three years ago. Therefore, the haste in removing him can only
be attributed to oil or to a demonstration of extreme force in the finest style
of the old West."
"Saddam Opens 'New World Order'"
Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo international
editor Sergio Malbergier observed (2/6): "The matter of whether to support
George W. Bush's imminent war against Saddam Hussein will not be decided based
on possible evidence that the Iraq dictator is violating UN sanctions. He has been violating them since 1991. The
nations of the UNSC, as well as others throughout the world, will take their
positions according to their ability to resist the U.S. steamroller.... It was
terrorist Osama bin Laden who awakened the sleeping beast of imperial
militarism.... The enthusiasm generated by the war in Afghanistan helped to
consolidate a doctrine long supported by Republican hardline conservatives -
that the U.S. must pursue a policy of preventive attacks to fend off any
challenge to its hegemony."
"Powell's Word Is More Important Than
Center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo Paris
correspondent Giles Lapouge asserted (2/6): "The U.S. determination to use
force has become even clearer because the evidence of Iraq's lies that was
presented [by Secstate Colin Powell] seemed weak, doubtful and questionable.
The Secretary of State's speech seemed directed not at the UNSC, but at public
opinion - both in the U.S. and worldwide.... It was a good strategy to choose a
dove, not a hawk, to announce the war. The way Powell speaks and his reputation
count more than the evidence accumulated against Iraq. It does not matter that such evidence is
inconsistent.... Therefore, if Powell says that Iraq is dangerous, we should
believe it. Therefore, we must go to war."
"The Economy Of War"
Rio de Janeriro's Jornal do Brasil's lead
editorial stated (2/6): "After the
intervention of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell at the U.N. Security
Council, the lot is cast. One only has
to know the day and time the U.S. will start the war against Iraq. If the war is inevitable, all the other
countries must get ready for its negative effects on the world economy.... The
U.S. will go to war."
MEXICO: "Mexico, Irrelevant Position
Alan Arias Marin wrote in sensationalist Milenio
(2/6): "President Bush said a year
ago either you are with me or against me.
It seems that his discourse changed, judging from Bush's State of the
Union Address, and from Secretary Powell's presentation before the UN Security
Council. The U.S. feels that those who
do not support the U.S. position are irrelevant.... Mexico should continue to further
multilateral solutions to international problems, and to hold a pacifist
position and at the same time side with the U.S. in the anti-terrorist
"The Other Empire of Evil"
Academic Erasmo Saenz Carrete states in
sensationalist Milenio (2/6):
"The Bush administration is stubbornly furthering a war with Iraq
under the excuse that Iraq has developed chemical, nuclear and other mass
destruction weapons… However, the UN
inspectors have not found anything that would make the UN Security Council
launch a military action against Iraq.
The much-anticipated disclosures that were made public yesterday do not
reveal anything new. They are rather an
excuse to justify a military intervention."
"Powell, Unconvincing Data"
An editorial in far-left La Jornada (2/6)
reads: "Secretary Powell was to
give a direct, sober and accurate demonstration' of Iraq's efforts to hide mass
destruction weapons from the UN inspectors....
However, Powell only showed blurred photographs of what could be
warehouses to store chemical weapons, or factories. The taped telephone conversations could have
been made anywhere in the U.S.... The
'convincing' evidence was of such nature that none of the members of the UN
Security Council were convinced - with the exception of those who had already
committed themselves to support the US position: the United Kingdom and
Spain.... The U.S. is isolated, and by
launching a solo military aggression against Iraq, it could prompt the
anticipated collapse of the current administration."
"Mexico At The UN"
Editorial in nationalist Excelsior (2/6)
asserted: "Mexico's position to
further an effective disarmament in Iraq under the supervision of UN inspectors
is the right and reasonable position....
Secretary Powell's demonstration of audio recordings and photographs did
not have an impact on the members of the UN Security Council. Most of them feel that negotiations to
further peace should continue, although this position is far from materializing
because of the U.S. desire for war."
Rogelio Rios asserted in independent El Norte
(1/29): Secretary Powell’s great
credibility and international prestige was put on the table before the
temporary and permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, among them
Mexico. His presentation and the later discussion generated among his
counterparts displayed what the hard power policy speech is about.... This is
the face of power: the use of the threat of
force, the determined defense of strategic and domestic
interests...pointing fingers at other’s sins and the hiding of ours, the
exclusion of all social and humanitarian considerations that obstruct the great
nations’ power policies."
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: "Powell's Proof"
Independent, conservative morning El Caribe
editorialized (2/6): "His concern with Iraq was not shared by the rest of
the members of the Council.... In these
crucial times, on the contrary, what is relevant is that Iraq meet its
inspection promise, that the United States assume a more prudent position of
international solidarity and then, depending on the reference report, the
Security Council should honor its responsibilities."
"The Lost Arsenals"
International analyst Alejandro Baez wrote in
his column in the international section of independent, conservative morning El
Caribe (2/6): "The war against Iraq is a fact. Colin Powell's message yesterday could not
have been clearer: the U.S. believes
that Saddam Hussein is hiding weapons of mass destruction.... The only doubt remaining is whether the
United States will finally receive support from the U.N. Security Council, or
will go to war with a handful of friendly countries. ...a rushed military intervention will
benefit no one. Above all, a U.S.
unilateral war should be avoided without the support of the U.N."
"The Empire In Practice"
Left-of-center morning Hoy published a
commentary by columnist Emilio Lapayesse, a former priest and current
editorialist, (2/6): "Powell did not convince France, Russia and China
with his alleged 'proof' against Iraq."
Powell did not even convince American CNN, which yesterday kept
repeating that all his proof was 'alleged.'"
"A Skeptical World"
Top circulation La Tercera commented (2/6): "Secretary Powell's presentation, which
lasted more than 90 minutes, centered around three main points: that Iraq
continues to manufacture WMD, that it continues to deceive UN weapons'
inspectors, and that it supports international terrorism.... Certainly, Washington managed to prove a
point that few still doubted: the government in Baghdad has repeatedly
attempted to flout the dictates of the UN and that Saddam Hussein's words about
cooperating with the inspectors must be evaluated with a great deal of caution
and skepticism. Nevertheless, Powell's
evidence was insufficient to convince an incredulous international community
that an immediate war is the only alternative to ensure that Hussein is no
longer a threat to world peace."
COLOMBIA: "It's Today"
An op-ed by writer Daniel Samper in leading El
Tiempo concluded (2/5): "It's Today," stated: "We all agree
with Bush: Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator.... The question is it worth
fighting an international war on this guy."
"What Does Bush Want?"
An op-ed by journalist Reinaldo Spitaletta in
Medellín daily El Colombiano (2/5) entitled: stated: "Most people suspect Americans are
after Iraq's oil.... U.S. attack on Iraq using the antiterrorist excuse will
probably assure the powerful nation oil reserves, while creating repudiation
and condemn in the world, mostly by nations suffering the consequences."
Powell Built A Good Case"
Evening Channel One News aired an interview with
Colombian ex Ambassador to the UN Alfonso Valdivieso who asserted (2/5):
"U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell built a good case and made progress
on several points... The Colombian position is to demand Saddam Hussein to
fulfill commitments, which he has failed to do over the years."
ECUADOR: "Closer to War with Iraq"
An editorial in Quito's center-left influential Hoy
(2/6): "Yesterday, at the UN Security Council, U.S. Secretary of State
Colin Powell said that Iraq has a reserve of between 100 and 500 tons of
chemical weapons, that it could arm 16,000 missiles and that it has two or the
three ingredients needed to produce a nuclear weapon....The international
community is aware of the danger of having these weapons in the hands of the
Iraqi dictator, but is asking for more convincing evidence and hoping to stop a
war that seems ever more inevitable... Powell's remarks do not alter the
position of France, China and Russia, who want the UN weapons inspectors to
have additional time to carry out their work.... Those who agree with the U.S. in calling for
an immediate military strike argue that Saddam Hussein will not curtail his
efforts to produce weapons of mass destruction and that any extension would be
useless.... However, a war would be a
serious step backwards for the world and it would not guarantee an end to
terrorist activity but, on the contrary, would most likely create more feelings
of hate and destruction.... The
possibility of a diplomatic solutions appears unlikely, even more so
considering that the world's second largest oil reserve is a stake."
An opinion column by Carlos Jijon in Quito's
center-left (influential) Hoy (2/6): "Quote: U.S. Secretary of
State Colin Powell yesterday presented the UN Security Council apparent proof
that Iraq is violating UN conditions.
Pure theater. The U.S. is
determined to invade Iraq and without the support of the UN. It does not matter that France, China and
Russia do not agree. Nor that the BBC
has found a report showing that there is no link between Saddam and Al Qaeda
(details of which media such as CNN and the Miami Herald do not even
report). The business of war is underway
and only a miracle will stop it....
Meanwhile, Ecuador's petro-boom lifestyle could be over. It will all depend on how long Bush's troops
take to pacify the country he plans to invade.
If it is hoped that the price of oil will increase during the months of
war, it is likely that the price will drop once the U.S. has captured oil
wells. If the price of oil falls, so too
will dollarization.... It is unlikely that Gutierrez or Pacari will stop the
war. But dignified gestures are
important. While we wait, the country
should expect the worst. The problem is that it does not seem to realize
GUATEMALA: "Without A Shadow of a
Conservative, anti-American afternoon La Hora
stated in its main editorial (2/5): "Iraq's fate has been decided, when
Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke before the United Nations Security
Council... there is no shadow of a doubt
of the United States' determination to attack Iraq..."
PARAGUAY: "Covering Guernica With Cloth Of
Conservative Asuncion Noticias in an
editorial by regular columnist Guido Rodriguez Alcala, said (2/6): that the
covering of the Picasso behind Powell was in order to: "convince the
members of the organization (UNSC) of the need to replay Guernica and of the
advantages of a war against Iraq....
[Powell]said no more than his boss had already said."
"Those Wanting Proof, Were Disappointed"
The lead editorial from center-right El
Correro noted (2/6): "Those who
were hoping that Colin Powell would present proofs demonstrating that Iraq was
the nerve center of a terrorist wave tied to al-Qaida were disappointed.... If
there were no oil in Iraq, the tyrannical regime of Sadaam Hussein wouldn't
bother the U.S.... the unipolar U.S. feels like it can intervene anywhere based
on purely pragmatic considerations [which support] its imperial interests. International law and world orgainizations
are only a mask to hide a true military and economic force which rules the world,
avoiding norms and agreements.... The
'axis of evil' could have been a good Hollywood script if millions of lives
were in the balance."
KENYA: "Germany And
France Wronged Powell"
Jonathan Power a syndicated columnist, declared in the independent
left-of-center Nation (2/6):
"The continental Europeans--Germany and France, in particular--made
a grave tactical mistake recently in making it clear to Washington that they
felt the UN inspections were working and that the inspectors should be given
more time. They appear to have
undermined one of two people who have some chance of bending President George
Bush's ear on the subject of going to war--Secretary of State Colin
Powell. (The other is British Prime
Minister, Tony Blair.).... Yet France
and Germany have reduced Saddam Hussein's incentive to comply with the Security
Council resolution. They have given him
hope that he can forestall a February or March invasion by spinning the
inspection process out at least until the autumn, when the temperature will
again start to fall in the desert and make fighting for an American army more
feasible.... Mr. Powell is determined to
avoid a war. But if the war goes ahead,
Mr. Powell wants to remain on the inside track so he can make sure, as he did
the last time, that Vice-President Dick Cheney doesn't succeed in arguing for
the use of nuclear weapons."
"Giving Peace A Chance"
The independent Post opined (2/6): "As the UN Security Council received
evidence on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, the world as a whole
should realize that hegemony built on nothing but military superiority is
fragile.... This is one fact that all
those warmongers in the United States and the British governments, among
others, should not be blind to. While
appreciating the long overdue evidence, submitted by the United States
Secretary of State Colin Powell before the UN Security Council, there is need
for member states and the world to critically analyze what has been given out
objectively and with impartiality in the interest of world peace and
harmony. With the submission of this
evidence by the United States government, Iraq should also be given the chance
to respond to all queries and allegations raised against it while the team of
UN inspectors, should also be allowed to verify whatever has been tabled
without undue influence from anyone whether calling for military action or
not. In this vein, we welcome German
Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who presided over the Security Council meeting,
in his statement that he believed that war against Iraq could be
avoided.... We also support the
progressive stance taken by the French government in reaction to Powell's
presentation of evidence of calling for tougher weapons inspections and firmly
stating that force must be the last resort.
French Foreign Minister Dominque
said his country would not rule out the use of force as the last resort but
that the UN must be at the center of whatever action is taken....
"We can only hope that the Iraqi leadership
will cooperate with the weapons inspectors to avoid giving the United States
and Britain grounds to unleash their imperialist wars against nations that
don't kow-tow to their whims.... Like
empires before, the United States is behaving the same way, attracting
increasing opposition from most of humanity even in the approach towards the
Iraq weapons issue, where it is clearly ready for unilateral military action
before exhausting all channels available.
But it seems the United States, Britain and some of their close allies
don't realize that real possibilities still exist in the world to resolve these
problems without wars.... None of the
present problems of the world can be solved by force. Only the intelligent policy of seeking
strength through consensus and the international public opinion can decidedly
uproot this problem. There is definitely need to give peace a chance."
Segun Adeniyi, editor of the Lagos-based
independent This Day commented in his column (2/6), "There is now
no longer any doubt that the all-important soccer match the world had been
preparing for is about to begin, especially with Colin Powell's CIA tales at
the United Nations Security Council yesterday.... It is glaring Bush and Blair want blood. Especially after Powell's display of
yesterday which reminded many Nigerians of the Sani Abacha Coup video
saga. All the questionable audio
conversations and 'satellite photographs' Powell spent hours boring the world
with yesterday could easily have been procured at Oluwole here in Lagos. Even the UN audience wasn't convinced."
First free-to-air independent South Africa television channel
coverage began with straight reporting -"U.S. Secretary of State Colin
Powell tries to convince UN Security Council that Iraq has lied to weapons
inspectors... told UN Security Council that Iraq has deliberately concealed its
weapons of mass destruction and ...violated 16 UN resolutions in the past 12
years and Baghdad continued to violate resolution 1441 which was passed in
November to give Iraq one last chance."