March 10, 2003
IRAQ RESOLUTION AND FUTURE OF THE UN
** Papers worldwide worried that a U.S. attack
on Iraq not sanctioned by the UNSC could mean "the end" of the United
** Many saw the outlines of a "new
international order" emerging from the diplomatic struggle.
** Some feared the "new order" would
mean a hegemonic, unstoppable U.S.
EUROPE: Most see damage to
UN if U.S. proceeds without second resolution--
held that the "arm-wrestling match" over a second UN resolution had
"already caused damage" and left the UN "a victim." Many doubted "whether the UNSC will
survive" the coming "mega diplomatic debacle." France's Catholic La Croix warned that
"the specter of the League of Nations is haunting" the world body,
even as Spain's conservative ABC criticized France for forgetting
"that the U.S. is its ally."
Berlin's right-of-center Die Welt argued "it would be the
end of" the UN if war occurred against its "declared will,"
preferring if need be, war without a second resolution.
AFRICA/ASIA: War without
UNSC's OK would 'seriously undermine' the UN--
dailies agreed the U.S. has already "set a date" for war. China's official People's Daily
blasted the U.S.'s effort to find a "so-called legal basis" for its
"illegal" use of force. Many
concurred that a war without the UN's imprimatur would be "morally
indefensible," "lack international legality" and might
"destroy...the UN Charter."
Japanese and South African writers, however, agreed with an Aussie
tabloid's call for disarming Iraq "with the UN's sanction or without
MIDDLE EAST/SOUTH ASIA:
U.S. harming 'international legitimacy'-- Dailies from Muslim countries foresaw a world
where "the remnants of state sovereignty will evaporate" if the U.S.
can "bribe and bully weak nations" into supporting a new
resolution. Syria's government-owned Al-Thawra
charged Washington was using "the colonial logic of aggression" to
impose its "hegemony." Saudi
Arabia's moderate Al-Yaum also criticized the U.S. effort to "shake
the UN's cohesion." Pakistani and
Egyptian observers emphasized that anti-war protesters "are not defending
Saddam" but rather "defending the entire world order."
WESTERN HEMISPHERE: The UN
'in shambles' on the eve of war-- Dailies in Brazil and
Argentina judged that by declaring he was ready to disarm Saddam forcibly
without a new resolution if necessary, Bush had dealt "a hard blow"
on the influence the UNSC has had "in the resolution of international
conflicts" since the end of WWII.
Brazil's respected center-left Jornal do Brasil argued that
"what's at stake now is the redefinition of the international
order." Chile's conservative La
Segunda stated: "A U.S. unilateral
action would destroy the United Nations."
EDITORS: Steven Wangsness
and Ben Goldberg
EDITOR'S NOTE: This survey is based on 69 reports from 40
countries March 8-10, 2003. Editorial
excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.
The conservative Times took this view (3/10): "Without a second resolution, Mr. Blair
will faces a serious revolt, far more problematic than any he has encountered
since becoming leader.... The Prime
Minister should be confident that the current storm, though turbulent, can be
weathered provided that the diplomatic manoeuvres in which he is now engaged
deliver international support for action and any subsequent military
intervention is swift and victorious.
But...it would be foolish to assume that, once the conflict in Iraq is
over, the divisions that it has laid bare will disappear. U.S. action against Saddam Hussein should not
be seen as an isolated adventure, but as part of an American foreign policy
likely to be in force for a long time....
The proposed action against Iraq may be one of the earliest and most
controversial examples of such a policy, but it will not be the last."
"Now Is The Moment Of Truth"
The center-left Independent argued
(3/10): "Tony Blair's prime
ministership is not at that crisis pitch yet.
Nor is it likely to be, even if the Anglo-American text fails to pass
the Security Council tomorrow.... Make
no mistake, however, this is now extremely dangerous for the PM.... Since the start of the year, everything has
moved against him. Saddam is co-operating;
not fully or immediately but enough to make it worthwhile to keep up the
pressure. The nightmare scenario of the
failure to pass a second resolution is now a wakeful near-certainty. And no one could fairly describe a French
veto, which it seems Jacques Chirac would come to New York to wield in person,
as unreasonable. On the contrary, France
has had the better of the argument....
It is too late now for Mr Blair to do anything much about his fate. He sold the pass a long time ago, and to a
bull-headed and diplomatically inept U.S. President.... Even if a compromise resolution is carried,
it will lack moral authority.... Even if
the fighting is over quickly and casualties are kept low...the risks
remain. While most Iraqis may be
grateful for the lifting of Saddam's yoke, the scope for disaster in the
post-war reconstruction of the country is great.... This is...the wrong war at the wrong
time. But even its most vociferous
opponents must stand ready to help rebuild Iraq after the war."
FRANCE: "Bush And The
Left-of-center Le Monde held (3/10): “President Bush is wrong when he says that
the UN’s credibility can only be asserted by supporting war.... If war is decided in spite of the March 7
inspectors’ report...the UN’s authority will have been sabotaged.... If an arm-wrestling match is undertaken to
force undecided weak nations to vote for war, the role of the UN will be
distorted. Yet this is what President Bush
seems ready to do.... He has warned that
even with a no vote, the U.S. will launch the war.... The aim of such a policy seems to be to take
away the UN’s credibility.”
"The Future Of The UN At Stake"
Jean-Luc Macia maintained in Catholic La Croix (3/10): “The worst possible hypothesis is haunting
the world’s diplomats: with or without the UN, the U.S. and Great Britain will
go ahead with a war. What would the
future of the UN be? The specter of the
League of Nations is haunting them....
The choice of a few nations and America’s desire to get rid of Saddam
can turn the UN into the first and most symbolic collateral victim of the Iraqi
"Racing Towards War"
Patrick Sabatier opined in left-of-center Liberation
(3/10): “In these times where the real
threat is terrorism and WMD, those who aspire to be the masters of the world
will discover, like Pyrrhus, that the answer cannot be purely military.”
"Life, Death And Veto"
Jean-Claude Maurice wrote in right-of-center Le Journal du
Dimanche (3/9): “The answer is clear: short of definitive
proof against Iraq and unless Saddam Hussein gives in to a blatant provocation,
France will exercise its right of veto....
For France it is a question of principle, a question of
morality.... If the U.S. decides on war
in spite of the UN, it will have set a dangerous precedent for other crises in
the making: Middle East, North Korea, India-Pakistan. None of these conflicts can be solved
unilaterally. France’s strength lies in
the fact that it is not defending a personal position, but that of an entire
"The Destiny Of A World"
Michel Schifres judged in right-of-center Le Figaro
(3/8): “FM de Villepin’s address before
the Security Council, more than any other, gave meaning to the fight against
war and to the idea of finding a logic other than the logic of war.... What gave it weight was de Villepin’s concern
for defining a doctrine and imagining ‘the destiny of a world in crisis.’ No one can say if his invitation to heads of
state and government has a future. In
spite of a potential rejection by the U.S., such an invitation would offer a
double advantage: finding a compromise at the highest level thus possibly
steering away from a veto; and restoring the UN’s image.”
"A Worst-Case Scenario"
Patrick Sabatier opined in left-of-center Liberation
(3/8): “No matter what scenario is
played out, there is the risk to the UN of ending up like the League of
Nations.... There are basically two
visions of the world confronting each other.
For the U.S., equilibrium, peace and security can be safeguarded only
through military hegemony. For France
and others, peace and security can exist only through multipolar
cooperation.... The U.S. can win the war
without the UN. It can also lose the
peace if it isolates itself. It is in
America’s interest not to fire on the UN.
Unfortunately Washington appears ready to shoot.”
Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger noted on the front-page of center-right
Frankfurter Allgemeine (3/10):
“Those who are pushing the Iraq issue with such vigor in the U.S.
administration have perhaps underestimated the resistance that is now mounting
up against them. According to all the
statements we have heard from them...they probably don’t care.... But even among those who have a realistic
view of the UNSC...Bush’s diplomatic sledgehammer will not create a
consensus..... The rift among the UNSC
members is a fact which several parties tried to achieve.... It seems doubtful whether the UNSC will
survive the coming weeks as a ‘living institution of global peace’ [Carter].... America’s power in the world is
involved. That is the reason why the
controversy is taking place with such intensity. Irrespective of the outcome, the damage will
"Diplomacy At Full Speed"
Center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich maintained
(3/10): “The likelihood that France
seconds another resolution in the UNSC is smaller today that in it ever was in
the past.... French diplomacy continues
to run at full speed.... President
Chirac is trying to prevent a majority for the United States in the UNSC. Only if he succeeds...would France be
prevented from using its veto against its most important ally, since the
implications of a veto would be devastating, not only for NATO."
"Who Owns The World?"
Nikolaus Blome argued in an editorial in right-of-center Die
Welt of Berlin (3/10): “The UN with
all its weaknesses and flaws is the only place where Americans and the majority
of Europeans...talk to each other according to clearly defined rules. It would be the end of this place if there
were war against the declared will of the UN.
In such a case, a war would be better without the UN having declared its
"Last Chance For Reason"
Washington correspondent Malte Lehming filed the following
front-page editorial for centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin
(3/10): “The U.S. administration has now
initiated the final ‘showdown’ in the UN Security Council.... At the same time, Washington announced that
the outcome of the vote in the UNSC would be insignificant.... A diplomatic mega-debacle is in the
Andreas Chichowicz commented on ARD-TV's (national channel one)
late evening newscast Tagesthemen (3/8):
“Blix mentioned progress, but not how Saddam Hussein can be urged to
go. This is something he did not have to
examine, but this is the only thing in which the U.S. administration is
interested.... The coming days will
witness a hectic flurry of diplomatic activities whose outcome is clear.... I am afraid that the U.S. will win this
battle about war. But it will lose
reputation by the way it treats the rest of the world. This is a high price but not high enough for
the U.S. president. He already mentioned
the leitmotif for a future unrestrained power policy: We don’t need the permission of anybody. Hans Blix can retire.”
ITALY: "The Agony Of
Boris Biancheri opined in centrist, influential La Stampa
(3/10): “To put it simply, the American
line is this: 9/11 showed that our enemies can cause us huge damage; passive
defense against these attacks is impossible....
Therefore, if a war is necessary, then a war shall be waged.... Perhaps, this goes beyond the UN principles,
but this means that the UN is lagging behind the challenges of our time, while
America isn’t.... France and Germany,
and with some ambiguity Russia, are playing diplomatically.... They don’t have any doctrine on the new
threats coming from terrorism and proliferation of WMD.... The old balances and rules no longer
work. But only the U.S. and the UK think
they have the new ones. If the challenge
of our times marks the death of the UN, as it was in the past for the League of
Nations, it will not be Washington to rescue the corpse.”
"The Two Fronts Dividing The West"
Vittorio Zucconi argued in left-leaning, influential La
Repubblica (3/8): ”It is no longer
two different resolutions or two tactics that are clashing at the UN.... It is two opposite and irreconcilable
concepts on who should govern the world in the 21st century.... Indeed, when the bombs drop, not even the
most capable diplomats will be able to pretend and say that everyone won as if
everyone was right. From this epochal
clash, someone will necessarily be defeated.
Indeed, we already have the first victim: the UN."
Foreign editor Paul De Bruyn judged in conservative
Christian-Democrat Gazet van Antwerpen (3/10): “This crisis it is no longer about Iraq
only. Iraq and Saddam are the cause of a
revolution in worldwide relationships.
Nobody will shed a tear if Saddam disappears--the earlier the
better. If military action is necessary
for that, so be it. But, the question
is: who gives permission? Should it be
the UNSC...or can the strongest nation decide alone? That is a fundamental question.... If the U.S. is allowed to attack Iraq
pre-emptively, why shouldn’t China do the same in Taiwan? Why shouldn’t India attack Pakistan to
prevent it from testing missiles?....
Why is there a firm strategy against Iraq...while North Korea, which has
nuclear weapons, is handled with velvet gloves?... (The message is) that it is important to have
nuclear weapons as soon as possible because, in those circumstances, America
does not dare to do anything. All
dictators have understood that very well.
Before the first shots are fired, the Iraq crisis has already caused
damage. There are no winners.”
For War Opponents"
Center-right Sunday Independent maintained (3/9): "At issue is Iraq's willingness to
accept the will of the UN, and disarm.
But equally at issue, is the UN's own ability to enforce its
will.... For the French to claim that
peaceful disarmament is now working, while largely ignoring how that limited
level of cooperation has relied wholly on military pressure to underpin the
diplomatic effort, is somehow disingenuous....
Iraq has now been given an ultimatum.
It has 10 days to disarm.... That
is not just putting it up to Saddam Hussein to accept.... It is also putting it up to those (such as
France, Russia and China) who now oppose American-led military action, but who
have already voted for Iraq's full compliance with the UN under the resolution
(1441) they supported last November."
MALTA: "Unsure How To
The English-language independent weekly The Malta Independent
on Sunday commented (3/9): "The
international community is no closer to arriving at a compromise on how to
force Saddam Hussein give up his weapons of mass destruction.... The likelihood of a second UN Security
Council resolution being approved by the necessary nine votes is doubtful and
then there is the possibility of a French or Russian veto. Ideally, a compromise should be reached
between the two sides in which a new reasonable deadline is set out for Saddam
to disarm, failing which would lead to military action. On the other hand it is possible that the
U.S. and Britain will...unilaterally go on to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime
[without a second resolution]. Given the
international political climate, this is a very risky option to pursue, and we
hope that such a scenario can be avoided."
Influential independent NRC Handelsblad editorialized
(3/8): "It would set an outrageous
precedent if America would attack a sovereign state preemptively and without UN
approval. For what would prevent other
countries from doing the same?... The
fact that the situation got to this point in the first place is because Saddam
refused to cooperate with the UN weapon inspectors.... Washington can be blamed for wanting to start
a war in an explosive region without a clear and broadly understood
reason.... The unwillingness of France,
Germany, Russia, and China to meet the U.S. wishes reflects the understandable
frustration about the surplus of American power and the ease with which Bush
and Co. had earlier passed over the international community."
NORWAY: "Bondevik’s No
Independent VG commented (3/10): “[Prime Minister] Bondevik answered a clear
Yes to VG’s question on whether he is willing with regard to Iraq to
break Norway’s loyalty to the USA.... It
will be a wide-ranging change in Norwegian foreign and security policy if
Norway opposes the USA and Great Britain on the question of disarming
Iraq. If the U.S. goes to war, it will
happen because the country knows the peace and security of it and its allies
are threatened. If Norway goes in
opposition to the U.S., then we are breaking with the foremost guarantor of our
peace and security.... If the Government
now should tie Norway to countries like France and Russia, in opposition to the
U.S. and Great Britain, it will be the same thing as defining the country’s
foreign policy anew.... We have great
respect for the motives that lie behind the PM’s opposition to a possible war
in Iraq. But we hope that he has clearly
grasped the ramifications of the position that he now suggests that Norway
"Fatal For The UN"
New York correspondent Eva Bratholm commented in the Labor party Dagbladet
(3/10) : “The UN’s authority can be
changed when this week is over.... The
world’s only superpower has tweaked the nose of the UN and has taken matters
into its own hands. The UN sits again as
the one really disarmed.... Should the
U.S. manage to press for 9 votes and no veto, the situation is not really much
better. The UN will then be a scapegoat
for a war that almost the entire world is against.... The villain is the United States. The country has actively undermined the UN’s
prestige by first asking for the Security Council’s support and then saying
that it does not matter. To be fair, other
UN countries have also contributed to the world organization’s catastrophic
situation. Resolution 1441...was adopted
unanimously November 29.... At that time
everyone was so relieved that the U.S. had chosen to come before the UN that
hardly anyone fully thought out how the end game would play out if Iraq could
be able to comply.”
PORTUGAL: "The Last
Deputy editor-in-chief Nuno Pacheco argued in influential
(3/10): "It is certain that
Bush will get to war as he got to the White House: by wearing out his
opponents. Defeated but not convinced
that this hotly defended preventive war will be, by itself, the best solution
to the Iraqi problem. Tomorrow, in the
UNSC, the final cards will be played."
"Washington And Paris: Poker"
Senior editor Jorge Almeida Fernandes offered this view in
influential moderate-left Público (3/9):
"Paris, Moscow and Beijing want to avoid a crisis in the UN. It remains to be seen whether Bush wants
to. In that case, France will have
fallen into a trap. If the war goes
well, France will be marginalized in the Middle East. If it goes badly, it will be 'blamed' by the
Americans. Paris, however, is betting on
the Americans needing Europe and the UN to manage the wasp's nest of the
post-war.... War might still be the
subject of a compromise, because no one defends Saddam Hussein's Iraq..... The outcome of this arm-wrestling match will
design the contours of the international order in the coming years. But the margin for compromise is already very
ROMANIA: "The Next
Political analyst Ion Cristoiu commented in the centrist daily Jurnalul
National (3/10): “The United States
wants to turn the meeting in which the next resolution on Iraq will be
discussed into a sensational demonstration regarding the uselessness of the
Security Council and the anachronism of the UN.
A demonstration targeted not at the international public, but at the
American public.... The world--the U.S.
leaders want to point out--needs quick action, aimed at destroying any
terrorist plan. Under such circumstances,
a Security Council which votes for a delay will be proven absolutely useless. Which, in the end, is the hidden goal of the
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO:
"Disputable Justification For Aggression"
Pro-government Politika carried this opinion of Belgrade
Professor of International Law Zoran Vucinic (3/10): "The UN Charter, article 51 says
explicitly that states are entitled to individual and collective self-defense
only in case of armed attack on their territory. The strategy of preventive self-defense,
i.e., preventive attacks, is contrary to contemporary international law and
represents an act of aggression.... The
U.S. being the biggest power can do as it wishes, because no one can confront
it for the moment, not even the UN. Does
it mean that other countries have the right to use the same strategy? Did Yugoslavia for example, have the right to
protect its security by a preventive attack on Albania, which at that time
offered strong support to Albanian terrorists in Kosovo? The answer is negative...because in that
case interventions would be undertaken based on personal criteria and could be
SPAIN: "The World That
Is No Longer"
Left-of-center El País argued (3/8): "Between the U.S. leaders, with their
obscenely arrogant policy, their constant erratic dodges and their lack of
professionalism, and European ones, with their disunity, their hypocrisy, their
inability and their permanent attitude of a 'little know-it-all,' we have been
plunged into the gravest security crisis since the end of World War II.... Now, only a rapid military intervention and a
reasonable postwar scenario can save us."
"The Final Battle Of Diplomacy"
Independent El Mundo published this commentary (3/9): "All [of the countries that have a vote
in the Security Council] would rather have an agreement between Paris and
Washington: for Bush because it seems the only way to stop a veto, and for the
rest because it will avoid the division of the Council about the legitimacy of
the war and the alienation of the United Nations. But it seems too late for that.... Today, the center of the diplomatic battle is
not Iraq, but the principles that will guide the international system after
9/11. The unilateralism and policy of
preventive war approved by the United States...means the destruction of the
'United Nations system.'"
Conservative ABC held (3/10): "Allies [show support], above all, in
the bad times. France seems to have
forgotten--or at least at times has difficulties in showing it--that the U.S.
is its ally.... In the end, the clash
that Paris is creating, is not only with the United States, but also with South
of Europe. Do Putin and Jiang Zemin
offer Chirac more credibility than Aznar, Berlusconi, Durao...or Tony
Blair?... France should make an effort
to make more visible the ties, ideals and principles that have made of it a
reference point in the world and in history."
TURKEY: "This Is The
Yasemin Congar argued in mass-appeal Milliyet (3/10): “It seems very unlikely that the war can be
stopped at this stage. The Bush
administration is not going to change its policy, even though the French-led
split at the UNSC signals a potential risk of polarization within the Western
world.... The U.S. will use the next
couple of days in efforts to convince the six ‘undecided’ members of the
UNSC.... Yet the fact of the matter is
that Washington’s focus is not on the opposition at the UNSC anymore, but is
more concerned about the war and post-war possibilities."
ISRAEL: "War And Its
Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized
(3/10): "What's at stake for the
U.S. and the West at large in the confrontation over Iraq is not just that Iraq
possesses weapons of mass destruction, worrisome though this is. It is that Iraq's 12-year flouting of its
cease-fire obligations has called Western resolve and credibility into
question, as have the games played by France and Germany over recent months in
the Security Council.... This newspaper
is convinced that deposing Saddam by force is morally and strategically the
right thing to do, though [it] does not discount the very real risks such
action poses. But beyond these risks
lies the far graver peril of yet again persuading bin Laden and his minions
that the Atlantic Alliance is a house divided against itself, that a French
president can be counted on to hold a Texan president in check, and that future
acts of terror will not be met by the most furious reprisals. It is this peril that, against all cavil and
self-doubt, the West must confront and overcome."
EGYPT: "Nero Burns The
Salama Ahmed Salama wrote in leading pro-government Al Ahram
(3/10): “Clearly, the American
administration no longer sees a use for any discussions as it has decided to
strike Iraq. No one expected Washington
to act otherwise. The Administration has
grown deaf to the most world opinion....
It is taking a great risk, which may destroy the international system
and UN.... Bush appeared nervous and full
of the arrogance of power when he proceeded to the sudden press conference,
which followed the UNSC session.... He is the Nero of the modern age who does
not care about burning the world or the UNSC.”
"Solution From Within"
Leading pro-government Al Ahram columnist Abdel Moeti Ahmed
judged (3/10): “The [only] solution,
which is timely now...is that a group from inside Iraq plans a coup to
overthrow Saddam’s regime, to open the way to the establishment of a free democratic
regime, which would include all Iraqi factions and political trends, and would
work on implementing U.N. resolutions and spare Iraqis a destructive war in
which thousands of innocent civilians would fall.”
"The Time For Talking Is Over"
Opposition Al Wafd columnist Nabil Zaki argued (3/10): “The victim [Iraq] confronts an enemy which
is neither looking for weapons of mass destruction nor worried about a lack of
democracy in Iraq. It is only seeking to
establish a new Roman Empire to control the world militarily.... Naïve people thought Iraqi regime change
would prevent war but, as Bush and Rice have confirmed, that is an illusion.”
Pro-government, aggressive Al Akhbar warned (3/9): “The international farce has gone too
far. The U.S. threatens to go to war in
Iraq without a UNSC resolution.... Who
threatens American security, Saddam or Bush?.... The entire world is against this war. Though the U.S. discounts Iraq, it is
impossible to discount the majority of the world’s nations.... September 11 made Americans lose their
minds.... World War II was but a toy
compared with the upcoming World War III.
The world is full of WMD.... We
are not defending Saddam; we are defending the entire world order.... Americans who advocate war are returning
history to barbaric ages...and reason must prevail.... War is not a baseball game.”
WEST BANK: "American
Underestimation Of International Legitimacy"
Independent Al-Quds editorialized (3/10): "The remarks of Condeleezza Rice, in
which she reiterated the readiness of the U.S. to wage war against Iraq without
the approval of the UNSC, reflect the position of the Bush administration.... This administration is seeking to snatch a
new resolution from the UNSC, authorizing the use of power even though the
majority of the international community is against such a position.... [Rice's] remarks undermine international
legitimacy. The Bush administration is
presenting to the world the worst model of a superpower, which should have
reinforced the basis and principles of international legitimacy, putting an end
to the double-standard policy it practices.”
SAUDI ARABIA: "The
Jeddah's moderate, Al-Medina editorialized (3/10): "President Bush has declared that the
time is near to settle the Iraqi crisis by military means. In fact, he was actually announcing the near
demise of the UNSC and international legitimacy.... A sad end, which will spare no one, including
the American people, whose security President Bush claims he is protecting
[while ignoring] every American value and tradition for their sake."
"The UN Prevails"
The English-language pro-government Saudi Gazette remarked
(3/9): "The United States, the
self-proclaimed citadel of the Western civilization, is trying to bribe and
bully weak and poor nations to support its devastating war plans. On the eve of the UN debate, President Bush
demanded at his rare press conference a division in the UN to see who was
standing where. A veiled threat is
manifest in this demand.... Therefore,
the efforts of France and other nations to avoid the war are not only
understandable, they are commendable."
"A Grave Precedent "
Dammam's moderate Al-Yaum editorialized (3/8): "The potential American war against Iraq
can only be explained as proof of superiority and a unilateral striking force
in the world.... This is required to
shake the UN's cohesian and convert the international organization into a
irrelevant one, without any authority."
SYRIA: "An Oppressive
Mohamed Khair al-Jamali commented in government-owned Al-Thawra
(3/10): "Anyone who reads the draft
U.S.-British-Spanish resolution with its ultimatum on Iraq realizes that this
draft resolution was formulated by an oppressive logic in line with the law of
jungle where power has the upper hand and the strong swallow the weak, devoid
of any ethical and logical rules governing public behavior.... This logic is similar to the colonial logic
of aggression, brutal force, and threats as a means to impose an aggressive
power's hegemony over people and rob them of their wealth."
UAE: "No To
Influential, pan-Arab Al Khaleej observed (3/8): "France, Russia, China, Germany, and all
Arab and Islamic Summits say: 'No to
War.' People around the world had and
are still having anti-war demonstrations.
Despite all this, the only thing that the U.S. can think of is
fabricating excuses for its attacks against Iraq.... George Bush's remarks (indicating) no
requirement for international authorization confirm this. The burglary begins with the assassination of
international legitimacy, which has always been the case in Arab issues. What is happening in Palestine and will
happen in Iraq are good examples of that."
"Bush's Cowboy Mentality"
Dubai-based business-oriented Al Bayan editorialized
(3/8): "President Bush announced:
'if we need to take any action against Iraq, we definitely will, without UN
approval.' The right translation of this
is: if the UN does not abide by our
orders and does not approve the killing of Iraq, then there is no need for it
[the UN] and every member should just leave New York and go back to where s/he
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: "Plea Time
Popular tabloid Daily Telegraph opined (3/8): "Critics of President Bush were quick to
point out after his press conference yesterday that he had not provided any new
evidence to support military intervention in Iraq.... They missed the point. That moment has passed; there is no necessity
for such evidence as the Iraqi leader is in defiance of UN Resolution
1441.... His goal is to achieve peace
through the disarmament of Saddam--by force if necessary--whether with the UN’s
sanction or without it.... As time runs
out for Saddam to prevent a war it is an argument that requires no further
Law And The Iraq Issue"
Jiang Guoqing commented in official Communist Party-run People’s
Daily (Renimin Ribao) (3/10):
“The U.S., the U.K. and some other countries are attempting to attack
Iraq without a UN authorization for war.
Apparently, there is not any legal basis for such a so-called
self-defense action.... UN Resolution
1441 does not grant any country the right to launch a unilateral war on
Iraq. Even if the inspectors’ report
shows that Iraq does seriously violate the UN Resolution, it should be
determined by the UNSC whether or not to take further actions.... Some Western countries led by the U.S.
wantonly misinterpret the regulations concerned in the Charter of the UN,
seeking a so-called legal basis for their illegal use of military
force.... The behavior of these
countries is in keeping with their traditional invasive policy under the
guidance of colonialism and the demand of power politics. However, this kind of behavior goes opposite
to the fundamental principles of international law.”
CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):
"War Date Has Been Set; Bush Makes The Last Call"
Independent Chinese-language Hong Kong Economic Times held
(3/8): "Prior to Blix issuing his
Iraq weapons inspection report, Bush hurried to make remarks resembling a
declaration of war for two reasons.
First of all, Bush has already set a date for the war and the countdown
has started. He will not allow any
diplomatic procrastination. In the past
few weeks, Bush's reasons for attacking Iraq were challenged by France, Germany
and Russia. Even the Turkish Parliament
refused to let U.S. troops in. Many
people doubt that the U.S. plan to attack Iraq may be postponed.... Secondly, the U.S. has suffered setbacks in
its diplomatic efforts. Many Americans
have begun to question an attack against Iraq.
In such a less-than-ideal situation, Bush knows well that in the long
run he will not only lose the support of his people, but he may even lose his
chance to be reelected. After setting
the date for the war, Bush's remarks yesterday were a warning to his allies,
telling them not to make any more noise.
They should either support the U.S. or shut up."
TAIWAN: "Comment On
U.S. President Bush's Remarks"
Centrist, pro-status quo China Times commented (3/9): "Using force [against other countries]
must at least meet the fundamental justice; that is, a country has the right to
defend itself against invasion or under the UN authorization. But no country has the right to use force
against others simply in an attempt to protect its self-defined 'national
security.' No one in the world doubts
that the U.S. will win the war against Iraq, but that is exactly and especially
why the U.S. must not fight a war without a just cause.... In case of a French and Russian threat of
veto, Bush said the U.S. was prepared to act on its own whenever necessary
without the UN support. His statement
indicates that the U.S. will unilaterally destroy the binding of UN
Charter. For a country that has once
spared no effort in safeguarding the UN spirit, this seems extraordinarily
ironic. In the world's eyes, what will
be the difference between the U.S. action and that of Iraq?"
JAPAN: "Iraq In
Apparent Violation of Resolution 1441"
Top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri declared (3/9): "The U.S., Britain and Spain on Friday
proposed a March 17 ultimatum for Iraq to comply fully with disarmament
calls. The UNSC should adopt the
resolution to put Baghdad on notice that time has already run out. Iraq has yet to fulfill its responsibility to
prove that it is compliant. Even 12
years after the Gulf War, it is obvious that Iraq has not carried out its
obligation to destroy its WMD. Even if
the resolution is vetoed, the U.S. has declared that it will launch an attack
against Baghdad. This would lead to an
abnormal situation in the Security Council.
Such being the case, the Council would not be able to deal effectively
with the DPRK, which has resumed its nuclear weapons development program. The North's nuclear armament would pose a
serious threat to Japan's security. Given this, it is only natural that Japan
should ask the UNSC to adopt the new resolution, while declaring support for
its ally, the U.S."
INDONESIA: "March 17
Ultimatum For Iraq"
Independent leading Kompas commented
(3/10): “That Washington and London are
becoming more impatient with diplomatic processes was shown in their March 7
ultimatum...for Iraq to comply with the UN request to disarm within ten days. These are probably the final days of the
diplomatic phase.... For the U.S., it
has apparently become fixed that Iraq is a dangerous terrorist regime and,
therefore, has to be disarmed. What is
not less important is that implicitly, or explicitly, as President Bush said,
the disarmament must be accompanied with a regime change.”
MALAYSIA: "UN Reveals
Malay-language Berita Harian editorialized (3/10): "After failing in its attempt to
convince the world that Iraq has been attempting to build WMD, the U.S. and its
ally have resorted to lies about Baghdad's nuclear weapons program. Based on all this it is clear that America
and Great Britain are running out of reasons to attack Iraq. The false accusation by America is similar to
the one it gave for the Tonkin Gulf incident in 1964 (which brought about the
involvement of American troops in the Vietnam War). Unfortunately the Arab nations are not united
nor powerful enough to counter these bluffs and ruses, but Russia, German,
China, France and the Third World nations are still managing to hold Bush and
his administration back."
SINGAPORE: "Mind The
The pro-government Straits Times noted (3/10): "Last Friday's UNSC meeting was a sad
day for the international community, especially small countries. More than anybody else, it is they who will
suffer if the Security Council's credibility and effectiveness are
impaired. The permanent five's
bull-headedness, their diplomatic brinkmanship, their shortsighted plottings
have brought matters to a dismal pass.
There is now a strong possibility that when the U.S. launches its
invasion of Iraq, it will do so without the authorization of the Security
Council.... The U.S. may find itself
using force despite a clear UNSC vote rejecting the option. Such an occurrence
cannot but seriously undermine the UN, calling into question its legitimacy and
credibility.... This issue goes beyond
Iraq, and concerns the future of the international system as such.... Washington has got word out that it would go
to war immediately if the Council rejects a second resolution. Before Mr. Bush
decides to do this, however, he should consider the impact Dr Hans Blix's
report has had on global opinion....
Holding out the hope that Iraq might be disarmed peacefully, Dr Blix
said inspections could be completed in months.... Mr. Bush must beware giving the impression
that he cannot wait to go to war."
SOUTH KOREA: "Military
Action Against Iraq Is A 'Ruthless Crime'"
Pro-government Hankyoreh Shinmun observed (3/8): "Even though there is no denying
that...Saddam Hussein is a ruthless dictator, the U.S. move to invade Iraq is
just as ruthless a crime.... The U.S.
must resolve the Iraqi issue through diplomatic means, not military means that
will claim innocent lives."
INDIA: "A Positive
The centrist Hindu opined (3/10): "With the heads of the UN weapons
inspection teams making an assessment that Iraq's cooperation...has now become
active, even pro-active, the rationale for a U.S.-led military strike...has
been severely undermined.... Blix and
El-Baradei have decried the practice followed by Washington of declaring that
its own intelligence agencies have found evidence of Iraqi misdoings without
passing on such information to the U.N. agencies concerned.... The U.S. is not likely to be diverted or
distracted from its purposes by the reports submitted by the U.N.
teams.... Given its declared intent of
bringing about a regime change in Iraq, it would appear that Washington...would
thereby provide the justification for the initiation of military action against
it.... It is extremely unfortunate that
the slide towards a military confrontation appears to be taking place without
the global community being given the opportunity to seriously consider all
aspects...of a war."
"Wages Of War"
The pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer declared (3/10): "It is becoming increasingly clear that
nothing is going to stop the United States, Britain, Spain and their allies
from taking military action against Iraq, and that such action will be taken
without sanction from the UNSC.... Three
developments leave no one in doubt about the intentions of the U.S. and its
allies. The first is last Friday's
ultimatum to Baghdad by Washington, London and Madrid.... The second is President Bush's declaration
that he would drive Saddam Hussein out of power with or without sanction from
the UNSC. The third is the U.S.'
rejection of the report by UN Chief Weapons Inspector Blix.... A war undertaken without the UNSC's sanction
will not only lack international legality but will also be morally
indefensible.... The U.S. and its allies
will doubtless win the war against Iraq, but their waging it unilaterally will
leave them isolated in a bitterly divided world."
PAKISTAN: "The State
Of The United Nations"
Lahore's Daily Times editorialized (3/10): "A lack of trust in, and finally
disobedience of, the United Nations would be defiance of international law
itself. The remnants of state sovereignty
will evaporate and only the writ of the powerful will run in the world. The global protest against President Bush is
not a vote in favor of Saddam Hussein; it is a vote against the disorder that
an attack on Iraq will bring about.
Inside the Security Council, too, the resolve to disarm Iraq and make it
safe for the region is quite evident.
But there is realization too that an attack at this stage will unleash a
CAMEROON: "What Will
Be Cameroon's Choice?"
editor Thierry Ngogang opined in Yaounde's pro-opposition French-language
Mutations (3/10): "In Paris,
even if they appear serene about having majority support on the Security
Council in favor of a peaceful solution to the Iraqi crisis, they do not want
to take any chances. Paris is concerned
that in the case where the future of Iraq was to be determined by votes,
America is more than ready to use all means necessary to get the nine votes
that are needed to gain the approval from the UNSC. Paris does not want to use its veto against a
second resolution for diplomatic reasons.
U.S. lobbying towards the undecided countries...is becoming more and
more intense, especially as we know that last week, U.S. President George Bush
had a telephone conversation with President Biya."
SOUTH AFRICA: "War
The liberal Mercury commented (3/10): "War is a drastic way to discover the
truth. It would inflict casualties on
the long-suffering Iraqi people, as well as on the invading armies. It could cause geo-political turmoil, and not
just in the Arab/Islamic world. The future
of the UN would be called into question if the U.S. and Britain invaded without
specific UN sanction. It could also mean
the disintegration of NATO and the EU--more chaos in an already chaotic world. All parties need to walk the extra mile for
peace in the next seven days."
"It's Come Down To war"
Liberal Sunday Argus declared (3/9): "Nine days to war; that's the ominous
implication of the new British-American ultimatum to Iraq laid before the
UNSC.... Many people could be forgiven
for becoming blasé over endless U.S. and British war talk.... How tragic it would be if a conflict that
divides the world anew was precipitated by a timetable devised by Pentagon
generals for whom war in March is more convenient than waiting until all
peaceful options have been exhausted. At
the same time, it must be admitted that the war rhetoric and relentless
pressure from Bush and Blair have born fruit as Iraq increasingly co-operates
with UN weapons inspectors.... Without
the specter of utter military defeat facing him, it's unlikely that a tyrant
such as Saddam would have become so accommodating. But...American and British war talk has been
so shrill and their mobilization so intense, that perhaps only war can save
them from the embarrassment of being seen to cave in to Saddam. How tragic if war broke out merely to save
George Bush's face."
UGANDA: "Let The War
Austin Ejiet opined in the independent Monitor (3/9): "So what’s [George Bush] waiting
for? Let the games begin and we have our
fun. I agree with the president: the
United Nations is an ungainly but costly anachronism, which has passed its
sell-by date by at least three, may be four decades. Koffi, grab your Nobel Peace prize and get
out of there.... The dangers of a world
government...[in Roman times] were the possibility of getting a mad emperor at
the helm. The dangers of modern mad
Emperor have never been demonstrated more palpably than during the last few
weeks. President George W. Bush: in
God’s name pull back from the brink.
Would you kill half a million women and children just to get at one
aging, half-crazed general? Beware the
Ides of March!"
ZIMBABWE: "Iraq (U. N.) Debate: Warmongers Shamed Again"
pro-government weekly Sunday Mirror thundered (3/9): "After the latest presentation by...Hans
Blix and his colleague Mohamed El Baradei...it is clear that the U.S. will not
get the 9 votes they require for a moral victory on their proposed new U. N.
resolution for war on Iraq.... But, even
as Powell and Bush continued to peddle the tired assertions that Iraq is hiding
some WMD, the two UN inspectors reiterated that they had so far not found any
such weapons.... In the final analysis,
the main message from the UN inspectors on Friday was that Iraq had started to
cooperate with U. N. Resolution 1441 as indicated by the on-going destruction
of its long range missiles. The majority
of the 15 members of the UNSC therefore feel that Iraq does not pose an
immediate threat either to the U. S. or to the world and therefore should be
disarmed peacefully. On the other hand,
the U. S. and Britain are now clearly being perceived as the warmongers and the
real threat to world peace.”
Harasses The Collective Security System"
Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading Clarin
observed (3/8): "By warning that
the U.S. needs 'no permission from anyone' to attack Iraq, President Bush
inflicted a hard blow on the influence the UN Security Council has had in the
resolution of international conflicts since the end of the Second World War. With his warning, President Bush harassed the
whole collective security system....
This time, Washington did nothing else but warning that multilateralism
only works if it serves the U.S. interests."
BRAZIL: "On The Verge
Liberal Folha de S. Paulo editorialized (3/8): "The date for the war against Iraq has
already been set.... If the superpower
has already announced that it will go to war with or without the UN's
endorsement, it will not be diplomatic debates that stop the U.S.
bombings.... Without a relatively strong
UN, Washington will depend increasingly on its own military power to maintain
its hegemony. All indicates that the
world is on the verge of a war with its chief multilateral organization in
"Brazil Should Support An Ultimatum To Baghdad"
University Professor Alfredo Valladao wrote in liberal Folha de
S. Paulo (3/9): "Only the
extremely innocent and naive can believe that Baghdad's tyrant has not hidden
the weapons he tried to obtain for decades....
If Brazil wants to cooperate on finding a quick, peaceful solution that
also upholds the legitimacy and the role of the UN, it should actively
associate itself with those who propose a new resolution aimed at establishing
a firm date for the Iraqi regime to comply fully with the UN's decisions."
"Victorious Way Out"
Right-of-center O Globo editorialized (3/9): "If he would give more time to Saddam
and the U.N.--and be satisfied in seeing Iraq disarmed--Bush would show he
comprehends exactly the role of the U.S. in the world.... By demonstrating power--both with muscle and
will--he can defeat the enemy...without taking a single shot, without throwing
a single bomb. What more efficient show
of superiority and moral authority could the U.S. President want?"
Respected center-left Jornal do Brasil argued (3/8): "What's at stake now is the redefinition
of international order established after WWII.
If the U.S. turns its back on the Security Council the U.N. will implode. As interested as Brazil is in a peaceful end
to the conflict, it should maintain its position in the sense of preventing the
deflating of the U.N."
MEXICO: "The Boldness
Of Fighting For Peace"
Victor M. Perez Valera wrote in business-oriented El Universal
(3/7): "We should decidedly support
president Fox's choice for peace during these hard times. Those who say that if Mexico does not vote in
favor of the war then it is not a friend of the United States do not understand
the meaning of friendship. Cicero wrote
in his famous dialogue on friendship that its first rule was not to ask your
friend to do immoral acts, and not to perform immoral deeds because your friend
asks you to."
"Bush: More Battles Lost"
Left-of-center La Jornada editorialized
(3/7): “George Bush has already lost
important diplomatic battles before the beginning of the war. The most important thing for our country is
the failure of the U.S. President in his attempt to blackmail Mexico with
respect to Iraq. We have to congratulate
President Fox and demand that national authorities maintain that position before
the UN Security Council (because) when the time comes, we have to reject
massive bombing on Iraqi cities made in the name of the international security
and American safety."
Adolfo Gilly held in the left-of-center La
Jornada (3/7): “Perhaps the Mexican
vote in the UN Security Council will not be important if we do not know how the
other countries opposed to the war will react.
That vote is indeed important to Mexico.
It is not just about principles and constitutional law, it is a matter
of interests. If the Mexican government
protects its position and independence, it will refuse to be an accomplice of
the massive destruction of a country that is already exhausted by the blockade,
and by his dictator.... In this case the
Bush administration will take reprisals against Mexico.... But the one that takes them will suffer
also. The United States needs Mexico
because all of Latin America is resisting, and also because Mexico could
support it with resistance in the name of his own interests. If Mexico and Chile refuse their vote, Chile,
Brazil and Mexico, would align, and there would be many ways of discussing and
negotiating the future of all before the dominant power. If the Mexican government votes with the
United States, it will not be able to declare itself as an innocent actor in
this ugly experience. It is necessary to
have the courage of saying No.”
CHILE: "Iraq: Last
Conservative Santiago La
Segunda editorialized (3/07):
"It is urgent and necessary to reach an agreement to stop the war
through disarmament, but leaving the possibility for military intervention with
United Nations support if disarmament does not occur.... A U.S. unilateral action would destroy the
United Nations.... Chile cannot exclude
itself from the problem...and must now help in drafting a resolution that
combines the principles that it upholds with a realistic assessment of what is
truly at stake."
"Peace is the
Santiago's leading financial daily Estrategia ran this
op-ed by Senator Antonio Horvath (Independent) (3/10): "By not yielding to U.S. pressure, Chile
might be risking its free trade agreement and commercial ties with that
country, but economic issues and moral and value issues are not the same things. What is at stake for Chile is our future
BOLIVIA: "Against All
The La Paz left-leaning daily La Prensa maintained
(3/9): "President George Bush is
guilty of arrogance, an arrogance that is in keeping with stupid kings from
antiquity. He is deaf to the world
clamor to stop the war that, against all odds, he wants to pursue in
EL SALVADOR: "War
Top-selling moderate daily La Prensa Grafica editorialized
(3/7): "The case of Iraq is a
phenomenon without precedence in the last decades.... President Bush said before the world, 'We are
in the final stages of diplomacy.' ...
In other words, there will be war, and for political and climactic
reasons, it will have to be soon. This
will be the first war within the new scenario of the post-Cold War
period.... It is necessary to emphasize
two facts: the strategic fracture of the allied bloc and the phenomenon of very
generalized resistance against the war.
One does not know what will come of this crisis. In any case, the map of international
relations is no doubt experiencing an unprecedented change."