March 19, 2003
IMMINENCE OF 'PREVENTIVE' WAR 'NOBODY WANTS' SINKS IN
** Critics overseas fear that Iraq might be the
test case for U.S.' doctrine of "preventive war."
** A chorus of Bush proponents defend the
possible war as "necessary" to defeat terrorism.
** European papers predict a U.S. success on the
battlefield, but are less certain that a military victory would vindicate the
Bush administration and restore its "moral authority."
** Many continue to charge the U.S with
"contempt" for the UN and the "rest of the world."
Split between a 'wrong war' and a 'necessary war'; Brits praise Blair's
'conviction'-- Most dailies in France,
Germany, Italy, Belgium, Norway, Spain and Russia still held that the U.S.
advocated a "wrong war," with a number declaring it
"illegal" and "aggressive."
Madrid's independent El Mundo contended "the perverse
doctrine of preventive attack...introduces a strong component of insecurity for
the future." French and German
dailies denounced the U.S.' sidestepping the UNSC as a "completely
unilateral gesture" and a "patent diplomatic defeat" for the Bush
administration, putting U.S. "credibility and leadership at risk." Some outlets questioned whether a military
victory would vindicate Bush. Munich's
center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung claimed that "even if Bush is
successful in Iraq...it will not be enough to regain...the U.S.'
While critics carped that President Bush had
failed to convince the world, British dailies extolled PM Blair for
"presenting the most persuasive case yet against Saddam" in his
speech before Parliament. "He made
the speech he should have made months ago," declared the conservative Daily
Telegraph "marshaling all his arguments for action--moral, legal,
geopolitical and humanitarian." A
number of Finnish, Polish and Portuguese outlets likewise supported a
"necessary war." One Helsinki
daily asserted that "the tentacles of Saddam's machine of tyranny reach so
far and so deep" that U.S. intervention is necessary. Turkish papers, meanwhile, worried that their
government's "belated action will not be good enough to heal the mistrust"
from the U.S. and feared that Turkey "will not benefit from Iraqi
Ultimatum was 'a declaration of war' full of 'falsifications'-- Outlets criticized Bush's Monday speech for
failing to "leave any peaceful or honorable choice for Iraq," adding
it displayed "mocking, almost lampoonish contempt" towards the
world. Some papers said the speech
inaugurated "a new colonial and imperial era" that values "naked
military might over diplomacy and reason."
Saudi dailies noted that Saddam "has only himself to blame"
and that "few would weep over his epitaph," but recoiled at the
"methodology involved" in his ouster.
Qatar's semi-independent Al-Raya concluded, "Iraq is trapped
between Saddam's tyranny and Bush's war machine."
ASIA/AFRICA: Concern over
'mortal wounds' to the UN-- Most despaired over
"a fractured international community." India's nationalist Hindu waxed
nostalgic for a world "drawn up through multilateral agreement and not by
the imprimatur of the hyperpower."
Some alleged that Bush's ultimatum was aimed not just at Iraq, but at
"the UN and the entire international community." Others predicted the imminent "unjust
war" will only "sow more hatred in the Middle East." Several Japanese and Australian papers backed
the U.S., with the conservative Australian supporting the
"sacrifices required to rid the world of...tyranny." African dailies agreed Iraq is no
"innocent party" but attacked the U.S. for "sweeping away the UN
Charter and the principle of national sovereignty."
WEST. HEMISPHERE: Amid
disdain for administration's 'messianistic' approach, some say 'time to put an
end to terror'-- Most were troubled by what
a Jamaican daily described as the "emergence of this dangerous doctrine of
regime change and pre-emptive strike" adopted by the U.S. Further criticizing Washington's strategy,
Lima's center-right Expreso called it "a kind of political
extortion." Writing in leading Clarin,
a former Argentine president denounced
the Bush administration's approach as "pathological,"
typifying the U.S.' "worst nationalistic tradition." Others shared a Chilean paper's skepticism
that "it is unlikely that the western invader will be seen as the
'liberator' or that it will easily administer the conflictive relationships"
or "resolve the region's social and economic problems." Challenging the anti-war camp, dailies in
Panama, Guatemala and Paraguay countered that the "eradication" of
terrorism required the "overthrow" of totalitarian regimes that "protect
and finance it."
EDITORS: Irene Marr, Ben
EDITORS' NOTE: This report is based on 100 editorials from 56
countries, March 18-19. Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from
the most recent date.
"The Blair Paradox"
The conservative Times opined
(3/19): "The debate on the
government's strategy towards Iraq had at its heart an extraordinary
paradox. Tony Blair sat down at the
conclusion of his speech knowing that he would face a revolt of unprecedented
scale and on an issue of national importance.
While the scale of rebellion last night, involving 139 Labor MPs, was
not on the scale that ministers feared only a week ago, it remains of stunning
size. Yet, despite the numbers among his
own ranks whom he had failed to convince, the Prime Minister was in complete
command of the chamber. Mr. Blair might
emerge stronger than before precisely because he had the courage to proceed
despite extraordinary dissent in his own party.
Even those who oposed him last night had to concede that the PM and his
motives were honorable."
"Blair Has Shown Himself To Be A Leader For
The Internet version of London's center-left Independent
observed (3/19): "Even those who
most disagree with war on Iraq have to salute the leadership qualities of the
man who is about to commit British forces to it. If there was one occasion in his premiership
to which Tony Blair needed to rise, it was yesterday's critical Commons
debate. He did so. Tony Blair's capacities as a performer and an
advocate have never been in doubt. But
this was something much more.... This
was the most persuasive case yet made by the man who has emerged as the most
formidable persuader for war on either side of the Atlantic. The case against President Saddam's 12-year
history of obstructing the UN's attempts at disarmament has never been better
made. Despite all of the recent fuss
over perceived confusion about the war's objectives, Mr. Blair made a coherent
case yesterday that while disarmament and not regime change is the legal basis
for the war, the prospect of the latter makes it possible to pursue the former
with a 'clear conscience and a strong heart.'... Especially powerful was his lament that
Europe had not, with a united voice, told the U.S. from the start that it would
help it to disarm President Saddam, by the collective use of force if
"Master Of The House"
The conservative Daily Telegraph held
(3/19): "It was not only the vote
that Tony Blair won in the House of Commons last night. It was the argument, too. By no means do the two things always go hand
in hand.... But it was not only because the Prime Minister had all the best
cards that he won the argument. It was also because he played them brilliantly,
giving the country a rare reminder of what a first-class parliamentary
performer he is. He made the speech he should have made months ago, marshalling
all his arguments for action--moral, legal, geopolitical and humanitarian--and
putting them with such patent conviction and force that his performance deserves
to be remembered as one of the finest in recent history. The rights and wrongs
of the campaign to oust Saddam will now be for the historians to argue
about... The most important thing now is
that we should win the war."
The left-of-center Guardian judged
(3/19): "Historians will look back at yesterday's parliamentary debate on
Iraq for a range of good reasons.... They will look back to read an impassioned
and impressive speech by the prime minister which may give future generations
some inkling of how, when so many of his own party opposed his policy so
vehemently, Tony Blair nevertheless managed to retain their respect and
support. But the historians will also look at yesterday's debate because it
marks a really important moment in constitutional history. Over the centuries,
the decision to go to war has rested, first, with kings alone, then with
monarchs in privy council, more recently with the council acting on the advice
of the prime minister, sometimes largely with the cabinet.... By allowing
yesterday's debate and vote, the government delivered on a promise.... When and if Britain again stands on the brink
of war, it will be parliament that decides.
It is hard, even on such a day as this, not to regard that as a kind of
FRANCE: "American Defeat"
Left-of-center Le Monde asserted
(3/19): "More than the UN, it is
Washington's political prestige that is tarnished; perhaps also America's moral
authority. In spite of the pressure exercised, the U.S. was unable to acquire
the political, if not the legal majority at the UNSC. Such a majority, even with a French veto
would have had its impact. While not enough...it would have proven that a
majority within the UNSC shared the U.S. approach. From the start the U.S. has been unable to
prove either the reality or the imminence of the Iraqi threat... Washington wrongly assessed France's
determination; it wrongly assessed Turkey's reactions; it wrongly assessed
public opinion, including in the U.S.; it wrongly assessed its ability to
influence the 'little' UN member nations... The result is rather more negative
than positive, confirming a patent diplomatic and political defeat, however
this unfortunate adventure turns out."
"The War And Then What?"
Jean de Belot in right-of-center Le Figaro
(3/19): "The war is no longer avoidable...George Bush knows the
risks. His bet is a simple one: a quick
war and democracy for the people of Baghdad....
His is not an absurd vision. If
America wins the war, its diplomatic defeat will soon be forgotten.... And Europe's division is not something that
Washington will cry over. Still, will a
quick war, with a strong media impact, guarantee a political victory...? Nothing is certain about the aftermath of the
war.... Afghanistan...and Serbia have
proved it.... Iraq as a preamble to a
new equilibrium in the Middle East carries its own load of difficulties and
President Bush knows it. Including the
risk of a clash between civilizations....
He has already warned about the aftermath of the war, treating Berlin,
Moscow and Beijing differently than he treats Paris.... A short-term victory is no guarantee for the
future. Further down the road we will need to remember Chirac's position."
Patrick Sabatier in left-of-center Liberation
(3/19): "The U.S. President, out of frustration, and the British PM, out
of a pathetic need to justify himself, are stirring up their electorate's
latent feelings of Franco-phobia. By
turning France into the scapegoat for their own failures, they hope to elude
compromising questions on the eve of the war.
In so doing they run the risk of a deep and long-lasting break in the
western camp. While the attacks on
France aim Chirac's policy...they affect the French people and what is commonly
known as their national character. These
attacks are like an echo of the 'Bushblair' diplomatic myopia.... In their simplistic universe, one is either
for or against.... France must resist
this dangerous sliding. At the same time
it must avoid the same pitfall and stay clear of anti-Americanism and
Anglo-phobia. Because the Americans and
the British, beyond the 'Bushblair', are two people France needs to build
Europe and world equilibrium, and to reconstruct Iraq."
Stefan Kornelius judged in center-left Sueddeutsche
Zeitung of Munich (3/19): "The
authority of the U.S. president is not the result of domestic opinion polls or
a vote by the U.S. Congress. The U.S.
owes its global power to its status as a role model with a great democratic
tradition; a role model that must apply the rules of the international
community more strictly than any other nation.
The U.S. strength grows out of its ability to convince others by
sticking to principles that can maintain alliances and foster friendships.
President Bush ignored all of these fundamental realities; he put the U.S.'s
credibility and its leadership role at risk, and he has lost. Even if Bush is successful in Iraq, even if
Baghdad surrenders quickly and Saddam disappears, it will not be enough to
regain the president's legitimacy and the U.S.'s authority. Nobody forced this war to topple Saddam on
the U.S. The great game of creating
global security and stability does not call for an invasion on the Arab
peninsula in fact, it prohibits such a
move. As much as one wants Saddam to
disappear, this will be George Bush's war."
"Bush's First War"
Wolfgang Storz noted in left-of-center Frankfurter
Rundschau (3/19): "The events
of the past few days and the ever-accelerating pace of U.S. actions reveal what
the U.S. administration thinks of diplomacy in the end: little to nothing. They also reveal what Washington thinks of
the UNSC: much if it agrees with U.S. positions, nothing if it doesn't. With the Iraq conflict, Bush is letting go of
the opportunity to prove himself a statesman who can act prudently as well as
decisively. Much indicates that the war
will be swift and successful. As in
Afghanistan, it will take weeks if not months until it becomes obvious once
again that war is not the right tool for pacifying a region undermining
terrorist structures, and building up democracy."
"Bush Alone At War"
Hubert Wetzel maintained in business
Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg (3/19): "The U.S. government has good reasons
for a military strike. After September
11, one cannot pretend that the potential link between terrorists and weapons
of mass destruction is not a threat. It
is also perfectly reasonable to doubt the efficiency of inspections after
twelve years of unsuccessfully trying to disarm Iraq. Nevertheless, starting a war now is a
mistake. The U.S. administration needs
more than good arguments for a military campaign that applies a revolutionary
new security doctrine and has such high risks; it needs the backing of its
people and allies. Bush can count on
neither. By making bad diplomatic
decisions, he has turned this war into a U.S. adventure. If anything goes wrong, the United States
will find itself alone, having to deal with problems that only the
international community can deal with€.
France has contributed a lot to making a UNSC compromise impossible, but
this war still belongs to Bush and the main responsibility for preparing it
well both militarily and politically belonged to Washington."
ITALY: "Powell: '30 Countries With
Left-leaning, influential La Repubblica
opined (3/19): "Thirty countries,
Italy among them, will officially form the coalition of the 'willing' who will
support the U.S. military intervention against Saddam.... Italy, which still has to confirm if it will
allow the use of its bases with a vote in Parliament, was added to the list of
the 'official' European allies along with Great Britain, Spain and
Portugal.... The State Department
spokesman, Richard Boucher, added that the coalition that will support the U.S.
in the war against Baghdad may still grow.
The United States, in fact, is still recruiting additional allies."
"Bush's Wrong War"
Ezio Mauro, managing editor wrote on the front
page of left-leaning influential La Repubblica (3/19): "It is a wrong war. With an impending ultimatum, while armies are
deploying, it's the right time to clearly say--even if...Iraq's liberation from
Saddam's tyranny is achieved--and I strongly wish this will be achieved--that
this war will still remain a mistake. In
fact, fortunately, not only the final goals count in a democracy, but also the
means used to reach those objectives are important, as well. In this case the only means is the strength
of the U.S. unilateral approach, presented as being both the judge and the
avenger, in the name of the entire international community. This is something we had never seen in the
old century. And especially this is
something that, through a war, might change the world order, international law,
all reliable institutions, and those alliances that we have been familiar with
RUSSIA: "U.S. Needs No Multipolar UN"
Georgiy Bovt stated on page one of reformist Izvestiya
(3/19): "For Bush to threaten Iraq
for so long and not to strike would be a disaster. This is fully consistent with his 'preemptive
strike' concept. 'Slick Willie' Clinton
would have thought up something. Bush, a
Texan, is forthright.... America has
made it plain that, with a new world order, it does not need a multipolar UN.... History knows of no instances of reforming
the world peacefully. Bush insists on
his, to use Putin's word, mistake.
Regrettably, it is inevitable.
Being part of it would be crazy, to say the least. Resisting it diplomatically has proved
ineffective. Breaking up with America
over Saddam would be stupid."
"Terrorist Act In Defense Of Peace"
Mikhail Zygar commented in reformist
business-oriented Kommersant (3/19):
"The ultimatum essentially differs from anything that came before
it. In fact, it is more like a
declaration of war. Overall, it is a
landmark speech in as much as it sets new rules of the game. George Bush, in effect, has explained that
there are no longer checks and balances around, and you may just as well forget
the notion of 'collective security' and replace it with 'national
Vadim Markushin wrote in centrist army-run Krasnaya
Zvezda (3/19): "The ultimatum has caused no shock. Leaking information about war plans has
helped let off steam. Washington has
moved heaven and earth to prepare the public.
It has worked. The international
community has accepted the upcoming intervention as a given. Here's a new world order for you."
BELGIUM: "From An Ethical Example To An
Martine Dubuisson held in left-of-center Le
Soir (3/19): "By presenting the
refusal to allow the transit of U.S. equipment in Belgium as the Government's
position, the Defense and Foreign Ministers Flahaut and Michel have gone a bit
too far, something that Berlin and Paris did not do. The limit beyond which Flahaut and Michel
went is that which separates political disagreement with an ally from the
respect of agreements concluded with that ally, the limit that avoids to give the
impression that one is choosing between that ally and a dictator, or that even
unilaterally breaks the alliance.... Of
course, the electoral context facilitated this faux-pas. Belgians will vote in two months.... The result is that they presented as being
the Government's position something that the Government had not even
discussed.... The Government is no
longer united and has harmed its international credibility. On the eve of a
world war, it exposes itself to discredit. After having set an example, it now
reflects diplomatic amateurism."
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: "War And
Edin Krehic observed in oldest Sarajevo daily Oslobodjenje
(3/19): "Only a true miracle--such
as withdrawal of Sadam Hussein from power--can stop [war] now. However, the
Baghdad dictator is not even considering leaving his palace, regardless
of all the suffering his people could face and endure.... Military analysts say
that this action will be nothing like 1991 'Desert Storm'.... This time, the U.S. will attack without
important allies backing them. Twelve
years ago, those allies were with them.
In the long run, this will completely change the world political
scene. Time will tell what will be
consequences of all this."
BULGARIA: "Insecurity Harbors More Losses
Than a Quick Strike"
Moderate Novinar (3/19) held: "If
things go according to US plans, the profit will go to the countries that
follow a clear and unambiguous line.
Bulgaria is one of them. The
losers will be the countries that insisted on long negotiations, delays and
double- talk.... Of, course if it hadn't
come to a conflict in Iraq because of Saddam Hussein's actions, the world would
have been a better place to live.... The
choice right now is not between war and peace, because it is obvious that peace
is better than war, but between an immediate war and a war which would take
place in an unknown future point in time, for an unknown amount of time and an
with unknown manner of conducting a war."
"Risks Of Bush's War"
Adam Cerny wrote in the business Hospodarske
noviny (3/19): "President Bush has an ambitious aim of introducing
democracy in Iraq and gradually in the whole region. Many believe it cannot be
achieved, but the U.S. is strong enough to make and implement its own decision.
The U.S. has an important target since 9-11, and that is to punish the
terrorists and to destroy hostile regimes before they obtain weapons of mass
destruction. However, the question is whether the attack will inspire such
regimes to obtain the weapons, or discourage them from doing so."
"To Iraq Neither By Walking Nor By
Radko Kubicko wrote in the centre-right Lidove
noviny (3/19): "The Czech
Republic will probably not make a clear statement now. Despite that its
political representation is stepping on thin ice, if its statements must make
sense both to the public and its American allies as well. The country is lucky
in this sense - nobody wants a clear position from it. Moreover so, that its
involvement in the war on Iraq can be considered as merely symbolic."
FINLAND: "A Necessary War"
Finland's leading,centrist Helsingin Sanomat
argued (3/19): "The war against
Iraq is necessary. Looking at the
situation from an average Iraqi's, and may also from the neighbors'
perspective, the war which seeks to destroy Saddam Hussein is inevitable. The tentacles of Saddam's machine of tyranny
reach so far and so deep that his ousting without outside help is not
possible. The opponents of the war
should be asked how long can the outside world allow Saddam to torture Iraqis."
NORWAY: “The US To War Without The UN”
The independent VG commented (3/19): “The
U.S. and UK might easily win the war in Iraq, but it will be much more
difficult to win the peace afterwards. For that cooperation from many countries
is needed, not least from Russia and France.”
“USA’s War Is Illegal”
The social democratic Dagsavisen (3/19)
commented: ”Iraq has never attacked the U.S. and has never threatened to do so.
Such a war is a breach of the international law. Even though it is clamed that
the war is preventive, in reality it is about a war of aggression.… Iraqi
children, who already have been betrayed by long-lasting financial sanctions,
risk being the ones paying the highest price. The United States’ desire for a
change of regime and strategic control does not justify that Iraqi civilians
have to give such a contribution.”
“In Conflict With The UN”
The newspaper of record Aftenposten (03/19)
commented: “…It is a mistake by the U.S. to go to war alone. It places an
enormous responsibility on the Bush administration to avoid the impression of
the war as a fight between civilizations - and religions. If this happens, both
the US and the rest of the world might quickly lose what has been won by
removing Saddam Hussein from the power that he never should have had.”
Strongest Opponents Of War Will Rationally Wish For U.S. Victory"
Editor in chief Ioana Lupea commented in independent, centrist Cotidianul
(3/19): “War is only a matter of hours
away. I think that this morning a few
presidents and heads of governments are still meditating over whether it was a
good decision or not to be in favor or against military intervention in Iraq,
given the internal and international political, economic, and security
consequences. Tony Blair is facing a
huge government crisis. Jacques Chirac
has fallen into his own trap, announcing too early the intention to use his
right to veto any British-American resolution.
Vladimir Putin missed the great partnership with the United States, by
playing along with the French president.
The Turkish PM Erdogan is hurrying to discuss the Iraqi issue in
Parliament, in order not to lose the promised dollars… Tomorrow all will depend on how the conflict
ends and less on how it began. Even the
strongest opponents of war will rationally wish for the victory of the United
States, even though inside, they would enjoy a failure. Paradoxically, the fate of international
political and economic stability still relies on the United States.
SPAIN: “Justifying The Unjustifiable”
Leading left-of-center El Pais
editorialized (3/19): "The
discussions of Bush, Blair and Aznar in the Azores have left clear that they
all agreed not only on war, but also on blaming France for the paralysis in the
Security Council.... Powell announced
that the international 'coalition' against Iraq counted on the support of more
than 30 countries, but the reality is that the U.S., with all its military
power, has been left practically alone.”
“A Danger For The World, A Disgrace For Spain”
Independent El Mundo declared
(3/19): "It is hard to understand
why a campaign is going to be so short if Saddam is so dangerous and possesses
an arsenal as lethal as Bush says.… The perverse doctrine of preventive attack
that Bush maintains to justify an intervention against Saddam not only violates
international law and breaks old alliances, but also introduces a strong
component of insecurity for the future.
Will North Korea be next? Maybe
Iran? Will the U.S. return to the UN or
do it by itself?”
“The Great Dictator”
Javier Otiz wrote in independent El Mundo
(3/19): "To compare this
compromised satrap [Saddam] to Hitler in 1938 is simply ridiculous.... But is there another in the world today with
extremely powerful armed forces that is backed by an industrial complex,
particularly in the field of armaments, that feels the superiority of its
nation and its social model, that doesn’t hide its intent to control and rule
the entire world, whose arrogance seems to have no limits.... If no name comes to mind, look again.”
“The Arrogance of the Tyrant”
Jaime Campmany commented in conservative ABC
(3/19): "It is difficult to
believe, but it has been France--the clear beneficiary of the intervention of
the U.S. in a war in which the predominance of democracy over dictatorship was
in play in Europe--who was the nation that has undertaken this diplomatic war
against the great American power, [France's] ever generous ally.... With this attitude France not only broke the
tradition of good relations with the U.S., but divided the Security Council,
and left it practically useless for its function.... The arrogance of the tyrant is met here in
France. Oh, the grandeur.”
PORTUGAL: "Solitude And Conviction"
Editor-in-chief José Manuel Fernandes argued in
influential moderate-left Público (3/19): "We have the duty to admit that leaders
who do the opposite of what surveys tell them, who run enormous political
risks, who cannot be accused of having oil interests or ambitions of inheriting
one of Saddam's palaces, act by looking at what they judge (rightly or wrongly)
to be the national interest, and decide on the basis of their convictions. In this case, Bush, Blair, Aznar and
Barroso--with very different levels of responsibility--share the conviction
that in the post-September 11 world, the greatest risk is that posed by the
potential link between terrorist networks and pariah states with the capability
of manufacturing WMD.... The only way
for us to avoid this risk is not just to disarm the pariah states, but to
extirpate the evil at its root: the fundamentalist fanaticism that has the
Middle East as its epicenter. The only
way to do that is to fulfill the dream of most of the Arab 'street': to live in
a democracy, to take advantage of the progress for which they envy the West. This is the idealism that feeds the conviction
that has led this group of democratic leaders to decide on war. They believe the world will be better
afterwards. At this moment we can only
hope that they succeed, and succeed rapidly."
"A War for Europe"
Respected historian José Freire Antunes noted in
leading financial daily Diário Económico (3/19): "The Letter of
Eight and the Azores Summit have shown that many Europeans want to be more than
Algerians to the French. So who is,
after all, the enemy?.... The New
York Times is wrong. The emerging
second superpower to confront America is not public opinion--naturally averse
to wars, especially if by suffrage. The
emerging second superpower, with invisible headquarters and supply depots, is
terrorism. In fighting Iraq, Blair is also
fighting for freedom in Europe."
TURKEY: "Things We Are About To Lose"
Zeynep Gurcanli analyzed Turkey's possible
losses in tabloid Star (3/19):
"There are three major issues that Turkey is about to lose, besides
the money part, in the event of Turkey decides not to actively engage in the
Iraq war with the U.S.... Reshaping
Iraq: Turkey will not have any say at all about the future of Iraq. The first AKP government took its time with
the 'if Turkey nods there will be no war' idea.
And that was the worst political analysis in Turkey's recent
history.... Terrorism threat: Parliament
declines the upcoming resolution for a second time, Turkish army presence in
northern Iraq will not be in question, and Turkey will have to face with a
serious humanitarian issues as well as terrorism risk at the same time.... U.S.-Turkey relations: Iraq is not the sole
problem that Turkey is going to deal with.
Once it is over, Ankara will have to deal with Cyprus and the EU
membership attached to it. When this
happens, Turkey will not see a reliable and powerful ally, the U.S., on its
side.... The members of the Turkish parliament who voted 'against' the first
time under internal political considerations and 'we can prevent the war'
dreaming, better think this time about what Turkey is about to lose."
Hadi Uluengin wrote in mass appeal Hurriyet
(3/19): "The Turkish government finally realized the urgency of the
authorization permission and it seems that it is going to pass from the
Parliament in an extremely speedy fashion.
Yet this belated action will not be good enough to heal the mistrust,
which occurred on the U.S. side toward Turkey due to refusal of the resolution
(on March 1). The superpower will not
treat Turkey as it used to and Turkey will not benefit from the Iraqi
reconstruction. Considering the Bush
letter to Erdogan as well as Secretary Powell's call to Gul, we can also draw a
conclusion that the U.S. is not going to approve Turkish strategy for Iraqi
Kurds.... Foreign policy requires fair
analysis, rationality and objectivity as opposed to dreams, sentimentalism and
subjectivity. We have seen the latter,
and now we are paying the price. Even
taking the action right now will not solve anything because it is too late
ISRAEL: "The Seventh
Gideon Samet wrote in independent Ha'aretz (3/19): "Even the war's critics would have lined
up behind the administration if Washington had given them something to latch on
to: clear evidence of nuclear arms or chemical and biological weapons. Missing was that 'extra something,' besides
the victim's testimony, that the law calls for in rape cases. America's guilt is weighty because, lacking
that evidence, Bush's diplomacy created a grave crisis in the ranks of the same
West it is trying to defend. America,
therefore, goes into a war of choice after creating conditions of no
choice. To Israeli eyes and ears it
seems familiar.... This isn't Israel's
war. But the America that initiated it
is our principal international supporter.
If it were only for that reason alone, we should now keep for her sake
our fingers crossed."
"Means and Ends"
Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized
(3/19): "There can be no doubt that
in pursuit of America's national aims, the choice of means matters. There is nothing to crow about in the fact
that the U.S. now goes to war with only a single real ally, and in the teeth of
broad European opposition. Yet one
wonders what America could have done differently.... The historical record will show that the Bush
administration sedulously and patiently pursued everything practicable to
achieve its goal while avoiding war."
WEST BANK: “American
Warning Leaves Iraq Without Choices”
Independent Al-Quds declared (3/19): "President George Bush’s warning
yesterday does not leave any peaceful or honorable choice for Iraq. The
warning, which most countries, especially France, Russia and Germany described
as illegal, puts the Iraqi leadership in the position of either surrendering to
the American legion and voluntarily dismantling the regime and its cadres and
accepting the invaders...or facing massive American military forces that are
capable of invading countries more powerful than Iraq.... In fact, the American warning is intended to
[change] the current international order, threatening the sovereignty and
independence of the world’s countries.
Thus, it is the beginning of a new colonial and imperial era.”
EGYPT: “Egyptian Worries”
Opposition Al Wafd opined (3/19): “This is a personal war.... It is a sin to tie a country’s fate with a
single man, even if it is its president.
It is a sin to push an entire nation, with history and civilization, to
return to the middle ages, with an American decision.... Bush has forgotten his country’s history in
the defense of human rights...and role in the formation of the UN.... History will record that this American
President killed the world order and announced the death of the international
organization. It is a Bush-Saddam war
for which the Iraqi people, the region, and the entire world, will pay a high
price. Certainly America also will pay a high price."
SAUDI ARABIA: "Final
The pro-government English-language Riyadh Daily
editorialized (3/19): "The simple
fact on the table is that Saddam Hussein has only himself to blame for his
imminent political debacle. Even before
President Bush had given him the 48-hour ultimatum to quit, some Arab leaders
have themselves asked him to relinquish power.
Much has been written and spoken of his tyrannical ways, including
gassing his own people, his war with Iran, his invasion of Kuwait...but he has
escaped unscathed, so far, for every crime he has committed.... The end of the road appears to have finally
come for Saddam. And few would weep over
his epitaph. But the methodology
involved in his possible ouster, where a president of one country asks another
to step down, is what would be questioned."
French-language independent La Nouvelle Republique declared
(3/19): "U.S. armed forces will
wage war against Iraq in few hours. The whole world is holding its breath. We
will watch on real-time TV the collapse of Baghdad but not that of the
‘tyrant.’ Will the disarmed and humiliated UN watch this new US crusade
helplessly? Shall we also denounce the complicity of the media?.... Two armies are about to confront each other
because of their stubbornness and Machiavellism. One is targeting oil and is
ready to march over the corpses of an entire people despite all calls for peace
including those of its own people, and the other is ready to sacrifice its own
people for a throne. In each case it is the same people, the Iraqis, who are
caught in the center of this vortex."
"Is it War Or Aggression?"
Government-run Arabic-language El Massa editorialized
(3/19): “The military operation that has
been prepared against Iraq looks more like aggression than a war because Iraq
has complied with UNSC resolution 1441....
Iraq no longer possesses the WMD that would justify military
intervention.... Therefore it is not
capable of facing the U.S. arsenal....
The U.S. will have control over one of the most important oil stocks in
the world. This is the main aim of this military operation, through which the
U.S. is defying the UN and international community. The religious side of this
war is that it is a political alliance between Catholicism and Judaism to
impose their supremacy in the region."
JORDAN: “The Imminent Iraqi
Fahd Fanek remarked in semi-official, influential Arabic-language Al-Rai
(3/19): “The world has not witnessed
such a blatant aggression since the days of the Moguls. In the name of eliminating alleged WMD,
America is going to use WMD; and on the pretext of implementing Security
Council resolutions, America bypasses the Security Council, which does not want
war. And on the pretext of protecting
Iraq’s neighbors, America threatens those same neighbors if they fail to
provide facilities for the aggression; and under the pretext of saving the Iraqi
people, three thousand bombs will fall on Iraqi cities in the first few hours
of the war. The president of the most
democratic country in the world allowed himself to deliver a fiery speech
asking the president of another sovereign country to abandon his country within
48 hours.... Why has America become a
country that undermines international law, ignores world public opinion and
wages a destructive war without provocation?
U.S. President Bush’s address will go down in history along with
speeches by Hitler, Stalin and all other dictators who love war and understand
nothing but the language of force, threats, invasions and destruction.”
Launches A War On Iraq...And Its Eyes Are On Syria And Lebanon"
Nasir Al-Asaad stated in Arab nationalist As-Safir
(3/19): "Political sources
disclosed that Secretary Powell's latest position on the issue of Syrian
presence in Lebanon...lead to the belief that Syria could be the next target
following Iraq.... Some believe that
following the war, the U.S. will start to evaluate each country's position on
the U.S. dominance over the region and the U.S. road map to peace. Syria has been rejecting the American
pressure on Arabs and Islam and was the main obstacle for may of the U.S.
designs for the region. It may have to pay the price."
MOROCCO: "War Against
Iraq Is A War Against The Law"
Pro-government Al Ittihad Al Ishtiraki stated (3/19): "President Bush's speech...was a
declaration of war and represents a perilous turning out in international relations.... No one finds an excuse for aggression against
Iraq except the unilateral desire by America to achieve its goals and special
interests.... Peace-lovers consider themselves
soldiers against any new world order based on a unilateral stand."
QATAR: "All For One,
But The One Is Not For All!"
Abdelkarim Hashish stated in semi-independent Al-Raya
(3/19): "Waiting for the disaster
is much more painful than the disaster itself.
Those who urge Saddam to fight and remain in power actually are more
dangerous than the hard-liners in Washington simply because they are
stupid. Saddam is a tyrant.... We all want Iraq to be safe and we are all
against the U.S. plans to attack Iraq, but we all should be with the Iraqi
people who have suffered and still suffer from Saddam's regime and will suffer
in the future from the consequences of the war.
Iraq is trapped between Saddam's tyranny and Bush's war machine. Iraq must not pay the price and die for one
SYRIA: "A War
Government-owned Al-Ba'th remarked (3/19): "Bush's speech, which was more like a
declaration of war, has carried nothing new to Americans who are split about
war.... It is noteworthy the speech contained
an implicit acknowledgement of isolation that Washington faced at the
UNSC. The Council, which Washington
sought to be a tool in its hand, is no more capable of shouldering
responsibilities, which President Bush pledged to assume on its behalf.... President Bush considered war a mission of
peace that require 'free nations' to participate with his armed forces.... Falsifications in President Bush's speech
exceeded the limits of marketing war; they were even like myths to fool all
people including Americans."
TUNISIA: "Last Hopes
Chokri Baccouche observed in independent Le Quotidien
(3/19): "The last hopes for
peacefully solving the Iraqi crisis have evaporated. Even without UN approval, the war will take
place. The deadline given by Bush to Iraq leaves no room for doubt on this
issue. We have only to count the
strikes, the deaths and the devastating consequences of this imminent
catastrophe for the world, where nothing will ever be the same.... Meanwhile, the new genocide begins to take
UAE: "Will He Do
Abu Dhabi-based semi-official Al Ittihad editorialized (3/18): "Will Saddam do it? Will he be concerned about the interests of
his people and not his own? Will he
listen to the voices of wisdom and reason in order to save his people who have
been suffering for years now, and who are still dreaming that this war could be
avoided? Will Saddam, as his habit in
the last ten years, back off at the last minute and grant millions of Iraqis
the hope they have been awaiting so long?"
"A Model For The Future"
Sharjah-based pan-Arab Al Khaleej wrote (3/19): "During this crucial time, from the
elimination of the international system initiated sixty years ago after World
War II, something that fell with the U.S. Administration decision in for a war
on Iraq, to a new American system, something Washington would like to impose on
the world. What is going to face Iraq
during this war will be the 'ideal' model that will be imposed on all
opponents, nay-sayers, and all people rejecting British-American
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: “Time Has Now
Arrived For Disarming Iraq”
The national conservative Australian editorialized (3/19):
“The Australian has argued that if there comes a time when the U.S. and
Britain are left with no realistic option but to disarm Iraq by force,
Australia should consider joining them. That time has now arrived.... In committing Australian troops to a U.S.-led
coalition, the Howard Government has made the right decision, both in terms of
morality and in terms of Australia's national interest.... Yesterday will not be seen historically as a
"black day" for Australia. It will be seen as a solemn day, on which
this country reaffirmed a long tradition in which it has not been prepared to
stand by while others make the sacrifices required to rid the world of the
threat posed by tyranny.”
CHINA: “The World Is Deeply
Gu Ping commented in the official People’s Daily (Renmin
Ribao) (3/19): "The speech made
by Bush shows that a war without UN authorization is on the verge of breaking
out. The moment when the Iraq issue will be resolved through military force is
coming. The people all over the world
and the international community are looking forward to peace, but not war. The UN Security Council is making every
effort to promote a peaceful resolution to the Iraqi crisis, and UN weapons
inspectors are making progress in Iraq.
However, under such circumstances, the danger of war has reached an
unprecedentedly high level, which deeply worries the world.”
CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):
"Bush's Unjust War Will Upset Peace And Order"
Independent Chinese-language Hong Kong Economic Times
commented (3/19): "U.S. President
Bush yesterday morning issued an ultimatum to Hussein to leave Iraq within 48
hours.... Hussein, however, has already
rejected Bush's demand, and the U.S. is on the brink of war. In bypassing the UN to attack Iraq
unilaterally, the U.S. is trying to fight an unjust war, in flagrant disregard
of international law. The harm done to
the world is much more serious.
President Bush's speech refers to three crimes committed by Iraq: First, the Hussein regime has designs on
controlling the Middle East. Second,
Hussein has always hated the U.S. and its allies. Third, Hussein has always helped, trained and
sheltered terrorists, including bin Laden's al Qaeda. It is farfetched for the U.S. and Britain to
use the above as justification for military action.... The U.S. is taking a 'pre-emptive' move to
send troops and launch an unjust war, setting a bad precedent.... Waging war demonstrates U.S. hegemony. It will only sow more hatred in the Middle
East and the Islamic world."
TAIWAN: "The War
Nobody Really Wants"
Pro-independence, English-language Taipei Times observed
(3/19): "In a matter of hours, the
world situation will change. Even if
U.S. and British troops successfully oust Saddam, the war may also stoke
hostility between Christian and Muslim nations.
A clash of civilizations centered around religious conflict may become a
reality in the 21st century, bringing endless conflict and disaster. To avoid this looming war, we can only call
on Bush to rein in his horse on the edge of the precipice, and to give the UN
weapons inspectors more time to do their jobs, and ease concerns about Iraq's
concealed weapons of mass destruction.
Otherwise, unless Saddam accepts exile, humanity must bear the
consequences of this war with a heavy heart."
JAPAN: "Concern Over
Liberal Asahi editorialized (3/19): "Despite its failure to persuade the
world community to join in a war against Iraq, the U.S. is likely to go it
alone.... The U.S. action would inflict
mortal wounds on the authority and prestige of the UN that has created a major
framework of post-World War II international order. Although the U.S. hopefully
predicts that fighting will come to an early and, it may develop into a land
war to 'conquer' Baghdad, victimizing many innocent noncombatants and bringing
the world into confusion. We again urge
Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq to avert war and save the lives of the Iraqi
people. This does not mean we support President Bush's ultimatum for Hussein to
leave or face action."
"We Support PM Koizumi's Decision"
Top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri opined (3/19): "The final deadline is set.... Time is running out. Although there is a
very little likelihood that Saddam Hussein will go into exile, we are still
hopeful that he will surrender power to avoid war. We support the prime minister's unambiguous
declaration of support. PM Koizumi
stressed the importance of dealing with world issues in cooperation with the
world community, well aware of the significance of the U.S.-Japan alliance. He
said the ruining of confidence in the alliance would run counter to Japan's
national interests. It is only natural that the prime minister put top priority
on the bilateral alliance from the standpoint of national interests. The
U.S.-Japan alliance contributes not only to Japan's security but also to peace
and security in East Asia."
INDONESIA: “As If Hopeless,
The World Astounded By U.S. Ultimatum”
Leading independent Kompas contended
(3/19): "The U.S. ultimatum raises
much concern because it suggests that diplomatic efforts are no longer
useful. In fact, many parties have
worked hard for the past several months to reject the war and call for a
peaceful solution. Movements to reject the war are still prevailing all over
the world.... Although the protest
movements might not be effective in stopping U.S. intentions to attack Iraq,
those protesting voices are very important in reminding the U.S. that the war
is very dangerous to humanity.”
MALAYSIA: "Lock And
Load The New World Order"
Government-influenced English-language New Straits Times
observed (3/19): "The mocking,
almost lampoonish contempt of the United States’ final ultimatum to Iraq--that
President Saddam Hussein and sons leave town by sundown tomorrow or be bombed
out--is the last nail in the coffin of the notion that there could have been
any other resolution to this ghastly farce of a conflict. The first major world crisis of the 21st
century has been a triumph of naked military might over diplomacy and reason. This has been a tragic failure of
civilisation. The febrile militarism of
the past century has reached out to infect this one; cursing the world with
conflict eternal. Who will be
next?.... What of those who have not
aligned themselves with the US in this crusade?
Are they, too, condemned to choose between being outcasts or
invaded? America will of course 'win'
its grotesque little war on Iraq.... The
cost to the U.S. and its military allies, too, need be minimal in personnel and
material. But it will be politically
SOUTH KOREA: "Power-based
Independent Joong-Ang Ilbo observed (3/19): "Washington's declaration of war on Iraq
without UN approval demonstrates a fractured international community and U.S.
unilateralism. This is undeniably a
challenge to the role of the UN as the mediator in international
disputes.... Considering that global
order is still ruled by power, not international laws or morality, the ROK must
carefully calculate how to act to maximize its national interests."
VIETNAM: "At The Brink
Quang Loi wrote in Vietnam People's Army-run official Quan Doi
Nhan Dan (3/19): "U.S.
President Bush has just issued an ultimatum to Iraqi President Hussein and his
sons.... Everyone understands that if
Iraq is attacked with unconvincing reasons, then any other country could be the
next target.... The war in Iraq is a war
with clearly identified strategic targets for the U.S., which are: (1) to
affirm the world leader position, (2) to re-arrange the order in the region
that possesses the world's major oil reserves, and (3) to send a warning signal
to any country that dares to resist orders....
The ultimatum from the U.S. president is not only directed to Iraq, but
also to the UN and the entire international community. Not only Iraq, but also the UN has been made
by the U.S. a hostage of war.... This
may be the beginning of the collapse of the current world order."
The nationalist Hindu opined (3/19): "None of Bush's justifications stands up
to scrutiny but the manner in which the US President has been economical with
the truth in respect of the relevant UN resolutions symbolizes the weakest part
of the case he sought to make.... The
U.S. and its handful of allies withdrew the draft resolution which they were
trying to get passed...because it was not just unsupported but actively opposed
by an overwhelming majority of international opinion.... The U.S. is on the verge of destroying the
hopes of a future in which the global community will be governed by institutions
and rules drawn up through multilateral agreement and not by the imprimatur of
The left-of-center Times Of India commented (3/19): "The die is cast. The U.S. is going to
war...with no sanction or justification other than self-righteousness.... But one thing is certain. The world will never be the same again. For not only has the US acted with total
disregard of the international community by bypassing the UN Security Council,
but has abrogated the right to continue to do so in the future.... The purportedly benevolent global autocracy
of Pax Americana could turn out to be its own worst enemy by sowing the seeds
of terrorist reprisal. Which in turn
would make the US even more aggressively paranoid and thus escalate the spiral
PAKISTAN: "Waiting For
The centrist national News stated (3/18): "The very language of the Bush
ultimatum, however, makes it clear that the U.S. leader does not suffer any
hurdles like the UNSC's inability to pass the desired resolution, the failure
of the weapons inspectors to find the 'smoking gun evidence' or the reluctance
of allies to support the war. The Bush administration made up its mind on the
basis of what it considered was correct, not what was legitimate according to a
universal moral yardstick. The ultimatum too was dripping with the same
arrogance for what was just and right. It was not issued by the UN as what was
the norm but by a member state without authority.... It was a recipe for other aggressive nations
NEPAL: "U.S. Crazy For
Centrist Kantipur held (3/19): "The U.S. President, who is going to war
without an international support, has tried to present him as a true friend of
the Iraqi people and defender of their democracy. It is the business of the Iraqi people to keep
or remove Saddam. The number of people
that agree to Saddam's accusation that the U.S. wants to have total control
over Iraq's oil is not too few....
American people are against the war.
They are on the side of the world opinion. The war may destroy Iraq, but it will also
damage the U.S. economy."
CAMEROON: "A Defining
Ekinneh Agbaw-Ebai wrote in the Yaounde-based government-owned
bilingual Cameroon Tribune (3/19): "With the clock ticking down on the
48-hour deadline for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his sons to leave the
country, the United states and the world are bracing for war, and the
possibility of terrorist attacks....
This war is the biggest gamble of Mr. Bush’s already eventful
presidency.... Domestically, success
against Iraq would almost certainly ensure his re-election to the White House
and domination of U.S. politics for years to come. But failure would surely
mean the end of his political career....
Internationally, the stakes are, if anything, higher."
GHANA: "War: What Happens To The U.S. During And
Urban pro-governmetn Accra Mail stated (3/19): "The current playground for the
superpowers is Iraq.... The government
of Iraq cannot be a role model.... It
attacked Iran and...struck again, this time against tiny Kuwait.... Iraq cannot therefore be described as an
innocent party. But having said that, what would such a war mean to the
distressed economies of Africa? A lot. For starters, if the war should drag,
and the price of oil soars, Africa's fragile economies would be hardest
NIGERIA: "The Iraq War
And A Weakened UN?"
Abuja-based independent Daily Trust opined (3/19): "Things would have gone differently in
the era of the Cold War, and America would certainly have thought twice before
daring the whole world to follow or give way.... The world had better be careful however
because there could arise an issue that it cared more about than Iraq and
neither the United Nations nor its Security Council would be there if they are
allowed to be emasculated by America now.
The world should tell America unequivocally that the United Nations and
its Security Council still represent the best hopes of all."
TANZANIA: "History Will Condemn America"
Kiswahilli-language pro-government Mwananchi declared
(3/19): "From the very beginning,
America has been trying to bulldoze the Council to endorse its own plans.
Indeed America has behaved like a bully....
America now perceives itself as the most powerful country in the world.
But, by snubbing the U.N., America is making a very big mistake. Why is it
refusing to respect the opinions and wisdom of other countries? America should
not think that, just because it is now the most powerful country in the world,
it will always be able to whatever it wants. It should learn from
"Pressure Saddam In A Peaceful Manner"
Kiswahili-language independent Nipashe commented
(3/18): "The whole world is nervous
about the war that is about to break out....
Since it looks like the war can't be stopped at this stage, we hope that
it will not last long so as to minimize its effects. As for us in developing countries, we can
only remind ourselves that: When two elephants fight, it is the grass that
suffers. We are already feeling the
effects of soaring oil prices. Despite
our anxiety about this war, we are still praying that a peaceful solution for
this conflict is found."
The leftist Independent Post contended
(3/19): "It is sad that the United
States, a country that is prepared to punish others for not abiding by the
United Nations decision, is prepared to act in a lawless manner and attack
Iraq. We say this because United States President George W. Bush weeks or
months ago made it very clear that if the United Nations failed to abide by his
wishes to attack Iraq, Washington would act on its own. And yet this is the
same man who is insisting that Iraq's refusal to abide by the previous
resolutions threatened the authority of the United Nations.... But there is no country in the world that
surpasses the United States in not abiding by the wishes of the world's
majority.... What we are seeing today is
nothing but the development of a whole philosophy aimed at sweeping away the
United Nations Charter and the principle of national sovereignty."
“End Of The Road For UN System”
The pro-government Daily Mirror alleged
(3/19): "The past one month has
clearly shown the world how the power of the UN has eroded.... It is sad that, after so much hard work of
inspections and weapons destruction, the inspectors led by Hans Blix were not
given a chance to complete their work.
There was so much hope that Blix and his team were going to accomplish
the disarmament of Iraq without a single shot being fired. Now, it appears as if the U.S. President was
using the inspectors to point out whatever weapons Iraq possesses, and
neutralize them to allow American forces to invade Iraq with minimum
resistance. It is now clear that the U.
S. President was never really serious about UN diplomacy. It is also ironic that in his war speech,
Bush asks the UN to continue with its work and provide humanitarian assistance
to Iraq.... But the UN system will never
be the same again after the U.S. and Britain openly disregarded not only the
majority of UNSC but the voices of all those people who demonstrated against
war all over the world.”
"A Dangerous War"
Michel C. Auger held in mass-market Le Journal de Montréal
(3/19): "While most observers agree
victory will be quickly achieved, all indications point to a very long
occupation of a country where all infrastructure will need to be rebuilt,
including the government of a country which has known nothing but one form or
another of dictatorship. We should
remember that the armed forces of NATO are still stationed in the former
Yugoslavia ten years after the end of the civil war and we still don't know when
they will return. The occupation of Iraq
would be certainly be just as long and would risk generating new waves of
terrorist attacks against the U.S. and the other countries occupying
"Canada's Iraq Policy:
The leading Globe and Mail commented (3/19): "Canada's
real choice may not have been force now or later, but force now or never. And by requiring a second resolution, Canada
effectively gave France authority over whether Canadian troops could invade
Iraq. Remarkable. In rejecting U.S. unilateralism, Canada has
acquiesced in French unilateralism.
Canada will now sit out, at least officially, the war that could begin
as early as tonight. Having made this unfortunate decision through pretzel
logic, Mr. Chrétien should be especially willing in the months ahead to commit
Canada to the reconstruction effort. This country has great capabilities in
building infrastructure, peacekeeping, law-enforcement training and development
of federal institutions. Canada can't remain aloof indefinitely, and this
postwar involvement would at least fit the Chrétien mould and be politically
"The Defeat Of Law"
Columnist Michel Venne commented in the liberal Le
Devoir (3/19): "International law and multilateral institutions are
the only protection medium-size and small countries have...against the
hegemonic temptations of the large ones.
The rule of law creates justice between non-equals. The American attack in Iraq will be illegal
and must be condemned. At the very
least, the international community must deny it any legitimacy. Americans coined the expression rogue
states. They are the ones behaving like
rogues today. To remain outlaws would
mean condoning the illegal acts of barbaric regimes."
"A Dangerous War"
Columnist Michel C. Auger opined in the
mass-market Le Journal de Montréal (3/19): "While most observers
agree victory will be quickly achieved, all indications point to a very long
occupation of a country where all infrastructures will need to be rebuilt,
including the government of a country which has known nothing but one form or
another of dictatorship. We should
remember that the armed forces of NATO are still stationed in the former
Yugoslavia ten years after the end of the civil war and we still don't know when
they will return. The occupation of Iraq
would be certainly be just as long and would risk generating new waves of
terrorist attacks against the U.S. and the other countries occupying
ARGENTINA: "Senselessness And
Raul Alfonsin, former Argentine President and
present leader of the Radical Party, writes an op-ed page in leading Clarin
that says (3/19): "The personality of the U.S. President summarizes the
most prominent aspects of the U.S.' worst nationalistic tradition.... Bush,
together with Rice, Cheney, Rumsfeld and many more have joined to give each
other mutual strength - as is the usual case with those who share the same
pathological views -- in some cases to overcome old frustrations and in others
to serve their disproportionate interests. This is my only explanation in
judging the attitude of a man who doesn't mind destroying the UN, placing his
people and the entire Europe at risk of atrocious retaliation, leading the
Islamic world to suffering the victory of Fundamentalists, dishonoring the
U.S., destroying International Law, and strengthening raw globalization
(promoted by neo-Conservative ideas.) Of course, it's a matter of wounded pride
-- not deprived of a certain 'elections' interest --, of strengthening
unilateralism, of showing that nobody can confront with the U.S. Probably,
there is also an underlying economic interest, particularly in connection with
oil. But we must understand that this massacre is only possible because it's
been carried out by a bunch of madmen."
"U.S. Will Punish Those Countries That Fail
to Support It"
Horacio Riggi, business-financial El Cronista
economic columnist, stated (3/19): "Analysts in Latin America believe that
Chile and Mexico's lack of support for the U.S. regarding the imminent conflict
with Iraq might lead to trade retaliation from the world's leading economy
against South American countries.... 'The decision by Chilean President Lagos
(who refused to vote in favor of an attack against Iraq at the UNSC) - although
a fair and understandable decision - no doubt tenses the diplomatic
relationship between the two countries and jeopardizes the bilateral trade
agreement that Chile has recently signed with the U.S.,' said a Chilean
economist who requested strict anonymity.... For his part, former Mexican
Ambassador to the U.S., Silva Herzog, said that the U.S. decision will
deteriorate Latin America's moral authority and respect, and will negatively
affect the credibility of regional institutions."
"A Tense And Anxious Vigil"
An editorial in daily-of-record La Nacion
read (3/19): "The 48-hour ultimatum given by President Bush to Saddam
Hussein, demanding his departure from power, has turned into a tense and
anxious vigil..... Diplomacy has lost its battle and everything indicates that
in the next hours, the language of weapons will prevail. Bush's words dispelled
all doubts: dice have been rolled and only an extreme gesture of the Iraqi
leader - hard to imagine in the present context - could avoid, at this stage,
the beginning of war..... The deadline is closer. Uncertainty grows. In the precise moment when
peace is lost, it will be necessary to rebuild it, with our hopes in a future
in which the dignity of individuals and the welfare of peoples are above any
BRAZIL: "Mr. Bush Goes To War"
The lead editorial in center-right O Estado
de Sao Paulo (3/19) asked: "What makes the Bush administration so sure
that even if Saddam were to leave, there would be no resistance to the U.S.
invasion of Iraq? No UN resolution or
norm of international law can legitimize the invasion of a nation if its leader
has yielded to an ultimatum such as the one issued to Saddam. The mere
possibility mentioned by Secstate Powell eliminates any doubt about the
foundation on which Bush's America is based: the will of the strongest.... The
rhetoric of fear has allowed Bush to neutralize multilateral institutions of
collective security because they have opposed Washington's imperialist will....
What France has done, with Russia's support, is to oppose both a war that the
community of nations repudiates and the 'peaceful entry,' as Powell would say,
of foreign troops into Baghdad.... A quick U.S. military victory is seen as
certain. Uncertain but presumably high and long-lasting will be the political
costs of the war, which will involve Blair's career, the UN's destiny and the
future of U.S. relations with Europe."
Independent Jornal da Tarde (3/19)
maintained: "The Bush administration has shown that it gives itself the
right to act the way it wants anywhere in the world to defend 'American
values.' It has also put at stake the role of multilateral organizations the
U.S. helped to create following WW II, and has left no doubt that the current
basis of U.S. foreign policy is indeed the will of the strongest.... Military
hegemony ensures a quick U.S. victory. But the political costs will be steep in
terms of the future of the UN, U.S. relations with Europe and peace around the
The lead editorial in Rio de Janeiro's right-of-center
O Globo with the boxed comment
"Bush has tenaciously constructed
U.S. isolationism," stated (3/18): "On the eve of war, it worth
taking advantage of the moment between the ultimatum and the first bombs to
reflect on President George Bush and his way of conducting the foreign policy
of a super power.... Every day it
becomes more and more clear that the war-like and arrogant Bush prefers to talk rather than
hear, give orders than ask advice. With
someone like that in the White House, it was practically inevitable that the U.S. would go into this
war alone.... His contempt of multilateralism is legendary.... They abandoned
the Kyoto Protocol...refused to approve the
International Crimes Tribunal...informed the Russians the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missiles Treaty was no longer
valid, and backed away from the
escalated violence in the Middle East, allowing the Oslo accords to be reduced
to dust. How can one expect that such an administration would bend to the Security Council and listen to international
A byline by journalist Zuenir Ventura, in
right-of-center O Globo, noted (3/19): "President Bush has
repeatedly said the U.N. was running the risk of 'becoming irrelevant' if the Security Council
wouldn't approve his unilateral military
actions against Iraq.... The truth is that only the superpower's force is
relevant today. The Empire's hegemonic will. As the U.S. President said in his
ultimatum, 'the U.S. of A. has the
sovereign authority to use force to guarantee its own national security,' which means
Washington will carry out the
'preventive attacks' whenever he considers his country is under
threat, thus making his dream come true
to be both judge and executioner. This
is the New World order; only his
war-like fury is relevant to pit-bull Bush."
Froylan M. Lopez Narvaez commented in
independent Reforma (3/19):
"President Fox’s speech on Monday was fair, plausible, and worthy
of support, in response to the bellicose, illegal, immoral, criminal zeal of
the United States, Great Britain, Spain and Bulgaria in declaring war on Saddam
Hussein and the innocent people of various ethnic communities that inhabit
Iraq. Fury, as well as ambitions for
political and economic power in the rich oil region fueled the goals of the
refuted leaders--George Bush, Jose Maria Aznar, in spite of the open opposition
of Spaniards—and Tony Blair, who faces growing citizen opposition to the
war.... The GOM ratified and assumed
traditional diplomatic principles. For
peace, the USG make wars. For democracy,
they violate the principles of the United Nations."
“Extensive Popular Support”
Nationalist El Universal editorialized
(3/19): "Mexico’s public opinion
has unanimously supported President Fox’s stand that the Mexican people and
government shares the fight against terrorism and the disarming Saddam Hussein
with the U.S., but they cannot share the White House’s decision to launch a
military attack on Iraq.... Nobody in
Mexico or in the U.S. has any reason to complain or be disappointed. As President Fox has shown, we can be a
neighbor, a partner and a friend of the United States without having to agree
on everything and for whatever reason.
Agreeing on everything would not be friendship, it would be submission
“The Messianism Of Bush”
Carlos Martínez García wrote in left-of-center La
Jornada (3/19): “He (Bush) believes
and behaves like an illuminati that does not question his actions, but dictates
sentences that others must accept without doubt. Whoever hesitates objectively is allied of
his enemies. His thought is a mixture of
the self-help literature, ideological readings of the Bible--a schema of the
reality and an idea of the absolute supremacy of the American and Anglo-Saxon
cultures. All this feeds the messianism
of George W. Bush. The messianism of
Bush has religious components, but also a designed geopolitical strategy in
which an army of think tanks from the best American universities
participate. In this sense we are not in
front of a thinker that hurls invectives against the axis of evil, but in front
of an economic, a political, a scientific and a military complex that looks for
redesigning the world in agreement with the interests of a power that considers
many acts as a danger to its hegemony.”
"A Solely American War"
Emmanuel Carballo wrote in nationalist El
Universal (3/18): "The first
victim of Bush's preventive war is the United Nations, as well as the fora
where global problems are worked out.... The U.S. insists in the military
option--not to disarm an irresponsible nation--but to overthrow a
government. This is a serious precedent
in international relations. Bush lost
the public opinion battle to Chirac, because his premises and conclusion are false. He has forgotten that convincing arguments
are the key to solve any dispute in a democracy."
"(Bush) Threatens The World"
Left-of-center La Jornada declared (3/18): "Bush delivered an ultimatum of death
and destruction to the Iraqi government. He did so, not by virtue of a popular
mandate, but as a result of obscure management and electoral wheeling and
dealing. Without a single argument to
justify war, Bush exhibits to the international community his domination and
geostrategic agenda, his intentions of taking Iraqi oil, his personal
insecurities, his trying to settle accounts on behalf of his father, the first
destroyer of Iraq."
CHILE: "President Bush's Speech"
Conservative afternoon Santiago La Segunda
(3/18): "The central issue is what President Bush sees as the Security
Council's inability to fulfill its duty to confront the Iraqi threat.... This is not a matter of authority, said the
president; it's a matter of will. In
other words, the United States has declared the multilateral system of United
Nations obsolete given its inefficiency, and will decide by and for itself to
intervene in other parts of the planet every time it feels threatened or feels
its interests are at stake.... The
change from demands for an immediate disarmament to demands for Hussein to
leave power in 48 hours draws our attention, though.... Many in Iraq will celebrate the eventual fall
of the tyrant, but it is unlikely that the western invader will be seen as the
'liberator' or that it will easily administer the conflictive
relationships...suppress fundamentalism and imperially resolve the region's
social and economic problems.... From
this viewpoint, the Iraqi crisis could be the beginning of an especially
difficult time for international order and peace."
Leading-circulation, popular La Tercera
commented (3/19): "There is no certainty about post-war events. The U.S. unilateral action has set a
precedent of weakness for diplomacy in United Nations, an organization that
functioned during the Cold War but has not adapted to the new world
order.... It is a bit too far afield to
decree the death of United Nations, because it has been a useful tool for
international law and is the only space in which small nations can speak
out. Perhaps the reconstruction of Iraq,
which the U.S. will unlikely be able to do on its own, will be the first chance
for the United Nations to reform."
ECUADOR: "The End Of Hussein"
An opinion column by Hernan Perez Loose in Guayaquil's
center-right El Universo (3/18):
"At this point nothing can prevent a war. When one of the permanent members of the UN
Security Council recently said his country would 'veto anything' proposed by
the U.S., the diplomatic option came to an end... To think that Hussein prefers
exile to the destruction of his country is as naive as thinking that his regime
could be disarmed peacefully in six months, or in thirty days, as France now
hurriedly proposes. From a legal
perspective, the famous Security Council second resolution was never
necessary. For a tyrant of macabre
proportions, Hussein is ending his reign in a peculiar way. He has managed, for instance, to ensure that
nobody remembers the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis he murdered over the
years.... The concept of national
security after the demise of Hussein has suffered its most serious setback
since September 11. The legitimate
defense of a country is not based solely on defending its borders, nor on
imminent aggression. International
terrorism and George Bush have laid this concept to rest. The world will navigate through more
realistic waters, but without a doubt, they will be no less uncertain."
"After the Iraq Ultimatum"
An editorial in Quito's leading centrist El
Comercio judged (3/18): "The war against Iraq has become irreversible
and the alliance of the U.S., England, and Spain has assumed responsibility for
carrying out this war.... In these
circumstances, after the biggest world debate since the end of the Second World
War in 1945, only the details of the event are left: the magnitude of the attack, the human cost
and the unconditional surrender or capitulation of the Saddam Hussein
regime.... In these circumstances, we
should ponder the global scenario after this war. The Pentagon's other potential battlefronts
are unknown, although former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has written an
essay on the situation in North Korea, which will inevitably have to be
resolved.... Finally, we shall have to
wait for the final bomb to be dropped on Baghdad to learn what responses,
terrorist or warlike, will happen in the West or around the world; we will also
have to wait and see the impact of such an historic and violent event on other
civilizations and cultures beyond the West."
GUATEMALA: “The Fatal
Deadline For An Announced War”
Leading, moderate Prensa Libre
editorialized (3/19): "The entire
world sadly awaits the U.S. attack on Saddam Hussein’s regime.... Beyond the results of this conflict, the
community of nations will soon face the need to rethink the UN’s role and will
have to decide if it still serves the interests of peaceful cohabitation, or if
its Charter has expired."
Influential El Periodico carries a
comment by Julio Cesar Godoy stating (3/19):
"Terrorist groups are a real threat, and we must not stop the fight
to eradicate them at any cost.... The
attack by the United States, England and Spain is not illegal because
diplomatic means have been exhausted.
Conservative, business-oriented Siglo
Veintiuno held in an op-ed by guest columnist Julio Rodriguez (3/18). "We began this week in fear. Few times since the end of World War II, has
the world felt such fear... There are
two dimensions of this great fear: What if Hussein really has weapons of mass
destruction and may use them some day... given his scary background? If the U.S. attacks preventively but Hussein
kills himself and turns this victory into a human and economic catastrophe? There is no certain answer, except that those
who believe should pray."
JAMAICA: "The Dangers Of War"
The editor in chief of the centrist,
business-oriented Jamaica Observer argued in today's lead editorial.
(3/18): "There are now two world superpowers -- the United States and
world opinion.... The world, by and large, has spoken. There is no moral basis,
it says, for waging war on Iraq. America
and its ally, Britain, have failed to make a credible case.... For the most part, the world respects the
United States...b.What has happened over the past 18 months, though, is that an
American administration, enthralled in unilateralist arrogance, and driven by a
mindset of power, has squandered the goodwill of the world, and the consensus
against terror, that was built after the September 2001 terrorist attacks in
New York and Washington...It has framed its response to terrorism in the
context of conventional war, which requires a specific and substantive
enemy....The end game, however, is more than Saddam. Rather, it is the
emergence of this dangerous doctrine of Regime Change and Preemptive Strike
which the United States and its junior partner, Britain, have arrogated unto
themselves.... Unhindered by the moral
force of a multilateral system and having dismissed the constraint of
international law, the United States can at anytime dislodge a regime that it
finds objectionable. It need only say that it was threatened...And, assuming
that Tony Blair is still the UK's prime minister, America may take Britain
along for the ride."
PANAMA: "War In 48 hours"
Tabloid Critica Libre commented
(3/18): "War is imminent.... There
has been no clearer and determined message among Bush's speeches since
September 11.... War is not a formula to obtain world peace, but has been a
part of man's to achieve a peace that will never be obtained.... Calls and
mobilizations for peace in the world have not been fully accepted.... All we
can do is pray for the arms to fall silent and a peaceful end to be
"War And Peace"
Front page editorial in pro-government La
Estrella de Panama asserted (3/18): "Nobody wants war, but facing a
regime, a government and a dictator that threaten the tranquility of their
neighbors, the stability of the world and the human rights of their own people,
it is time to put an end to terror."
"Totalitarian Regimes Drive The World To War"
Leading Asuncion daily ABC Color opined (3/19): "The imminent war has its origins in the
bloody dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein....
The only way to fight terrorism--and avoid the massacres and extortions
that spring from it, that can affect whatever country in whatever place and not
just the United States--is to overthrow as soon as possible the totalitarian
regimes that protect and finance it, like that of Saddam Hussein, and install
in their places a free and democratic rule with respect for human
rights.... If it is necessary to
confront barbarity with war, it's the responsibility of governments--as has
decided President Bush--to take the timely decision."
PERU: "The Terrible Situation In the Middle
Center-right Expreso editorialized (3/18): "If Israel
and the Palestinian Authority had reached a firm peace agreement in the year
2000...the imminent war on Iraq would have been unthinkable.... The
U.S...believes that the world is divided between...those who support the U.S.
and those who support Iraq's dictator ...It is a kind of political
extortion.... The countries of the world have not been given the chance to
adopt an independent position... President Bush's decision to go to war is not
the result of the world consensus... but ...a decision outside the
international law... Bush and his allies have not given an ultimatum to Saddam
Hussein...but to the UN Security Council...
This absurd confrontation has its origins in the creation the State of
Israel in 1948... Thereafter...Americans, Israelis and Palestinians have not
been able to eliminate the scourge of war in the region... Islamic
fundamentalism... has been exacerbated over the years... leading to
confrontations...as it is happening in Iraq."