March 20, 2003
WAR'S OPENING SHOTS
** World media largely expressed regret at the
outbreak of conflict; despite some optimism for a "swift conclusion"
many worried about the war's unpredictable effects and "winning the
** Dailies urged the U.S. to accept a strong UN
role in humanitarian assistance and reconstruction, which they argued could
help "repair" U.S. relations with much of the world.
** Most favored ousting "the tyrant"
Hussein, but judged the process for removing him "seriously flawed"
Hopes for a quick war and 'few casualties'; U.S. will need help to 'win
the peace'-- Dailies decided that "the debate about the rights and wrongs
of this war is over." They
expressed the hope that the war would be "as quick and painless as
possible" and reminded the U.S. of its "serious moral
responsibility" to minimize "the level of bloodshed." While a Romanian daily reproached Saddam's
willingness "to expose his own people" to war, Britain's center-left Independent
called on the U.S. "to retain the moral high ground" by eschewing the
use of certain weapons, including cluster bombs and depleted uranium shells.
Most writers held "the outcome of the war
itself is not in doubt" and focused on the need to "contain the
tragic consequences to come" to avert "ethnic and religious
conflicts." They agreed with
Spain's center-left El Pais that the U.S. must "win the peace
afterwards" and will need "both the UN and Europe" for this
"more complicated" task. Papers in Italy and Lithuania stressed
forgetting "disagreements" among the western nations to "help
rebuild" Iraq, while outlets in Spain and Germany called on the U.S. to
"repair its relations with half the world." A number urged
international cooperation in humanitarian aid, which France's right-of-center Le
Figaro judged to be "the way to put the UN back in the saddle and
start the healing process."
'War will not stop with Baghdad but will spread to the entire region'-- Many opined that the U.S. was using this
"colonial" war to become another "Roman Empire." UAE-based pan-Arab Al Khaleej saw Iraq
as just "a starting point" for "reshaping the future of the
region." While Pakistan's Islamist Ausaf
alleged that "Washington is set on the path of fascism," Malaysian
and Indonesian dailies labeled Bush a "lunatic" and
government-run Eshaab blasted the U.S. decision to "slaughter Iraqi
children and destroy their homes."
Other papers hoped the war would help educate the world of "the
dangers of American dominance" and impel them to create "other
centers of power" to challenge the U.S.
ASIA: Many worry war will
simply increase global 'instability'-- Critical voices focused
on how this "most tragic and awful precedent" of pre-emptive war will
create global "instability."
Australia's liberal Age predicted a "unified Western Europe
and an economically powerful China" would challenge "U.S.
hegemony." Moderate Tokyo
Shimbun thought that President Bush "sacrificed the UN-based
international order that has held the key to solving post-Cold War
conflicts." While some papers
denounced the U.S. as a "warmongering country," the independent Philippine
Star stood out, praising the "decisive action" to secure
"the democratic future of modern civilization."
AFRICA: 'U.S.' raison
d'etre for war not disarmament', regime change will invite more
terror-- Many dailies portrayed the
U.S.-UK invasion of Iraq as a "war of bullies" and a "war that
divides the world." Some shared the
regret of South Africa's liberal Cape Times that a "tragic and
awful precedent [was] set when the U.S. launched that first strike on
Iraq." Papers in Namibia, Zambia
and Tanzania made similar points that Bush's "insistence on war at all
costs...will incite rather than diminish terrorism the world over."
WESTERN HEMISPHERE: Some
accept Iraq is the 'right target,' more fear U.S. 'hegemony'--Conservative and
financial dailies in Canada, Argentina and Paraguay defended the "plainly
just cause of liberating Iraq."
Many other outlets in those countries and in Brazil, Chile and Central
America fretted that a "stage of uncertainty" has begun which could
have "unpredictable consequences."
Writers concluded that "U.S. hegemony has been replaced by a
doctrine of maximum security."
Taking offense that "Bush ignored the strong international
rejection of war," some professed a "loss of trust" in the
U.S. Critics, like Brazil's
right-of-center O Globo, bristled at the Bush administration's
"intention" to "impose, worldwide, [its] unilateral monitoring
because [the U.S] is the uncontested superpower and, morally, the center of
Irene Marr, Steven Wangsness, Ben Goldberg
This report is based on 80 reports from 50 countries, March 19-20. Editorial excerpts from each country are
listed from the most recent date
"War And After"
The conservative Times argued
(3/20): "The ultimate success of
this conflict will depend less on the speed at which tanks can sweep towards
Baghdad than on three other factors.
These are the sensitivity with which the Iraqi people are treated during
the war itself; the political blueprint adopted for Iraq once Saddam Hussein
has been overthrown and Washington’s skill in refining the concept of
'pre-emption' skill so as to reassure the law-abiding; and its speed in
addressing the Israel-Palestine question....
The diplomacy of the United States in the past few months has not always
been what friends and allies might have hoped for. This has assisted the drawing of a grotesque
caricature.... The Bush Administration
would be wise to recognise that this distorted picture exists and address
"Hope Against Hope"
The left-of-center Guardian contended
(3/20): "This war is wrong. It did not need to happen; it is unnecessary
and was avoidable.... This is a
political war, a war of power largely orchestrated by the ideologues and
zealots who surround that most implausible of presidents, George Bush. This
recourse to war is a substitute for thought and understanding, divisive in
conception and enormously damaging to the international order.... All that remains is the sad, fretful hope
that it will soon be over.... The aims
of this war have been unclear all along.
That confusion must now end. The
objective is not a U.S.-run Iraq or some grandiose, U.S.-designed regional
reformation. It is an independent,
integrated state led by indigenous Iraqis empowered by free elections and
working in partnership with the UN. Tony
Blair's assurance yesterday that Britain will seek agreement to establish a
leading role for the UN is welcome.
Getting in is much easier than getting out; but get out quickly the U.S.
must. Whatever Dick Cheney and his
far-right friends may think, they have no business there."
"The Nation Must Unite"
The conservative Daily Telegraph editorialized (3/20): "The political importance of this war
is...perhaps greater than any since Vietnam.
This time even more is at stake than the liberation of a people, the
foiling of a genocidal dictator or the fall of a terrorist stronghold. The overthrow of Saddam Hussein and his
regime will combine all these aims, but it intends to do much more
besides. What we, the Americans and our
other allies are trying to achieve is still encompassed in the unfulfilled
promise of the first Bush administration: a 'New World Order.'... The establishment of a democratic Iraq would
demonstrate that America is not only pursuing its own interests, but is also
seeking to extend the benefits of freedom across the Middle East, a region that
has for too long known only tyranny, poverty and bigotry."
"When Democracies Do Battle With A Despot"
The center-left Independent editorialized (3/20): "The debate about the rights and wrongs
of this war is over.... Politicians
across the political spectrum are united in the conviction that the time has
come 'to support our troops.' This
newspaper agrees, and fervently hopes for a swift conclusion with as few
casualties on both sides as is possible....
If the Allies are to minimise the resentment that the war will cause in
the Middle East, and among Muslims elsewhere, the level of bloodshed needs to
be minimised.... When democracies do
battle with despots it is essential they retain the high moral ground.... If care must be taken with some weapons [like
MOAB, e-bombs], others [such as depleted uranium, cluster bombs] should not be
deployed at all.... In the Commons
yesterday Mr Blair insisted that 'any weapons or munitions that are used will
be in accordance with international law.'
He concluded by saying: 'We will do everything we can to minimise
civilian casualties and indeed maximise the possibilities of a swift and
successful conclusion to any conflict.'
To achieve both those aims would be ideal. The real test will come when the two
FRANCE: "War And
Pierre Rousselin argued in right-of-center Le Figaro
(3/20): “France did all it could to get
Iraq to disarm peacefully.... Now all we
can hope is for the war to be as quick and painless as possible. This conflict is a failure for everyone. Now, everyone’s responsibility is to contain
the tragic consequences to come.... The
first priority in Iraq will be humanitarian aid. France and Europe must prove to be
generous. This is the way to put the UN
back in the saddle and to start the healing process for Franco-American
relations. Even for Washington, the
post-war period cannot be considered outside the UN.... The pre-war days have caused too much damage
to see reconstruction stop at Iraq and the Middle East. Transatlantic relations demand emergency
treatment. Resentment in Washington has
reached such levels that going back to a calm form of dialogue will be
difficult. One thing is certain: the
slightest misstep in comments about how the war is being led will not be
"Saving The UN"
Serge July wrote in left-of-center Liberation (3/20): “Contrary to the Serbian and Afghan
situations, this time President Bush wants the post-war period to be a U.S.
exclusive. While the war carries its own
load of uncertainties, the post-war era carries even more of them.... We may be opposed to this war, but it is no
reason to abandon Iraq and the Americans to their fate. The UN must get back in the game.... The UN must take over from the Americans in
an Iraq we wish to see liberated.”
"Falsehood To The Test"
Bruno Frappat judged in Catholic La Croix (3/20): “When cannons speak, alliances either become
stronger or fall apart.… The intense
accusations against France have reached a level unimaginable a week
ago.... The fact that France differed
about the means [to disarm Iraq], not the end, has been quickly forgotten.... President Bush has chosen a narrow version of
the truth… From now on we will have to be not only wary of war, but also of the
lies that accompany war.”
GERMANY: “Marching Toward
Josef Joffe noted on the front-page of center-left, weekly Die
Zeit of Hamburg (3/20): "The
U.S. has never been as lonely and as powerful as it is now. If a good many nations prefer putting up with
a monster like Saddam to entering a coalition with the superpower, the U.S. has
a problem that even a glorious victory against Baghdad cannot solve. That is why Washington, once the war is over,
has to pay attention to the 'co’ in coalition, cooperation, and
consensus.... ‘Nation-building’ means
police and administrative responsibilities; it means repair work and investments. Anyone who does not rely on others in such a
project has no chance of winning the peace.”
"After The War"
Center-right Luebecker Nachrichten (3/20) stated: “If the Iraq war is short, then George W.
Bush will have won more than a military conflict. Then there will be a new world order
according to the will of the U.S., a Pax Americana, for who could stop the
U.S.? As far as military factors are
concerned, there is no counterweight any longer. And as far as politics is concerned, Bush has
all arguments on his side. Was the war
in accordance or against international law, was it a war of aggression or a
preventive war? Who should seriously
discuss these questions in view of a quick victory, which will, at best, result
in the ouster of the dictator, the destruction of his weapons and the
liberation of the Iraqis?”
Center-right Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung of Essen
(3/20) noted: “As far as the military is
concerned, the U.S. is as powerful as never before, but as far as foreign
policy is concerned, it is more isolated than ever. Regardless of the outcome of this war, the
U.S. will no longer be the undisputed supreme power in the world, at least not
during George W. Bush’s term...[even] if Bush wins this war quickly."
"Post-War Middle East"
Center-right Rheinische Post of Duesseldorf (3/20)
judged: “The U.S. will be able to smooth
the angry emotions in the Arab world and its fanatics only if it gets serious
about the midwifery for a promised Palestinian state as part of a better
perspective for the Middle East.”
ITALY: "The No Of The
Franco Venturini opined in centrist, top-circulation Corriere
della Sera (3/20): "The war
already bears a heavy load of political damage, lasting resentments, bitter
rifts among government leaders, and of unusual divisions between governments as
well as public opinions.... The duration
of the war is certainly fundamental....
However, a rapid war would not be enough. After (the war), it will be possible to win
the peace only on condition that everyone (the international community) face
their conflicting opinions...by going back to the negotiating table.”
Mario Platero observed on the front-page of leading economic daily
Il Sole-24 Ore (3/20): “Once
everything is over, there will be a strong temptation to separate the ’victors’
from the ‘vanquished.’ In the U.S., they
are already discussing some kind of boycott against France, and anti-American
flags are already waving in Europe....
This is why, no matter how things go, it is essential that the ‘victors’
be generous with the 'vanquished.’... America will need both the UN and Europe,
while Europe will have to give up its reticence."
"The New World Is Born"
Massimo Teodori commented in leading center-right Il Giornale
(3/20): "There are a number of
signs that the Iraqi crisis will mark a turning point in the new international
system. The UN’s crisis of impotence
highlights the anachronism of the permanent five's UNSC veto.... The division of the European countries,
triggered off by France and then Germany, signaled a revival of national ambitions
played in an anti-American key, very far from being a premonitory sign of a
common European policy. The impotence of
the UN pointed out that the principal multilateral instrument used thus far is
no longer capable of carrying out--due to political divisions--duties of
security and international stability.”
RUSSIA: "U.S. Chooses
Vitaliy Tretyakov held in official government Rossiyskaya
Gazeta (3/20): "America has
made a choice. It has chosen
death.... After America routs
Iraq...anti-Americanism will intensify greatly across the world, particularly
in Islamic and Arab countries....
America, as a model of democracy 'for itself' and 'for others,' is no
more.... It is still very strong. It can buy allies with fear and money...[but]
it will increasingly feel lonely."
BELGIUM: "The Price Of
The New Pax Americana"
Foreign affairs writer Roger Huisman commented in conservative
Christian-Democrat Het Belang van Limburg (3/20): “We saw them again on our TV screens: cruise
missiles, laser-guided bombs, stealth bombers, statements that the number of
innocent victims would be limited, that the war would be over before we even
realize. Nothing is less true, of
course. The White House warned that the
war might last longer than expected.
That means more people killed, more refugees, more human misery. That is the price of the new ‘pax
Foreign editor Jean Vanempten argued in financial daily De
Financieel-Economische Tijd (3/20):
“The U.S. has a serious moral responsibility in this war.... The U.S. will have to act so that the vacuum
does not lead to ethnic and religious conflicts that may cause useless
bloodshed. The defeat of the Iraqi army
is not enough. The U.S. must turn the
victory into a democratic state for the Iraqis.
Above all, the Americans must wage this war in a careful manner. A war can never be ‘clean’ but the undeniable
superior strength must not be exploited to hit the defenseless people even
CZECH REPUBLIC: "What
Do Kosovo and Iraq Have in Common?"
Pavel Tomasek commented in centrist Hospodarske Noviny
(3/20): "IThe moral reason for the
attack on Iraq will be definitely confirmed once Saddam is gone and new
institutions ensuring a better future for the Iraqis are built.... Many feared that [intervention in Kosovo]
would set off a new era of global interventionism with unpredictable
results. These fears have not been
realized. On the contrary, Milosevic is behind bars in the Hague and the people
in former Yugoslavia, despite all problems, face a better future. If the war in Iraq has similar result, the
shots will not be fired in vain."
"Bad Good War"
Martin Denemark wrote in centrist Hospodarske Noviny
(3/20): "Optimists say that the war
will be over soon and that the emotions will settle down shortly
afterwards. Even if so, changes within
international relations will take place and we should have no illusions--the
'new'"What Do Kosovo and Iraq Have in Common?" world will be no
better that the one we have now."
GREECE: “The Threat”
Top-circulation pro-government Ta Nea
said (3/19): "Although early for
conclusions from the war on Iraq, one could draw some even today: First, the international community was unable
to prevent an unjust war carried out against the will of the vast majority of
citizens that will not solve a single problem.
Second, the UN could not resolve the Saddam problem for over a decade
thus proving unable to render itself an efficient mechanism that can guarantee
international law. Third, countries
opposing this war were marginalized and unable to influence developments
positively. It seems that the end of the
Cold War left the planet neither wiser not safer!”
Leading Nepszabadsag editorialized (3/20): "Problems will not go away with the
outbreak of the war, they will only change....
If the war with Iraq ends up being successful...(not only on the level
of propaganda but for real) then we can indeed observe what it means to have a
single superpower in the world.”
IRELAND: "The Quicker
Center-right, populist Irish Independent argued
(3/20): "The outcome of the war
itself is not in doubt.... But seldom
has a military enterprise of such magnitude been undertaken in conditions of
such uncertainty about the long-term intentions of the main
belligerent.... It is not clear that [the
Americans] have in place, or can create, a satisfactory Iraqi civil
administration...in any kind of reasonable timescale. It is surely most unlikely they can hand over
to a local regime before pacification, plus progress on reconstruction and
ensuring the safety of oil supplies. All
that may be more difficult than they realize.
Iraq's ethnic and religious divisions are acute. There is a risk of not one, but several,
civil wars. The aspirations of the
Kurds, the interests of Turkey and Iran, are not well understood in
Washington. Nor are the rights of the
Palestinians. The Americans will win the
war. They must learn, and learn quickly,
how not to lose the peace."
LITHUANIA: "The Truth
Revealed By The War"
Second largest daily Respublika commented (3/20): "The day the war began has brought
clarity to all of us: it has become evident that it is power that counts, not
"Help Rebuild Iraq"
Top-circulation Lietuvos Rytas editorialized (3/20): "If the U.S. calculations and plans turn
out to be exact, not only will the world be set free from this dangerous
threatening dictator, but we will have a chance to overcome the crisis.... Forget the disagreements, help to rebuild this
country and solve the regional problems."
NORWAY: "The Difficult
The independent VG commented (3/20): “The war can bring unpleasant surprises, and
above all is the uncertainty about what will happen in Iraq and the region once
the war has been won. A great deal will
depend on finding a fair solution to the conflict in Palestine. The ability of the international community to
come together on a solution to the challenges will be decisive. That is why we must overcome the lamentable
divisiveness that preceded the war.”
Expensive Tribute: Iraqi
Horia Alexandrescu commented in the aptly-named Independent
(3/20): "Unfortunately for Iraqi
citizens, the war will result in casualties among the civilian population, an
expensive tribute paid...due to the stubbornness with which the Baghdad
dictator holds on to power.... Saddam is
willing to expose his own people, and this should make it clear to the Iraqis
that instead of being protected by the state, they are being used by it as a
shield, in a war, not which the U.S has started against Iraq, but that Saddam
himself started many years ago against other countries, including
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO: “Defiant Merciful Angel”
Pro-government Politika’s foreign analyst
D.Rancic compared the similarities and the differences between the bombing of
Iraq and of Yugoslavia (3/20): “There is similarity in precedent: if you avoid
the Security Council once, then you can do similar things several times and
completely diminish the authority of the United Nations.... Our ‘Merciful
Angel’ [name of NATO’s military operation in Yugoslavia in 1999] was presented
as the savior of a minority nation, which was oppressed by another, majority
nation. This operation had the golden image of a righteous warrior who punished
with a sword those who used force. We [the Serbs] were demonized and accused of
many crimes and we were without support of influential friends and
allies…Iraq’s position is different, maybe better.... Iraq’s issue divided the
world, the Security Council, the West, NATO and Europe....there were no
important divisions about us.… The biggest difference is that four years ago we
were one of the few nations...that experienced the full power of American
arrogance. Now, America’s closest allies and partners can feel that
arrogance.... This is not about Iraq but about the perception of truth: America went too far in oppressing the world
in accordance with its global strategy of dominance.... Is there a danger that the UN will have the
same destiny as a League of Nations? In the case of Yugoslavia, the Security
Council was bypassed and ignored but now it is completely neglected.”
Left-of-center El País (3/20) judged: "This war, which should never have
happened, has been started with the absolute contempt for international public
opinion.... If Bush succeeds in winning
quickly, he will have to win peace afterwards.
And this will be very difficult in a country as big and politically
fragile as Iraq if he does not count on the collaboration of many of those whom
he has ignored.... The first task of
Washington, once its conquest is over, should be handing over of the management
of the Middle Eastern country to the UN.
Whether Bush and his close advisors believe it or not, Washington needs
friends and allies.... Its diplomatic
fiasco in Iraq...should teach the White House that one of its most urgent
matters is to repair its relations with half of the world as soon as the echo
of the last shot of this wretched war disappears."
"A War For A Lasting Peace"
Conservative ABC concluded (3/20): "If war is the confirmation of
diplomatic failure, one will have to come to the conclusion that the Iraqi
crisis has shown in all its crudeness the inability of the current order to
effectively defend peace through an international security pact."
ISRAEL: "Back To
Ari Shavit wrote in independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz
(3/20): "This is...a war to renew
colonialization.... It is the war of two
Western powers that reached the conclusion that the only way to protect the
success of the West from the failures of the Near East is to once again unfurl
the umbrella of imperial patronage and send it into a long process of
re-education. It is highly doubtful this
amazing attempt will succeed.... It is
difficult to see how the soldiers of the airborne divisions will manage to
impose a foreign democratic vision on a harsh desert land suffering from an
identity crisis. But the need that gave
birth to this terrible war is a real need, and the challenge is a worldwide
challenge: how to extricate the Middle East from its deep crisis, how to save
the Middle East from itself."
"The Spirit Of Israel"
The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized
(3/20): "Observers of our scene
both seasoned locals and visiting outsiders must be struck by the composure
with which most Israelis are gearing up for the war in Iraq. This is not the fatalistic resignation of an
apathetic people. Israelis, in fact, are
anything but passive.... The absence of
hysterical fear and foreboding doesn't negate the existence of tension and
unease, especially as we realize that for us it will not be over with the last
air raid over Iraq. At that point the
U.S. will need to win back alienated Arab hearts and this might be most readily
accomplished by squeezing from Israel concessions that will put Israeli civilians
at potentially greater risk than ever.
Odds are, then, that our existential struggle will merely move to other
arenas and take other forms."
WEST BANK: “Hostile
Independent Al-Quds opined (3/20): “The American administration, along with its
follower the British government, did not bother to heed calls of international
and public opposition to the unjust aggression on Iraq from all over the
world. They insisted on finishing the
job...using various trivial pretexts, which have later been proven to be
illegitimate and fabricated.... It
should not be a source of pride for the U.S. to achieve victory over Iraq,
especially considering the U.S.’ military and technological superiority over
Iraq with its limited capabilities weakened as a result of continuous
international sanctions and wars....
Nevertheless, the conclusion of this war and all other wars of
aggression that follow will help educate the world’s nations of the dangers of
American dominance and will encourage these nations to act in order to contain
these dangers and prevent their damaging effects and consequences."
Pro-government Eshaab editorialized (3/20): “All of humanity is looking disdainfully upon
those who have decided to slaughter Iraqi children and destroy their homes,
schools and gardens with the bombs Bush is testing on Baghdad. The aim of this operation is to establish
control over the oil wells. History will not forgive the ‘over-fed Gulfy elite’
who appear from time to time on TV to express shamelessly their deep sorrow for
the victims of this war, knowing that they have given their lands, territorial
waters, air space and finances to the enemy to burn Iraq. The war will end today or tomorrow, but its
results will still have continuing effect.
Washington’s war plan could have been avoided if the Arab leaders had
reacted to oppose it. War will not stop
with Baghdad but will spread to the entire region.”
“Beginning And End”
Leading pro-government Al Ahram columnist Reda Helal wrote
(3/20): "The U.S. unilateral decision
to launch war destroyed the world order...for the sake of the American imperial
tendency.... For the Middle East, the
stage that has ended is the national independence stage that started after
WWII, when tyrannical regimes emerged in order to sacrifice personal freedom
for the freedom of the nation, but instead, they occupied nations and repressed
their citizens. Saddam Hussein’s regime
is a salient example. However, the
American occupation of Iraq will mark the beginning of a new stage where Arab
nations link between resistance to occupation and the demand for freedom of
both the nation and the citizens.
Strangely, this tie between independence and freedom was the call of
national movements, such as the Egyptian movement to tie the constitution with
independence, before the era of military coups--with American
help--started. History will move on.”
"All Is Unclear"
Mohamed Sherdy remarked in pro-opposition Al Wafd
(3/20): "No one is capable of
saying when will this war stop and no one would be capable of saying what will
happen when Saddam disappears. Now
everything is possible and any thing could happen. The world is moving towards the unknown. Conflict is leading everybody."
JORDAN: "Who Will
Control The Fire In Iraq?"
Bater Wardam noted in center-left, influential Al-Dustour
(3/20): “The great danger lies not in
the change of the Iraqi regime, but in what might follow. We do not know if the Americans have a plan
to control Iraq, and how they would deal with the sectarian and ethnic mosaic
of that country, which will be the main element in their success or
failure. Everyone is responsible for the
human tragedy in Iraq, starting with the gang in Washington that is obsessed
with war, equally the Iraqi regime that has made non-stop mistakes since 1980,
and Arab weakness.”
For Great Men During These Fateful Hours"
Gebran Tueni wrote in moderate, anti-Syrian An-Nahar
(3/20): "President Bush announced the beginning of war on Iraq
following the launching of the first missile on Baghdad.... We are living fateful hours...everything will
be different following the war on Iraq on the regional and international
levels.... All of us are against the
war, but we are also against the regime of Saddam Hussein who is responsible
for the state his country reached....
What comes after toppling Saddam Hussein? There is no doubt that America will use a
carrot and the stick policy on parallel lines: a military line along the Iraqi
front, and a political line along the Palestinian front.... America has decided to try to appease Arabs
by the 'road map' project which will definitely pass through Baghdad. The phase of opposing the war and crying for
what could have been should be left behind by all of us. We have to move forward, think about
bolstering our countries and positions, and try to think ahead about what we
want for the future of our countries in the Middle East.... This change should be based on
democracy.... We tell Palestinian groups
in Lebanon that we really respect their cause but Lebanon has already paid a
dear price for their cause in addition to their mistakes in Lebanon.... We are living through historic hours and we
need great men to be up to the standard of this important phase. We do not want other countries to decide our
MOROCCO: "The Seeds Of
Greater Terrorism Are Being Sown In The Middle East"
Mohamed Ben Salah noted in pro-government Arabic-language Al
Alam (3/20): "The war might
have started even before this issue reaches the readers. What war lords, war
hawks, don't know is that their permanent war against Arabs and Muslims will
lead to greater terrorism after the large aggression. America believes that it
will win over Iraq and achieve its schemes in the Middle East. This war, from
which America will come out victorious, will have its impact on millions of
people who will protest against America's victory in many countries and peoples
from the Middle East. When invaders achieve their victory, then another battle
will start and other secret protests that America calls terrorism will follow.
America is incapable of fighting terrorism and even governments tailored by
America could not do so. No one could eliminate large and dangerous terrorism
spread in all parts of the world. So this will lead to security, political,
economic and social chaos that will bring the world back to Middle Ages. The
world will enter the hell of terrorism whose victorious sides do not care about
but who will suffer from it."
"The Mother Of All Wars"
Jeddah’s conservative Al-Madina exhorted
(3/20): "The purpose of this war is
most likely to enhance the U.S.' tendency to unilaterally run the affairs of
the world according to Washington’s desires and its interests only.... Dealing with a war which has as its aim to
change the whole world becomes the concern of the entire world.... Therefore, it would be useful for the Arab
regional system, which is apparently very close to demise, to answer a vital
question about a possible role of Arabs in the next world order.... To insist on waiting for the favors of people
with good intentions will not lead Arabs anywhere, except to harvest results of
evil actions by others."
SYRIA: “War Speech;
Mohamed Khair al-Jamali commented in government-owned Al-Thawra
(3/20): “The political hypocrisy
practiced by the U.S. under the masks of false concern about world peace, and
bright promise to the Iraqi people, is too weak to hide the reality of this
war, being a colonial and aggressive war.
Therefore, the Iraqi people with their national and pan-Arab
consciousness and historical experience in deterring all forms of invasion,
will confront the Hulagu of the modern age and will protect their homeland from
the fiercest invasion that jeopardizes the Arab region, its neighborhood and
the whole world.”
UAE: "A Road Map Is
Penetrating Arab Capitals"
Sharjah-based pan-Arab Al-Khaleej declared (3/20): "What comes after it and how long will
U.S. troops stay in Iraq? The most
dangerous question is the level of coordination between Washington and Tel Aviv
in...reshaping the future of the region.
It has become known that once U.S. troops enter Iraq they will not
depart, which has been confirmed by numerous American officials under the
pretext of cementing peace and stability, the elimination of WMD, and
curtailing any ethnic disputes.... Iraq
will only be the starting point to re-mapping the Middle East, and Israel will
play a fundamental role.... Statements
of American officials clarify that the war against Iraq is only the first
step. The list of nations and
organizations which the U.S. insists on labeling as 'terrorists' is extremely
long, except for Israel. Therefore, the
American military presence was not meant to 'liberate' Iraqis, but to achieve a
new American strategy in the region."
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: “The Real Reason
America Is Invading Iraq”
Kenneth Davidson argued in the liberal Age (3/20): “Bush personifies the American quest for
absolute security. Americans don't yet
understand or care that this status can only be achieved by making everybody
else absolutely insecure. This is why
the most lasting thing to come out of the war with Iraq is likely to be the
faster development of a unified Western Europe and an economically powerful
China to challenge U.S. hegemony.”
CHINA: “The UNSC Should Not
Be Reproached For Doing Its Duty”
Li Xuejiang noted in official Communist Party-run People’s
Daily (Renmin Ribao) (3/20):
"It is a pity for the people of the world that the war could not be
avoided. It shows contempt for the
status and authority of the UN.... Such
behavior sets a bad precedent that a powerful country can act willfully, that
the UN exists in name only, that international norms are like waste paper and
that the law of the jungle is practiced in the world. This is not what the people of the world,
including U.S. citizens, want to see.”
CHINA (HONG KONG & MACAU SARS): ""A War That Will Not Make The
The independent English-language South China Morning Post
opined (3/20): "The war to drive
Saddam Hussein from power in Baghdad runs directly against diplomatic efforts
involving most of the world's great powers--including China, Russia and
Germany--as well as the United Nations.
It marks too the first violence associated with the U.S. notion of
pre-emption, the hastily-created 'Bush doctrine'...the idea--forged in the
turmoil after the September 11 attacks--that the U.S. has the right to strike
first against a state that may not be an immediate threat, but could prove to
be one in the future.... Inflaming much
of the Muslim world -- possibly the most important partner America has in the war
against extremist terrorism.... This
newspaper believes this doctrine not only to be dangerous, with ramifications
far beyond the sands of Iraq.... War
represents the failure of diplomacy....
It will be up to the diplomacy of these nations to keep the world order
intact in the aftermath of the coming conflict, however strong the triumph out
of Washington. When unity and a sense of
purpose is needed, Mr. Bush has sewn and exploited discord.... Many more people could be at risk by the
instability created by this hasty conflict."
Iraq: Despite Everything, We Cannot
Moderate Tokyo Shimbun observed (3/20): "The U.S.-led atttack on Iraq has
apparently begun. Even if the U.S. is
able to occupy Baghdad, we cannot give our consent after considering the deep
chaos it invites for both the Middle East as a whole and international conflict
resolution in the future.... Clearly,
Saddam has commited serious crimes and never meant to carry out the UNSC
resolutions. But he had not engaged in
massive military prepartions to threaten neighbors like he did in the first
Gulf War.... To start a war at this time
in this manner, we cannot approve....
After the war, the U.S. military apparently plans to remain in Iraq to
establish an occupation similiar to that in Japan after World War II, but the
societes are completely different. The
threat of disintegration is stronger than the potential for unity. It is also certain that anti-U.S. feeling and
sympathy with Iraq will rise among the masses of Muslim people in response to
the attack without UNSC sanction....
Iraq is not the only tyranny in the MIddle East. Coutnries that fear an upswell of anti-U.S.
mass feeling include Iraq's regional pro-U.S. oil-producing neighbors. Post-Saddam anti-tyranny mass movements for
democracy could very well take aim at Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the Gulf
states. Such instability could create
serious consequences for Japan, which imports 87 percent of its oil from this
region.... The UN inspections provided
results. It is undeniable that U.S. military
pressure played a large role in this.
But it would have been better if the U.S. had waited for the diplomatic
solution supported by unanimous UN votes....
This war is unilateral and preemptive.
If we allow the U.S. to engage in such internationally illegal actions,
maybe other countries will also undertake preemptive strikes in the conflicts
in Africa, Kashmir and elsewhere, .
President Bush has sacrificed the UN-based international order that has
held the key to solving post-Cold War conflicts.
INDONESIA: “Bush Needs A
Independent Media Indonesia commented
(3/20): “It is very crucial that all
people in this country view the U.S--Iraq war proportionally. This war is not
war of religions. It is also not a war of the West against the East. This war
has absolutely no relation to any religion; it has no relation to any ideology
likewise.... The war breaks out simply
because a superpower country is led by a lunatic president, who turns a deaf
ear to world opinion, who does not care about the U.N, because he is a self-righteous
"Bush A Gangster To The World."
Government-influenced, Malay-language Berita
Harian declared (3/20):
"President George W. Bush looks set to launch a war to topple
Saddam Hussein without the support of the UN.
In handling the Iraqi crisis, the UN chose to follow the path of
diplomacy. However Bush has thumbed his
nose at the efforts of the weapons inspectors, and has ignored the strong
protests of the French, Russians, Germans and Chinese as well as the seven
smaller nations who sit on the Security Council. While undermining the UN, Bush and his allies
have also ensured the cooperation between the U.S. and European countries has
been damaged. The smaller countries who
relied on the UN as a institute for peace and justice have seen international
laws flouted, and cannot again hope for any consideration for their concerns at
this world body. With this war, Bush has
not only ignored the protests of his own countrymen, but that of the
world. He has damaged the good image of
America through lies and manipulations. Iraq does not have the nuclear weapons nor the
connection to the September 11 tragedy, as Bush has claimed. After this, the world will never hold
anything but hate for America for wanting to test its own weapons of mass
Alex Magno wrote in the independent Philippine Star
(3/20): "The source of prolonged
threat must be neutralized now. The haven for international terror must be
overrun.... Bush, Blair and their
partners in this grand coalition of militant democracies do not mind losing
their political careers if that is the cost of doing what if right. They do not
mind going down in flames if that is the price to pay for taking the decisive
action required by the moment.... Tony
Blair defied what is currently fashionable in public opinion in order to follow
moral conviction. Chirac bowed to what is momentarily fashionable and turned
out the cowardly villain.... The present
leaders of France and Germany...vacillated in the face of polarized public
opinion. They sought convenience when the moment required courage.... The least we could have done was to have
adopted a position of acute moral courage. We could have taken a position
defined by political will...and better invested in the democratic future of
THAILAND: “Against The
U.S.; Against The War”
Elite, Thai-language Matichon said (3/20): “The invasion of Iraq will reflect where the
flaws are in the balance of power and how we can rectify them. Will the UN continue to be the world
community’s hope?.... And what shall we
do to a warmongering country that resorts to war to solve its problem without
listening to anybody?”
"An Unjust War And A Dangerous Precedent For The World's
Trung Chinh commented in Ho Chi Minh City's Police bi-weekly Cong An Thanh Pho (3/20): "The
world considers the US and UK's actions of waging war against Iraq a blatant
violation of the UN Charter and international law. It sets a very dangerous
precedent for the world's security in the 21st century. The US is
repositioning the Middle East region for
its own, and is taking over Iraq to control one of the richest oil countries.
The centrist Telegraph contended (3/20): "If an American attack is justifiable
because of the 'wider common good', regardless of the UN, then the question of
whether Iraq is disarming sufficiently or not is irrelevant. Even if it were disarming, the U.S. would
still be justified in forcibly carrying out a regime change. In which case, the U.S. Government is being
thoroughly hypocritical in trying to pretend otherwise. It is wrong to want a UN cover, and liberals
supportive of the U.S. behavior on these grounds should openly say so, and at
the very least, criticize the U.S. for its dishonest and unnecessary
dissimulation vis-à-vis the UN and the general public, American or
PAKISTAN: "Is Saddam
The Only Dictator In The World?"
Islamabad-based Islamist Urdu-langauge Ausaf opined
(3/20): "The U.S. intensely loathes
the Iraqi dictatorship. Apparently this hatred stems from the U.S.' commitment
to democratic values and aversion to dictatorial regimes. But is Saddam Husayn
the only dictator in the world who is repugnant to Washington? If this feeling
of hatred is genuine then why does the United States support dictators in other
countries and help them to consolidate their rule? Is its complacency in
promoting and strengthening dictatorship not a heinous crime?.... The United States has a skewed criterion for
judging who is a dictator. It supports any dictator who is subservient to US
interests and follows US policies. It turns a blind eye to such dictatorial
regimes.... The United States loves its
freedom and liberty, and has no qualms about killing thousands of people to
maintain its freedom. But it has no regard for others' freedom. Washington has
left a trail of brutalities in the world history: it launched a nuclear attack
on Nagasaki and Hiroshima and turned the two cities into rubble.... Washington is set on the path of fascism; it
is unmindful of the fate of fascists....
The U.S. may perpetrate any brutality but it cannot get away with it. It
is bound to meet a dreadful end. The United States will ultimately face divine
"The World After The Iraq War"
Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad held in center-right national Nation
(3/20): "Opposition to the role
assumed by U.S. of a world policeman could become formidable in days to
come.... The war could also get prolonged
on account of the tenacity of the Iraqi people.
Large-scale casualties of civilians, failure of the occupying forces to
control the conquered country, violation of human rights, possible
destabilization of the neighboring countries--all these could contribute to
American problems. These issues will be
used by the critics of the U.S. Iraq
policy to further coordinate their activities in the UN and other world fora. This could deter the U.S. from attacking
other countries. The people of Iraq are
thus fighting a war on behalf of the rest of the mankind. Two developments are bound to emerge in days
to come. First there would be determined efforts by countries to form a number
of other centers of power countering the U.S. Second, movements opposing the
imperialist policies of the U.S. would forge closer links and thus constitute a
challenge to the U.S. desire to become another version of the Roman
"Even As War Starts, Think Of War's End"
The leading Globe & Mail editorialized
(3/20): "Deemed irrelevant by the
United States days ago, after Washington failed to win specific authorization
for an invasion of Iraq, the UN now seeks to make itself central to
reconstruction. It is a role the Bush
administration should support. The
U.S.-led military forces are capable of winning a war on their own, but winning
the peace will be more complicated. The
international community must come together during rebuilding--most importantly
so that the suffering of Iraq's 25 million citizens is minimized, but also
because the countries in the Western alliance which disagreed so vehemently at
the UN must put their differences behind them.... The United States, no doubt, will take the
upper hand in the first months after fighting ends. Multilateralism will be a hindrance then,
U.S. officials say. But reconstruction
will be a long process. The UN has a big
role to play, and should be allowed to play it.... In Iraq...Americans shouldn't try to do it
alone. There's a coalition of the willing
ready to be involved after fighting ends."
"The War Canada Missed"
The conservative National Post had this view (3/20): "As the war to liberate Iraq took shape
yesterday, millions of Canadians were struck by pangs of Prime Minister
envy. The object of their affection:
British PM Tony Blair, who on Tuesday delivered an impassioned and convincing
call to arms against Saddam Hussein.... Meanwhile, here at home, our own PM was
giving Canadians the opposite message....
Inspections were working, Jean Chrétien said, and the war now unfolding
is 'not justified.' Caucus members
clapped wildly at these words. But their
giddiness will no doubt dissipate in coming months, as the United States
realizes what has become of Canada--formerly a good friend, but now just an
unusually whiny European nation, transplanted stateside.... And so, while delivering our prayers for a
speedy and relatively bloodless conclusion to the war that is now upon us, we
would also like to send this message to our U.S. friends: Mr. Chrétien speaks
for the Canadian government, but he does not speak for all Canadians.... The war will be over in days. But the damage done this country in U.S. eyes
will likely linger on for years. By
placing our self-serving multilateral pieties above our alliance with our
greatest ally and the plainly just cause of liberating Iraq, our government has
damaged Canada's international position."
"Target Saddam Not Iraqi People"
The liberal Toronto Star editorialized
(3/20): "The true 'success' of this
war will be measured not by how speedily Saddam is crushed, or how many Iraqi
targets are hammered in the first blitz.
It will be measured by how successful the U.S. and British commanders
are in sparing civilians, and in aiding those caught in the fray. Saddam is not disposed to make it
easy.... By wreaking havoc and courting
high casualties Saddam may hope to inflame Muslim and world opinion against the
United States.... This puts a heavy
moral burden on Bush, as America's commander-in-chief, to restrain his military
machine. For he chose this war.... How many Iraqis must now be sacrificed, for
Saddam's head? In Washington's corridors
of power, these arguments and calculations hold no sway. So Iraqis, and the world, must pray that this
war is over quickly, with minimal loss of life.
And then Bush and his military governor must patch together, what they
are about to break."
"A Precipitant War"
Chief editorialist Jean-Robert Sansfaçon wrote
in the liberal Le Devoir (03/20): "Unlike Bush, Saddam Hussein does
not have the support of his people...Shiites and Kurds have been waiting tobe
freed from the claws of this murderer since the first Gulf War.... That being
said the Americans were unable to show any proof to justify the emergency of
any military intervention.... The Americans may solve a problem by ridding the
world of a thug, but at the cost of a step backward in recent efforts to make
international law and multilateralism the only acceptable avenues to settle
dispute between countries. The world has
just lost a wonderful opportunity to test the tools at its disposal to make
ARGENTINA: "Saddam, Dead Or Alive"
Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for
leading Clarín commented (3/20): "The target is Saddam Hussein,
dead or alive. This is why Washington's military strategy against Iraq is much
more like the one used in the 1989 invasion of Panama rather than in the 1991
Persian Gulf.... In the same way the ones in charge of capturing Noriega were
the green berets and Navy Seal elite commands, the ones who have the difficult
mission of trapping Saddam are, this time, the Delta Force elite commands....
The White House prefers Saddam to die rather than be captured. The reason is
simple: if he is captured, Bush already promised Saddam would be tried for
crimes against humanity. And if this happens, the anti-US feeling could
increase even more in Arab countries."
"The New Bush Doctrine"
Jorge Rosales, Washington-based correspondent
for daily-of-record La Nacion commented (3/20): "The Bush
administration implemented a new national security doctrine, whose main focus
is the pre-emptive attack if it feels threatened, and which abandons the rule
of military action as the last resource vis-à-vis a foreign attack.... Bush
looks to the world as a bible representation of the good against the evil, and
this perception has increased during the last weeks, when he not only talked
about destroying the Iraqi WMD but also about freeing Saddam's people... When
President Bush announced the start of war, he took the most audacious step of
his presidency, which is also the most conclusive defeat for the UN diplomacy
and which marks the end of an era in the relations among nations. A stage of uncertainty has started and it
could have unpredictable consequences.... Bush ignored the strong international
rejection of war and grounded his action on the need to guarantee the US
"The Current War And Perpetual Peace"
Business-financial InfoBae carries an
opinion piece by international analyst Carlos Escude, who opines (3/20):
"Saddam demonstrated his expansionist willingness when he invaded Kuwait
and he did not want to disarm afterwards. He demonstrated his ability to
develop WMD, his readiness to use them in a genocide way even against his own
Shiite and Kurdish people and his inclination to export terrorism.... Because
of all this Iraq is a legitimate target, regardless of the fact that it may not
be the most dangerous country in the world. But precisely because it is near
other potentially dangerous countries, Iraq is also a useful target... This war
means the inauguration of a new world order, which is the only one that can
protect humanity from the dangers emerging from the WMD proliferation. This is
why it is good. (However), this goes against the interest of countries who
believe they have a right to 'grandeur,' like France."
BRAZIL: “The Decisive Hour”
Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo Chief Editor
Otavio Frias Filho remarked (3/20): “U.S. hegemony has been replaced by a
doctrine of maximum security. The elimination of the Iraqi regime will be its
first real test following the rehearsal that swept the Taliban from
Afghanistan. The reasoning is that the U.S. is expected to assume its police
role without scruples or hesitation about becoming vulnerable to nuclear
blackmail by ‘one, two, a hundred Iraqs’.... Given Saddam's background and his
relative weakness, Iraq is about to be immolated as an example for North Korea.
It is not a stupid or thoughtless strategy, as many might believe. In addition
to being inhumane, it is risky – because violence always generate more
violence, which will not be easy to step back from in the future.”
“The World And Brazil In View Of The New War In
Business-oriented Valor Economico opined
(3/20): “If disrespecting UN declarations were enough to justify a military
attack, then India and Israel, among other nations, might suffer the same
treatment.... It is not difficult to figure out who will win. If the victory
comes quickly and cleanly, i.e., if the casualties among civilian Iraqis and
U.S. troops are not many, the trauma will tend to be small.... Politically,
especially if it can be proved that Saddam possessed weapons of mass
destruction, Bush and Tony Blair will have a good chance of regaining their
prestige. Otherwise, the U.S. and world economies will experience a long period
of instability.... It is reasonable to suppose that following the conflict the
U.S. will feel the need to legitimate its unquestionable hegemony, which will
be harmed from an ideological point of view. Therefore, the U.S. will be much
more likely to try to engage the UN and the largest number of nations possible
in plans to reorganize Iraq and to establish peace between Israel and the
Palestinians. The GOB should let this supposition guide its behavior in these
decisive moments of contemporary history.”
Right-of-center O Globo editorialized (3/20): "Now we
have to wait to see if U.S. troops are more competent than their diplomats and
if overwhelming U.S. military superiority accelerates the outcome.
But while the military phase may be concluded quickly the peace
consolidation phase will demand laborious work and great patience.... Since
Bush's ultimatum Saddam's fall has become irreversible. But the old tyrant won't fall alone in an
open field, like a corpse one can dispose quickly. Other bricks of the complex world order
building will fall with him....When he
decided to go to the Persian Gulf alone.... Bush seriously hurt the authority of the UN. NATO and the European Union...were also
wounded. Not to mention sacred principles such the multilateralism on decisions that affects the welfare and security of
all.... Great challenges will come after the new Gulf war and none is Bush's
exclusive affair. It will be necessary
to continue fight terrorism...to disarm
erratic regimes that really do have nuclear weapons...to protect the environment - a lost cause without U.S.
collaboration. And, above all, to
restore U.N.'s authority and the primacy of diplomacy."
"The Iraq War And The U.N."
Right-of-center O Globo carries byline by
sociologist Helio Jaguaribe (3/20): "In the case of President Bush and the
small, dogmatic team around him, you can
see the same profound ignorance of what is really in play, and the same basic fundamentalism that drives the
'forces of good' as those 'of evil....'
What is in play, above all, is the intention of the Bush government to impose,
worldwide, the unilateral monitoring of the U.S. because it is the uncontested
superpower and, morally, the center of 'good.' The true result of the war will
have catastrophic aspects.... In the short and medium term, the U.N., under the
leadership of countries like France and Germany with the support of China and
Russia may and should administrate what
is left of international legitimacy.
They can summon the American people, with their profoundly democratic
values and the extraordinary commitment to such values and reject Bush's adventurism, compelling this same government
or more likely his successor,to resume the course of international
"The FTA And The War In Iraq"
Conservative, influential, newspaper-of-record El
Mercurio (3/20): "Chile was the only of the 'undecided' countries in the
Security Council that openly defined its position on Iraq.... The United States
is our main trading partner and a country with which we share the values of
democracy and freedom.... But it is
evident that the advantages of the FTA are less tangible for the United States
than for Chile.... This does not mean the GOC must sacrifice its deepest
beliefs over the possibility that the U.S. will delay the approval of the
agreement...but it is in our interest to have a solid bilateral relationship
and that all the necessary diplomatic efforts be made to prevent the most
recent slip from having a more severe effect."
COSTA RICA: "Loss Of Confidence"
Costa Rica's most influential La Nacion
judged in an op-ed today (3/20): "The absolute opposition by many of the
U.S. decision to invade Iraq, emerges from a total lost of confidence in George
W. Bush’s team, an act achieved in just 26 months of governing.…In less than
two years, Bush Jr. unilaterally cancelled the Russian anti-ballistic missile
agreement, renounced commitments to decrease worldwide warming as defined in
Kyoto and, as if some were 'more equal than others,' rejected the authority of
the International Criminal Court for his people. In less than two months, with exemplary
diplomatic lack of skill, he also weakened, possibly fatally, NATO and made the
UN Security Council irrelevant. This
Monday, ill-advised by his advisors, his ultimatum topped off a series of
diplomatic failures that characterize his presidency.... If it was previously difficult to trust in
the U.S. intentions...it will now require an act of faith.… Maybe as the
conflict moves forward, the real reasons for which the U.S. sacrificed
worldwide confidence will emerge, and with this maybe, will begin its slow
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: "La Guerra!"
Establishment, pro-business Listin Diario's
columnist Cesar Medina asserted (3/20):
"What seems totally unjustifiable from all points of view is that
the local focus, i.e., the Dominican interest in this crisis, is so detached
from our own reality to the point that, everywhere you hear and read different
pundits from opinion-makers, people with political and economic power and even
well-respected intellectuals, that do not start to understand that this war is
our war, even if we don't like it, don't understand it, don't want it or have
not caused it. When America is at war,
all [of us] Americans participate in it even against our will and consequently,
our region, the Caribbean, becomes a strategic war zone. That is why when the U.S. starts the war -
which might be happening as we speak - we Dominicans also become involved in it
with all the consequences it brings."
Columnist Cesar Duvernay wrote in establishment, pro-business Listin
Diario (3/20): "No matter what
are the results of the Middle East crisis...the Dominican Republic will no
doubt feel the effects of the conflictive atmosphere. In under-developed economies such as ours
there is no need for a single bullet to be shot for us to suffer economic
consequences.... A war...one knows how
it starts, but not how it ends. Right
now, U.S. investment priorities, our main trade partner, point to weaponry and
that reflects in our economy...besides, globalization, makes the consequences
of a conflict persist long after the war ends."
GUATEMALA: “Saddam, The Dictator”
In its main editorial, largest-circulation
morning tabloid Nuestro Diario
commented (3/20):“If anyone wishes to praise Saddam Hussein because of
his defiance of the United States...they would change their mind if they knew
Hussein’s biography.… Nevertheless, all
countries in the world, to a greater or lesser degree, are opposed to the
U.S.’s firm decision to attack Iraq.
This opposition does not imply sympathy for Hussein. Even renowned Americans are against the
President’s decision… because they firmly believe that the objectives that the
U.S. has chosen to attack Iraq… may be achieved through peaceful means.”
“The World is at War”
Influential morning El Periodico argued (3/20): "It doesn’t matter who is right or who
is wrong, if they have to kill to validate their views.… This war may bring us
terrible and tragic consequences, such as disease, pestilence, hunger, and
environmental contamination.… In this time of great tribulation, the only thing
left to do is to pray… May God have
mercy on us!”
PARAGUAY: "In the Name of God, I Kill You!"
Leading Paraguayan ABC Color's lead editorial contended
(3/20): "All the peoples of the world DO have the right to a legitimate
defense, and, in the name of it, to use force in order to prevent being a
target of clever attacks like the Twin Towers.... When the allies' armed
intervention ends with the tyrant's regime, the population of Iraq will recover
its hopes for a life of liberty, without and fear and with respect for human
"The Weakening Of The International
Left-leaning Asuncion Ultima Hora's lead
editorial opposed U.S. actions, quoting a Western political scientist saying
that the U.S. wants to be the model of a superior culture that (3/20):"its
people and government deserves intellectual and moral respect. This will be difficult to achieve with this
pseudo-war that will be more characteristic of genocide. A barbarity that humanity has always
condemned and will never forget."
SOUTH AFRICA: "By Any
Liberal Cape Times commented (3/19): "What is clear...is that Saddam is a
tyrant. The end result of a war in Iraq
is therefore clear: to remove a cruel despot.
Such a pity, then, that the process embarked on to achieve this
objective was so seriously flawed....
Bush and Saddam will be gone one day.
But a most tragic and awful precedent [was] set when the U.S. launched
that first strike on Iraq."
Ignores United Nations, Declares War Against Iraq"
The Yaounde-based opposition English-language Star Headlines
carried an article from Peter Abo Nyi stating (3/20): “What many people do not understand is why
America embarks on a war when they have more weapons of mass destruction than
Iraq? Does George Bush not know that thousands of innocent souls will perish in
his war against Iraq? How then will he
be helping the people of that country, by killing them in a senseless warfare?
America, as the so-called world policeman, must think twice about not doing
anything so stupid. If this does happen, then George Bush and his family will
live to regret the error.... If the UN
Security Council does not stop America then it will simply mean that America
has become the United Nations, where they have no one to question them about
their wrong doings. Many people are also continuing to ask damnable questions
such as why Iraq must always cry when a Bush is in power in America.”
GHANA: "Bush's Unjust War And The Future Of
A.B.A. Fuseini in the government-owned Daily
Graphic with national circulation stated (3/20): "Barring any miracle,
the United States, under the orders of President George W. Bush, will push
250,000 or more troops currently massed up in the Gulf into Iraq to begin Gulf
War II...The family honor of the Bushes are also at stake here.... The son
must, therefore redeem the family honour. The U.S. President also believes that
a war against Iraq, which he has desperately and fruitlessly tried to link with
Al Qaeda and September 11, will help restore U.S .global prestige, rehabilitate
his administration and improve his chances of re-election.... War by the United States and its allies,
without the authority of the UN, is undemocratic, indeed, antidemocratic and
present war mongers and blood thirsty leaders of this world who harbour
territorial designs and ambition over others or who have global hegemonistic
ambitions to cite this illegal war as a worthy precedent.... President Bush's move is clearly a reckless
move fraught with grave dangers for the world. The shattering of the global
coalition against terrorism after the September 11 incident engendered by
Bush's unilateral action has dealt a severe blow to an otherwise credible
attempt at maintaining consensus in the fight to protect and promote global
peace, security and justice.... Let
leaders of conscience in the world stand resolutely against this new despotism
of Bush who, on the altar of profit and self interest, wants to set the world
“War Of Bullies”
The government-owned Evening News with national circulation
stated in an editorial (3/19): "The ultimatum to President Saddam Hussein
of Iraq to leave his country for another country is as intolerable as it is
irritating. What does the United States of America mean? This is the 'War of the
Bullies' which must not be accepted by all true democrats. How can the United
States under the leadership of President George Bush order the seating
president of a country into exile because it is believed that he is in
possession of weapons of mass destruction? If President Bush has enough
evidence against President Hussein for possessing these weapons, is war the
only reasonable solution to the problem?… On the local scene, we are delighted
to learn that all the major political parties including a cross-section of the
public have appealed to the US not to attack Iraq. This is a positive
re-awakening of the people of this country to sample truth from falsehood. “The
Evening News” believes that military attack on Iraq will in no doubt bring
hardship to many Iraqis, especially the civilian population and those in the
Gulf regions who do not even understand the essence of this war…We once again
urge President Bush and his cohorts to respect the decision of the Security
Council of the United Nations and allow time to disarm Iraq through peaceful
procedure instead of this bellicose stance.”
NAMIBIA: "The War That
Divides The World"
The independent English-language Namibian commented
(3/20): "There could hardly be a
more divisive war than the one that the United States, along with its ally, the
United Kingdom, is about to embark upon. This newspaper, along with many other
newspapers the world over, is of the opinion that the channels for diplomacy
had not yet been exhausted and that the Iraq disarmament issue could have been
resolved by peaceful means. Quite simply, we believe that the raison d' etre
for the U.S. going to war is not disarmament, but rather regime change in
Iraq. There are other countries in the
world with nuclear, biological and chemical weapons capability and several of
them are states that are not friendly to democracy. Yet they have not been singled out for attack
by the U.S. There are also many regimes with horrific human rights
records--some of them are allies of the United States. George W. Bush's
insistence on war at all costs has simply served to further divide an already
divided world, and even worse, in our opinion, will incite rather than diminish
terrorism the world over."
Will Judge America And Britain"
Kiswahili-language sensationalist tabloid Dar Leo commented
(3/20): "The war, which some
observers prophesize could be the Third World War, has begun.... Experts say that the effect of the war is not
only damage to the infrastructure and economy, but will also have great effects
after it has ended. After a war has
ended, people will continue to live in great poverty, because it takes them
years to build up their infrastructure.
America and Britain will be blamed for any bad effects that come from
this war, and history will judge Bush and Blair, who think that the easiest way
to solve a conflict is through military action--something that is dangerous for
ZAMBIA: "United States
The leftist Independent Post editorialized (3/20): "It is clear that although the Cold War
has ended the arms race continues and military and nuclear hegemony is being
perpetuated. But how long do we have to wait for the complete proscription of
all weapons of mass destruction, for universal disarmament and the elimination
of the use of force, arrogance and pressure in the context of international
relation? We want a world without
hegemony, without nuclear arms, without racism, without nationalists and
religious hatred, without outrages against the sovereignty of any country, and
with respect for peoples' independence and free self determination. We want a
world of peace, justice and dignity, in which everybody, without any exception,
has the right to well-being and to life.
None of the present problems of the world can be solved by force. The
world cannot be saved unless a path of international peace and co-operation is
pursued with absolute honesty and avoiding hegemonic interests or national
ambition.... The Security Council
shouldn't be pushed to give legal support to hegemonic and arbitrary decisions
made by the ruling Power, which violate the Charter and International Law and
that trespass on the sovereignty of all states.... Today the Security Council, a hostage of the
United States, could only exercise a selective, capricious, arbitrary and
ineffective dictatorship, instead of the moral leadership.
"The Iraqi People, Not The U.S., Should Decide"
Government-owned Zambia Daily Mail said (3/20): "It must be said that it is quite
bizarre that a President of a country could order another President to leave
his own country.... Our fear, since this
whole stand-off begun, has been that America would not stop at removing
President Hussein from office for whatever wrongs he has committed. Our fear is
that President Bush would go ahead and impose a surrogate President on the
people of Iraq. This war is beyond what the American President wants the world
to believe.... The world knows it all,
and whether what has been said about him demands leadership change, it is up to
the Iraqi people to decide. How they effect that change, nobody knows, after
all no leader is immortal.... Bush's
position should be questioned and held responsible for the consequences of this
war. The world is watching."