October 8, 2003
TROOPS FOR IRAQ: TURKEY IN THE GAME; INDIA,
PAKISTAN ON SIDELINES
** Turkey's vote to send
troops is a triumph for national interests and a "relief" for the
considerations and the minimal UN role make Indian military assistance
** Pakistan is resolutely
opposed to lending a "helping hand," regardless of the UN's role.
'Turkey has done the right thing'-- Mass-appeal Turkish dailies lauded the vote to
send troops to Iraq. Analysts hailed it
as a victory for national interests: "With this decision, Turkey will take
its place in the western world."
Islamist outlets were skeptical, fearing a resurgence of PKK terrorism
and questioning "who is going to pay the bill?" for Turkey's
"adventure." In the Czech
Republic, center-right Lidove noviny urged Washington and Europe to
"take off their hats" to Erdogan; Italy's centrist Corriere della
Sera judged the decision a "relief" for the Bush
administration. Left-leaning European
papers remained wary of Turkey's presence in Iraq. According to Italy's La Repubblica,
Turkey's return to its former colonial stomping grounds will complicate the
"delicate" situation in northern Iraq.
Indians stressed UN leadership would turn a 'no-win' situation
into a 'win-win deal'-- Indian editorialists
uniformly opposed military commitment without increased UN involvement, but
diverged regarding India's role should the U.S.-backed resolution pass. Centrist Navashakti declared the Iraq
war "a sophisticated form of terrorism" and exhorted PM Vajpayee to
resist U.S. pressure. The centrist Asian
Age derided Bush for living by the "principles of George
Washington" at home and the "rules of Rudyard Kipling
abroad." Across the ideological
spectrum, analysts cited domestic considerations to oppose involvement in Iraq
without a UN mandate, but most contended that India "would not be
averse" to sending forces under UN auspices. With elections looming in five states,
writers noted that "dead jawans...would not be good vote catchers"
for the ruling BJP. Others concluded
that assisting the U.S. in Iraq would spark terrorism from Pakistan and further
complicate the conflict over Kashmir.
Pakistan should not abet U.S. 'aggression and occupation'-- Pakistani writers argued that "national
and regional insecurities" should dictate Islamabad's decision to commit
troops to Iraq. According to the
centrist News, Pakistani assistance would incite domestic terrorism and be
religiously "taboo" for the Muslim nation. Echoing a common sentiment, mass-appeal Jang
opposed an expanded UN role, calling it "contrary to the role of the world
organization." Elements of
schadenfreude permeated Islamist commentary, with sensationalist Ummat
asserting the U.S. should "face the punishment of its follies" in
Iraq. Several outlets decried President
Musharraf's alliance with the U.S. The News
branded Musharraf "beholden entirely" to Washington and warned that
the U.S. would only "dump" Pakistan in the future, while center-left Dawn
dubbed the U.S.-Pakistani "strategic partnership" a "pipe
EDITOR: Andrew Borda
EDITOR'S NOTED: This analysis is based on 75 editorials from 5
countries, September 1 - October 8, 2003.
Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent
ITALY: “Now Turkey Runs To Help America”
Ennio Caretto commented centrist, top-circulation Corriere
della Sera (10/8): “Turkey runs to help America in Iraq, while in Baghdad
three U.S. soldiers were killed.... In
Washington, Ankara’s vote...brings relief.
The Pentagon is counting on all 10 thousand men: this is the largest
foreign contingent following the British (11 thousand units), three times the
size of the Italian contingent.... The
killing of three U.S. soldiers and the wounding of six others in Baghdad
amplify the importance of Ankara’s ‘yes’"
“Turkish Soldiers In Iraq”
Marco Ansaldo opined in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica
(10/8): “In an Iraq which every day is devastated by new attacks against U.S.
soldiers...Turkey enters the arena with all its weight. Ankara’s Parliament has decided with a
majority of votes to allow its troops to participate in the stabilization force
as requested by the United States. This
will be Turkey’s most important military mission in its history.... To complicate the decision, which in
reality was being considered for a long time to mend the delicate relationship
between the U.S. and Turkey--at historically low-levels after Ankara’s abrupt
‘no’ to the imminent conflict-- was the harsh reaction on the part of a few
authoritative leaders of the transitional government in Baghdad.... But for Ankara the game has become
complicated since the days of the war. Recent secret documents regarding an
agreement between the U.S. and Turkey which recently came out in the open, have
enumerated one by one all of the advantages Ankara lost in saying no--and
particularly the geo-political control of the north-Iraqi territory under the
Ottoman influence for centuries, the income from the oil wells near Mosul and
Kirkuk, the possibility to get rid of the five thousand PKK warriors in
the bases located beyond the border.
This was the biggest reason that made Erdogan intervene. The economic
situation in Turkey is still weak.”
“Turkish Soldiers in Iraq, Iraqi Government Alarmed”
Paolo Mastrolilli remarked in centrist, influential La Stampa
(10/8): “Turkey wants to send its soldiers to Iraq to help the U.S. with the
occupation, but at least one part of the local provisional government council
does not want them there because they’re afraid they could end up getting their
hands on domestic policy issues. This is
the latest peculiarity of this post war, that yesterday witnessed the death of
three more U.S. soldiers and an interpreter....
On one hand, Ankara fears that Saddam’s fall will re-trigger the Kurds
quest for independence.... On the other
hand, the Kurds fear that Erdogan will try to impose his country’s influence on
the new Iraq.... The Americans, however,
need help, as we saw yesterday."
CZECH REPUBLIC: "Well Done!"
Michaela Rozov wrote in centre-right Lidove noviny
(10/8): "Not only the Americans,
but also the part of Europe, which has not provided any assistance to Iraq yet,
should take off their hat to Turkey whose parliament passed the proposal of
Premier Erdogan to send 10,000 Turkish soldiers to Iraq.... However, considering the history of Turkish
discrimination of Kurds, it is necessary to organize Turkey's engagement in
Iraq in such a way as to not jeopardize the rights of Iraqi Kurds. The Americans should also bear this in mind
in fighting terrorists from the Kurdish separatist organization KADEK, which
they pledged to the Turks to do in exchange for their help. Otherwise the presence of the Turks could
complicate even more the situation in Iraq."
TURKEY: “Turkey Begins Its Iraq Adventure”
Murat Yetkin wrote in liberal-intellectual Radikal (10/8):
“Turkey has launched its adventure in Iraq following the parliament’s
authorization. Now the talk is about the
upcoming meetings with the U.S. regarding Turkey’s mission. Turkey is likely to control the area north of
Baghdad with a brigade. If other Muslim
countries such as Pakistan contribute to the Turkish brigade, it would go a
long way toward eliminating the current “crusader” image of the occupying
force. It is also obvious that Kurdish
groups are reacting negatively because they fear losing their gains with the presence
of Turkish forces. Such objections will
not have an effect in the long run, but let us hope that the Kurdish groups
will not shed blood in the short run.”
“This Is The Nation’s Will”
Ertugrul Ozkok wrote in mass-appeal Hurriyet (10/8): “Turkey
has made an historically important decision, and Turkey has done the right
thing.... The same Turkish parliament’s
previous decision was a negative one.
Today the parliament voted for the deployment of troops. The former was interpreted as a ‘victory of
democracy,’ but the latter should be viewed in the same context.... with this decision, Turkey will take its
place in the western world and distance itself from post-cold-war
turbulence. Turkish forces will not
serve in Iraq for the sake of the 8.5 billion dollars. Turkish forces will protect Turkey’s regional
interests and ensure regional peace by serving in Iraq.”
Fehmi Koru argued in Islamic-intellectual Yeni Safak
(10/8): “Both Washington and London have failed dramatically in their
estimations and calculations for Iraq.
The Iraqis were happy to get rid of Saddam, but they did not welcome the
occupation forces. The Iraqi people’s
reaction turned into resistance in a short period of time. This is the main reason for the U.S. asking
Turkey to join the effort.... Are we
ready for the consequences if the calculations based on which the Turkish
parliament based its decision are proven false?
Are we prepared for the consequences if the internal balances are turned
upside down? If we face a similar
failure as the U.S. and UK, who is going to pay the bill?”
“Iraq Is Not The Most Important Piece”
Hadi Uluengin commented in mass-appeal Hurriyet (10/7): “Regardless
of whether or not Turkey deploys troops in Iraq, we should realize the fact
that the gist of the Middle East issue does not stem from Iraq. Actually, it never did. The heart of the issue is the ongoing
Israel-Palestine dispute, and it will continue to be so.... Normalization of the Middle East region will
remain a far-fetched dream as long as the Israel-Palestine dispute remains
unresolved. The U.S. is the only power
that can effect such a positive change, yet the Bush administration has no will
to do so.... Unfortunately, the problem
will likely grow even bigger in the days to come. The whole world will once again realize that
the essence of the Middle East problem
goes through Israel and Palestine, not Baghdad and Kirkuk.”
"Joint Action With The U.S."
Hasan Cemal commented in mass-appeal Milliyet (10/3): “The
issue of PKK-KADEK has played a key role on the troop deployment issue. Therefore, following the agreement on a joint
action plan to eliminate the PKK-KADEK in Iraq, Turkey has come closer to
sending its troops to Iraq.... The U.S.
has never officially made a link between Turkey’s sending troops to Iraq and
U.S. efforts to eliminate the PKK, yet according to my diplomatic sources, such
a linkage actually makes sense....
Nevertheless, Turkey should be realistic about its expectations from the
U.S. There are limits even for the U.S.
under the special conditions in Northern Iraq.
It goes without saying that these limits will be pushed back at some
point, yet a realistic approach is best.
It is also very wrong to limit Turkey-U.S. cooperation in Iraq to the
Erdal Guven opined in liberal-intellectual Radikal
(10/3): “Talks in Ankara with the U.S. about the fight against terrorism have
moved into a strange context. Ankara has
raised the PKK once again as a military threat.
The fact is that Turkey is one of the very few places where a terrorist
threat has been eliminated solely through military means.... But the military’s progress against the PKK
has not been continued in the socio-political field, despite some recent steps
taken to fulfill EU conditions. In its
talks with the U.S., however, Turkey seems to be working to resurrect the PKK
as a military threat.... The way Turkey
has handled the issue gives the impression that Ankara is asking the U.S. to
make a choice between itself and the PKK.
This is a serious tactical flow.
It not only overlooks Turkish-American cooperation on the issue so far,
but also pairs the PKK with Turkey in an odd way.... This may be a domestic political game of the
ruling AKP. The government might be
working on public opinion to give the following message: ‘Turkey will send its troops to Iraq, and in
return the U.S. will eliminate the PKK from Iraq.’ It looks like this is the tactic that the
government is trying to pursue.”
“Can Kurds In Iraq Be the Winner?”
Kamuran Ozbir commented in nationalist Ortadogu (10/1):
“Before the war, Iraqi Kurds enjoyed a privileged status compared to the other
ethnic groups in Iraq. Now the Kurds
have to decide whether they will support the plan for Iraq developed by the
Bush administration. The U.S. plan will
likely ignore the expectations of the Kurds.
Before and during the war, the U.S. was in need of the Kurds. Today, they are no longer necessary for the
U.S., since American forces are in control of the country.... Once Iraq is fully reestablished, the Kurds
will lose their autonomy. Moreover the
U.S. administration is not supporting the Kurds’ argument for independence, as
is clear from U.S. official remarks about a unified Iraq.... It seems that the Kurds will be on the losing
“Possibility Of Changing U.S. Policy On Iraq”
Sami Kohen wrote in mass-appeal Milliyet (9/30): “Is there
any possibility that the U.S. administration will change its Iraq policy? The Bush administration does not even
consider changing the basics of the policy, yet Washington is also willing to
give a greater role to the UN. The Bush
administration’s policy is based on unilateral, preemptive action. This approach reflect the self-assured
attitude of the United States. Given the
circumstances, no significant change is likely in American policy toward the
region.... On the other hand, a change
in the U.S. administration would probably not lead to much change
either.... In the event of a Democratic
administration, we should only expect more cooperation with the international
community and some rhetorical changes.”
“The Cost Of The U.S. Loan”
Sedat Ergin wrote in mass-appeal Hurriyet
(9/28): “Turkey has apparently accepted
a U.S. condition that Turkish troops not be sent unilaterally into northern
Iraq in order to receive the $ 8.5 billion credit. In fact, northern Iraq is not the only
condition on the loan. The loan will be
suspended if Turkey does not cooperate with the U.S. in Iraq, and does not
share efforts for the stabilization of the country.... The timing of the deal was also very
interesting: the loan was signed two days following the expiration of the
Turkish parliament’s authorization providing a mandate to the Turkish
government to deploy troops in northern Iraq as needed."
“The Northern Iraq Condition”
Fikret Bila judged in mass-appeal Milliyet
(9/28): “The financial deal between
Turkey and the U.S. is conditioned to keep Turkey out of northern Iraq. This shows once again that the interests of
the two Kurdish groups, PUK and KDP, are a higher priority for the U.S. than
Turkey’s interests. The agreement clearly
indicates that U.S. policy is not to allow Turkey to use unilateral force in
northern Iraq. In fact, this condition
is going to serve not only the interest of the PUK and KDP, but also the
PKK/KADEK’s interests as well.... Turkey
should develop new policies for both northern Iraq and Iraq as a whole. The current Turkish policy is based on a
rhetoric that suggests Turkey will use force in Northern Iraq as needed. But this approach is no longer valid under
the current circumstances. The fact of the
matter is that Ankara is incapable of shaping policies free of U.S. influence,
and thus it should stop deceiving Turkish public opinion.”
“Sending Turkish Troops To Iraq”
Nuri Elibol wrote in conservative-mass appeal Turkiye
(9/24): “Turkey’s military engagement in Iraq contains both advantages and
risks. The government will have to make
an assessment of the pros and cons, and reach a final decision
accordingly. There are two main factors
that will directly influence the decision-making process--the U.S. response on
the PKK/KADEK issue, and the language of the expected UNSC resolution. Things will be a lot easier for the Turkish
government action if the U.S. can come up with satisfactory assurances about
the PKK/KADEK and if the UN resolution establishes an international force under
a UN umbrella.”
“New Situation In Iraq”
Sami Kohen wrote in mass-appeal Milliyet
(9/24): “The situation in Iraq has changed in the post-war era as Turkey once
again discusses whether to send troops there.
Compared to the situation before the war, the current conditions in Iraq
are riskier for Turkey, and the advantages are less obvious. In the event of a Turkish military presence
in Iraq, the Turks will not be in charge of Northern Iraq, and Turkish troops
will work under more restrictive terms and conditions than in a war-time
situation.... There is one crucial
aspect for Turkey, which is the elimination of the PKK in northern Iraq. The resolution of this issue depends on the
stance of the U.S. If the Bush administration
does not adopt a determined and transparent policy on this issue, sending
Turkish soldiers to Iraq will once again be a tough decision for both the
government and the parliament.”
“Everybody Has A Different Game Card”
Nilgun Cerrahoglu argued in social
democrat-intellectual Cumhuriyet (9/22): “The Berlin summit ended in
complete failure due to the fact that the three leaders had a different agenda
for Iraq. Blair, who continues to adhere
to the Bush line, continues to look for a limited UN resolution that would pave
the way for foreign troop deployments in Iraq.
On this subject, three prominent countries keep popping up: Turkey,
India and Pakistan. According to the Bush-Blair
plan, the U.S. will retain political as well as military authority. The German and French leaders do not support
this approach, and their stance clearly demonstrates the diplomatic failure of
the Bush-Blair duo.... Turkey, on the
other hand, is a picture of weakness.
Ankara does not want to upset Washington, and economic benefits are
playing a significant role in the decision-making mechanism. In fact, the U.S. is in a helpless situation
given the lack of international legitimacy and the absence of a real political
strategy. Under these circumstances,
why should Turkey consider throwing itself into the fire?”
“Confusion Over Iraq”
Taha Akyol observed in mass-appeal Milliyet
(9/19): “Turkish troops have
accomplished social successes in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.... Those who wish Iraq to become another Vietnam
are dreaming. Iraq’s geography and
demography do not provide a suitable ground for it. Ethnic and religious civil wars might erupt
in Iraq, which will mean catastrophe for all including Turkey. Such a catastrophe would bring a politically
costlier bill for the U.S. than the Vietnam war. Turkey could play a significant role in
bringing stability to Iraq, but such a contribution depends on an American
assurance to eliminate the PKK presence in the region.”
“Turkey Going Into Iraq To Guard Turkish Currency”
Mehmet Ali Birand commented in mass-appeal Posta
(9/19): “No matter how much Turkey will protest it, a sovereign Kurdish state
in Northern Iraq will come into existence if Washington and Tel Aviv one day
agree on it.... Our troops to be
deployed in Iraq can neither fight against Kurds to block their independence,
nor launch any operation against the will of the U.S. forces in the
region. In the same sense, Turkey cannot
carry out plans such as supporting the Turkomen or eliminating the PKK militants. All the Turkish troops might accomplish could
be gaining prestige and throwing its weight around.... A negative development like drawing the anger
of the Bush Administration will be enough to disrupt the already fragile
Turkish economy.... Interest rates will
rise, and inflation will soar again.
However, a Turkey ready to deploy troops in Iraq will easily find
support to recover its economy. A Turkey
ready to deploy troops in Iraq will make Washington regard the PKK issue from a
different viewpoint. To sum up, Turkish
troops will be going into Iraq to protect Turkish currency.”
“Sending Troops To Iraq”
Cengiz Candar opined in mass-appeal DB-Tercuman
(9/18): “The U.S. Administration, concerned about the upcoming elections and
the rising cost of the Iraq bill, is planning to bring troops to Iraq from
Muslim Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India.... Even conservative Republicans point to the
possibility that the Bush Administration’s Iraq policy might end up as a
fiasco.... They believe that Iraq’s
Sunni/Arab zone, which is to be left under Turkish peacekeepers’ mandate, will
become a safe haven for the Baath Party supporters.... Republican conservatives warn that Bush will
suffer a significant loss of votes if the U.S. brings ‘improper’ peacekeepers
to Iraq. After his meetings in Iraq,
Secretary Powell had qualified the issue of Turkish troops in the region as
“Orientalist Rhetoric On Iraq”
Akif Emre noted in Islamist-intellectual Yeni
Safak (9/18): “Americans’ occupation of Iraq not only targeted the physical
resources of the region, but also aimed at destroying the memory of a
civilization that goes beyond Iraq’s borders.... The U.S. has brought back to the region something
unseen in American history--colonialism....
The main question that should be posed regarding Iraq is the number of
civilians who have lost their lives under occupation.... Robert Fisk says that about 1000 Iraqi civilians
are killed every week.... A large
majority of these Iraqis are killed by American soldiers during raids or at
checkpoints. Panicky Americans pull the
trigger without much thinking while fighting the Iraqis.... Is there an international institution to
define this humanitarian crime?... Our
government said it would not become a police force for the Americans in
Iraq. Who are we going to protect in
Iraq--the American troops there, or the Iraqi people from the American troops?”
“Would Turkish Troops Face Attack In Iraq?”
Cengiz Candar asserted in mass appeal DB-Tercuman
(9/17): “A large majority of the Iraqis
are against Turkish troop presence in Iraq.
However, Americans want Turks in Iraq.... Remnants of the old Iraqi regime, Baath
followers, and fundamentalists including the Wahabi will not hesitate to attack
Turkish soldiers.... Each attack
resulting in a Turkish injury is likely to cause new cracks in Turkey--U.S.
relations and in domestic Turkish politics....
It is not that important whether the Iraqis want Turkish troops or
not. No matter if our politicians like
it or not, Turkish soldiers will go to Iraq as a police force.... Iraq currently needs a peacemaking mission,
not a peacekeeping task.... As David
Ignatius of the WP put it, the old Turkey-U.S. relationship was a remnant of
the Cold War and died on March 1. With
their decisions regarding Iraq, the two countries are now outlining the
principles of a new relationship.”
“U.S. Ought To Intervene On PKK”
Mustafa Karaalioglu contended in
Islamist-intellectual Yeni Safak (9/17):
“U.S. cannot talk the PKK into benefiting from the Repentance Law. The U.S. must physically intervene on the PKK
and remove it from being a threat in Northern Iraq.... The U.S., UK, Poland, Bulgaria and, although
indirectly, Israel are in Iraq, and we cannot simply watch and do nothing, says
Foreign Minister Gul.... Groups that
have political interests in Iraq are uncomfortable that Turkey will be going to
Iraq not as an ordinary member of the international community, but as a
neighbor sharing the same religion and culture.
They won’t be able to enjoy a comfortable margin of movement while
Turkey is there, and are concerned that a Turkey interested in the current
situation in Iraq will not remain aloof to the country’s future.... Turkey’s duration of stay under a roadmap in
Iraq is equally as important as the decision to deploy troops.”
“A Turning Point In The Turkomen Cause”
Cengiz Candar opined in mass-appeal Sabah
(9/16): “Ankara’s Turkomen policy after 1993 was based on using the Turkomen as
a trump card against the Kurds in Iraq.
The Iraqi Turkoman Front (ITF) was formed as an umbrella organization
that had close ties with Turkey’s intelligence organizations, and particularly
with our Special Forces.... The Turkomen
thus bore the brunt of deteriorating U.S., Turkey relations. Turkomen are underrepresented in the newly
formed Iraqi governing bodies, and since Washington regarded the ITF as an
affiliate of the military in Ankara, the Turkomen community is excluded from
Iraq’s rebuilding process. The ITF
Congress held in Kirkuk has been a turning point in the Turkomen cause.... The two leaders of the ITF, Faruk Abdurrahman
and Professor Sadetin Ergec have been elected as Turkomen representatives for
Baghdad and Kirkuk respectively, and this time, not by instructions from Ankara. The new ITF administration will not be
Ankara’s pawn anymore. And also, the
Shiite Turkomen, who have been excluded by Ankara thus far, are being lured
into the ITF by the recent congress.
After this turning point in Kirkuk, the U.S. has got to change its view
of the Turkomen.”
Sami Kohen analyzed in mass-appeal Milliyet
(9/10): “The State of the Union address caused concerns in Ankara over the
Iraqi Kurds issue due to President Bush’s mention of ‘self government’ of
northern Iraq.... American diplomats
clarified to their Turkish counterparts that there is no diversion from the
U.S. policy for territorial integrity of Iraq, and Bush’s remarks should not be
misinterpreted.... This incident should
make us more aware of a reality as well.
Turkey failed to be capable of forming a long-term strategy for Iraq
instead of showing reaction to every single remarks from or about northern
Iraq.... There are red lines drawn by
Turkey, which already lost their practical value. Turkey should revise its policy based on new
situations and establish a progressive policy as opposed to the current
‘reaction-based ‘ policy.”
“A Dual Game”
Zafer Atay criticized in economic-politic Dunya
(9/9): “The anti-Turkish, pro-Kurdish remarks by northern Iraqi Kurdish figures
are not just ordinary comments. Turkey
should not underestimate these remarks, because they could not be possible
without U.S. backing. The U.S. is very
much aware of Iraqi Kurdish sentiment about Turkey. On the one hand the U.S. overlooks the
anti-Turkish statements by Iraqi Kurds, and on the other hand Washington knocks
on Turkey’s door for the deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq.... There are two ways to explain this odd situation. Either the U.S. administration is not
influential enough on the Kurds, or the U.S. is playing a double game by
working with Turkey and giving concessions to the Kurds at the same time. Both possibilities are very bad.”
“We Can’t Merely Watch”
Yasemin Congar wrote in mass-appeal Milliyet
(9/8): “Some in Turkey tend to see the Iraqi Kurds as ‘puppets’ of the United
States. They therefore evaluate Iraqi
Minister Zebari’s statements of opposition to a Turkish troop presence as an
effort by the Americans to ‘play the Kurdish card.’ But anyone who follows this relationship
closely can see that the Kurds do not simply follow U.S. orders.... Turkey’s government leaders have made a
correct analysis, and concluded that the success of the U.S. in Iraq is in
Turkey’s interests.... The U.S. wants a
unitary Iraq that is moving on a path toward democracy, an Iraq that does not
shelter terrorism, and an Iraq that will become a source of stability in the
region. Therefore, Turkey must work
against the powers struggling against the establishment of such an
Iraq.... President Bush, in a televised
speech today, will urge the international community to increase cooperation in
Iraq. Ankara is happy with the Bush
administration’s U-turn.... Turkish
diplomats believe that the U.S. effort at the UN might encourage the Turkish
parliament to adopt a decision to send troops to Iraq.... The decision to be taken by Turkish
politicians will bring to them an historic responsibility.”
“Why Should We Go To Iraq?”
Ali Bulac commented in conservative/opinion
maker Zaman (9/8): “Iraq’s
infrastructure has totally collapsed, and the majority of the Iraqi population
is struggling against hunger to survive.
Infant deaths are rising significantly.
The occupiers are carrying out disgraceful operations in which they
arrest and humiliate people every day, including the violation of Iraqi
women.... Turkey cannot look at the
Iraqi tragedy through the eyes of America and the West.... Turkey must go to Iraq to help its Iraqi
brothers, not the occupiers.... We don’t
have scholars who can establish a dialog with the holders of social and
political initiative, the Sunni and Shiite clerics in Iraq.... Human rights organizations should have
reported ongoing violations in Iraq.
Humanitarian aid organizations should have organized extensive programs
to help the Iraqi people. Our medical
organizations should have rushed to the help of dying Iraqi children. In short, Turkey must go to Iraq with its
brain and its heart.”
“Get Ready For A Kurdish State”
Mehmet Ali Birand stated in mass-appeal Posta
(9/5): “In Iraq, only the Kurdish zone in the north has established the
necessary elements for self-governance.
The Kurds have developed an infrastructure as well as education, health,
and defense services, and they await Washington’s nod and protection to declare
sovereignty. The possibility is growing
that Washington will give a green light for Kurdish autonomy within a
federation or confederation.... Syria is
not powerful enough to counter such a development. Iran will not be willing to further strain
its ties with the U.S.... Turkey needs
to develop a new and more realistic Kurdish policy in the face of changing
global conditions.... Instead of drawing
new ‘red lines’ for Northern Iraq, Turkey must adjust itself to the new
“Troop Deployment And KADEK”
Koray Duzgoren commented in Islamic-intellectual
Yeni Safak (9/4): “The U.S. has demanded that Turkish troops be deployed
in zones of Iraq which are causing trouble for the Americans.... The PKK/KADEK has announced an end to its
cease-fire with Turkey. This decision
might negatively affect American efforts to see Turkish troops in Iraq. Turkey, on the pretext of deploying troops to
central Iraq, is considering keeping a certain number of troops in the North to
maintain pressure on Iraqi Kurdish groups and KADEK.... Although the AKP government does not seem
concerned, renewed clashes with the PKK/KADEK are possible.... The U.S. wants stability in the region. Turkey also needs regional peace and
stability to improve its economy. The
AKP government must swiftly change its position of ignoring the Kurdish
problem. The AKP must understand that
KADEK is not merely a terror organization, but is closely related to the
Kurdish problem. The government must
abandon its posture of seeing the troop deployment issue through the lens
provided by the military and the elite rulers of the state structure.”
“We Cannot Remain Indifferent To Iraq”
Mehmet Ali Birand wrote in mass-appeal Posta (9/3): “There
is a significant threat that Iraq might be dissolved into three parts.... The possibility for establishing a democracy
in Iraq under a single administration is growing ever weaker. Turkey is obliged to intervene in
Iraq.... Terrorism in the Middle East is
now concentrated in Iraq. Turkey will
either stand against terror or merely watch it.
It might be too late when it hits us later.... It is unlikely that the U.S. will withdraw
from Iraq.... It might take long years
and come at a great cost, but the balances in the Middle East will definitely
“Should We Send Troops To Iraq?”
Hursit Gunes noted in mass appeal Milliyet
(9/2): “The U.S. wants to station Turkish troops in central Iraq. If the U.S. had not asked, Turkey would not
be willing to go to Iraq. Thus, such a
deployment will serve U.S. interests rather than Turkey’s.... It would be wrong to correlate financial aid
and military support, for the U.S. has provided monetary support for Israel and
Egypt, the two countries it did not ask for help. Iraq is increasingly turning into a military
swamp. Sending troops to Iraq would be
extremely risky.... High-risk help that
would bring low gains is irrational."
"Can The UN Bring Stability To Iraq?"
Sahin Alpay wrote in intellectual-conservative Zaman
(9/2): “Ankara should go to Iraq only
through a UN resolution, and under a UN command.... Washington is not cold to the idea of UN
peacekeepers in Iraq under U.S. command....
The question is whether a switch of mandate from the U.S. to the UN will
bring stability to Iraq. From an Iraqi
viewpoint, it is questionable that the credibility of the UN, which imposed
economic sanctions on Iraq for years, is higher than that of the U.S.... Some analysts think that such a change of
administration will encourage the U.S. to undertake new military interventions
in Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.”
INDIA: "Promise Of India"
The centrist Asian Age remarked (10/4): “ India is
reversing her own foreign policy.... A
new foreign policy emerging from the bottom line: The U.S. is the superpower,
and India has no choice but to accept this and accommodate it as the nucleus in
its foreign policy.... Finally, the
government got cold feet. Not because
there was anything unethical and immoral in sending troops to Iraq, but because
the people of India were not supportive, and the parties in the government
could lose the elections.... If this was
not an election year, the Indian troops would have been in Iraq laying down their
lives for the American cause! Foreign
policy sold for a song.... What is our
policy? Where are we going? What does India stand for? What does India believe in? The obsession with unipolarity has colored
India’s world view and silenced her rather strident voice for the developing
Chennai-based leftist News Today held (9/30): "U.S.
Secretary of State Colin Powell may want India to send its troops to Iraq to
help Washington restore law and order there, but he cannot refute India's view
that the presence of those troops at this time would require a national
consensus and the assignment of a relevant role to the UN in peace-keeping
operations. That consensus is not
available because there is no prospect of a return to democracy in Iraq with
Washington putting up a puppet government and an occupation force in charge of
that country that trys to preserve peace by trampling on resistance by
jackboots.... If Indian troops are sent
there now, they would be ambushed like their U.S. counterparts or will be
shooting Iraqis, provoking ill-will for India in place of a long record of
The centrist Times of India concluded
(9/29): “It might be premature to identify U.S.-occupied Iraq as George Bush’s
political graveyard. But if the
president’s plummeting ratings are to be believed, there is serious cause for
concern.... A chorus of American voices
have joined the international criticism of Washington’s continuing role in
Iraq.... What Bush needs to do is
disinvest in Iraq as speedily as possible and put it under UN mandate. This would take the heat off the president
and win him support both at home and abroad, in countries as otherwise
disparate as France, Germany and India.
Indeed, several countries, including India, have hinted that they would
not be averse to sending in their troops if this were done under UN
auspices.... Washington could accede to
this without losing overall control of the situation.... This is Bush’s best bet to turn a no-win
situation to a win-win deal for all.”
The centrist Hindu stated (9/26): “Prime Minister Vajpayee appears to have
killed two birds with one stone when he spoke of India's security concerns in
the course of a conversation with...President Bush. The essence of Vajpayee's message was that
India had no troops to spare at this point in time. That should put Mr. Bush on
notice that India will not contribute a military contingent to the U.S.-led
occupation forces in Iraq.... The Prime
Minister's reference to India's security concerns might also have helped focus
Mr. Bush's attention on the persistent terrorist menace that India has to
contend with. "
"Iraq Needs A Mountbatten"
The pro-business Financial Express
commented (9/23): The question of
whether India can and should send troops to Iraq has once again come to centre
stage with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee meeting United States President
George Bush this week. The arguments for
and against India sending troops remain as valid today as they were a month
ago. Given the fact that India would
like the U.S. to win the war against terrorism in the region, it must put its
money where its mouth is and help the U.S. in its efforts. No one wants to see the U.S. fail in Iraq.... India should offer to help the U.S. in Iraq
if the U.S. moves to ensure that Iraq is governed by Iraqis. What this means is
that Iraq needs a road map for the transfer of power to a local leadership and
the U.S. needs the equivalent of a Lord Mountbatten who will undertake that
responsibility. The road map can have
alternative time horizons depending on how things pan out and what happens on
the ground. No date need be set right
now for the final transfer of power, but the milestones must be put in place so
that the direction of the journey is clear....
Sure, a U.S. Mountbatten has no Nehru to deal with as yet, but the
process must begin and this itself would ease the U.S. burden and enable India
at least to step in and help.”
"America's Unreasonable Attack On
Yashwant Joshi stated centrist Marathi Navashakti
(9/22): "Even if one were to
believe that global terrorism started in 1990 and reached its peak on September
9/11 in New York, yet one cannot pinpoint a single instance of a terrorist
center flourishing in Baghdad....? It is
now clear that Iraq's invasion was solely guided by the U.S.-British designs to
grab Iraq's oil reserves and create a military base in Asia which would help
them to control the Arab nations. The
invasion was a milder and sophisticated form of terrorism.... Although the open war between the coalition
army and Saddam Hussein's forces is over, the British and American soldiers are
being targeted in Iraq. President George
Bush had dreamt of a reconstructed new Iraq, but now he is seeking the help of
other countries, including India, to better the situation that has gone out of
hand.... Although India has refused to
commit its troops, it is feared that President Bush will pressure the Indian
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to change his stance through the intervention
of the United Nations.... India can only
hope that its Prime Minister will not fall prey to the UN demand for military
help in Iraq, since it will mean India's acceptance of America's
The Hyderabad-based right-of-center
English-language Newstime asserted (9/16): "President Bush and the cabal around him
may have cut awkward figures over the developments in Iraq. The gruesome killings of the sons of Saddam
Hussein, for instance, have not had the effect of toning down resistance to the
American occupation of Iraq. Mainly, the
Bush administration is desperate for money to pay for the Iraqi
occupation.... And the toll from
resistance in Iraq has already surpassed the number of casualties during the
actual war that was claimed as 'won.'... While the U.S. has failed miserably in
getting other countries to send troops for deployment in Iraq and is trying to
seek the UN umbrella for this purpose, the occupying power is still reluctant
to share power. It is unfortunate that
the U.S. government is still trying to put pressure on India to send troops to
Iraq. Apparently, India has not been
able to get out of this trap by expressing its inability to deploy troops
except under the aegis of the international body.... President Bush apparently thinks that while
his concerns in Iraq need to be attended to immediately, India's concerns must
be sorted out by talking to Pakistan.
This seems to be a nasty way to nudge India towards talks."
"India Is Under No Obligation"
Pro-BJP, Urdu-language Pratap held
(9/16): “Apart from the cordial
relations that India has always had with the people of Iraq, it has expressed
its inability to provide its troops as asked by the U.S. on the ground that the
security situation on its own borders would not allow its military to be
deployed outside the country. It is true
that U.S.-India relations have been improving, which is largely a result of
redefined U.S. interests in the region, especially in view of the emergence of
China as a major international player.
However, the U.S. has done nothing so special for India that would make
the latter obliged for sending its troops to face the Iraqi resistance on
behalf of the Americans.”
"Handle With Care"
The pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer judged (9/15): "Indeed, national interest dictates that
the armed forces be first and foremost geared towards guarding their own
frontiers before commitments are made to police another country.... The Indian Government is bound to view the
renewed American request for troops with the circumspection that it deserves,
since there seems little justification to put their lives at risk.... Indeed, peace and reconstruction in Iraq
would be better achieved if India prioritizes provision of the goods and
services that its people need over the military muscle that the occupying
Abhijit Bhattacharyya commented in the pro-BJP
right-of-center Pioneer (9/13):
"Iraq's stabilization appears far from easy and quick. Hence the need for additional garrison from
India, whose unmatched experience in fighting Islamic terrorism and
counter-insurgency operations along with the ability of all-weather and
all-terrain operations make it an attractive substitute for the battle-fatigued
U.S. forces in Iraq.... With internal
resistance of various countries falling by the wayside, it would be interesting
to observe how much can India withstand the external persuasion of the U.S. and
the counter-pressure of its domestic politics since Pakistan too is being
persuaded by the U.S. to send it troops to Iraq, its internal Islamic
opposition notwithstanding.... It is
said that iron cuts into iron. Hence,
the "terrorist state" of Pakistan is getting the kudos for ‘fighting
terrorism’! Talk about myths turning to reality.”
The centrist Telegraph opined (9/11):
"Wars always have unintended consequences. When the United States of
America declared war against Saddam Hussein, nobody quite anticipated the mess
that now prevails in Iraq after what looked liked a remarkable U.S. military
victory.... It cannot extricate itself
from Iraq nor can it restore order and eradicate violence. This is the context in which the U.S. has
repeated its request to the government of India to deploy troops in Iraq to
establish and maintain peace.... The
request to send Indian troops to Iraq has come again from Washington. The Indian response has been muted and
understandably so. The internal
situation has worsened and the anti-U.S. vehemence of the Iraqi people grown
beyond measure since the summer months.
The domestic compulsions that determined the original refusal hold now
with greater force today than they did in the month of July. There are assembly elections around the
corner in five states, and bodies of dead jawans from Iraq will be very poor
vote catchers. Thus if the government is
keen to be consistent with its previous stance, it should stand its ground. But
a bad decision, even when repeated over and over again, does not change in
"Giving In Spell Trouble"
The nationalist Hindustan Times
editorialized (9/10): “The renewed American request to India for sending troops
to Iraq was only to be expected. The
situation there hasn’t improved.... It
is clear that all that Washington wants is to use the UN’s involvement in Iraq
as a fig leaf to persuade other countries to send their forces so that they may
clean up the mess created by the Americans.
This is a trap that India must avoid....
Any country which is seen, therefore, to be supportive of the Americans
will also court unpopularity and become the target of attacks. Like the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region,
Iraq has become a breeding ground of terrorists, keen on pursuing their
anti-American jihad. As it is, India is
a target of such fundamentalists. An
involvement in Iraq will simply make the situation worse for India in Kashmir
"Don't Send Troops"
The reformist, economics-oriented Economics
Times held (9/10): “That India will not send its troops to Iraq except if
there is an explicit United Nations mandate to do so. That is a position that must be treated as
non-negotiable.... The U.S.-sponsored
resolution is seen as little more than an effort to rope in other countries
into sharing the responsibility for the mess that post-war Iraq clearly has
become, while retaining authority largely in the hands of the U.S.-British
coalition forces. There is no reason why
the Indian perspective on this specific issue should be any different. In the ultimate analysis, it should be clear
that the war that took place in Iraq was not only not sanctioned by the UN, but
was explicitly against the wishes of most member nations, including India.
Those who imposed the war on Iraq cannot now unilaterally impose its unintended
consequences on the rest of the world....
What New Delhi needs to make clear to Washington is that Indian lives
are no less valuable, at least to India.”
Hindi-language Rashtriya Sahara asserted
(9/10): "India turned down the initial U.S. request to contribute troops
to Iraq, but also told the U.S. that it may reconsider its decision if the U.N.
gets involved. Now that is exactly what
the U.S. is doing--trying to involve the U.N.
It is possible that U.S. will get a resolution passed in the UN soon,
thereby roping in countries like India to become its partner in sin. If that happens, then we may be forced to
support the same U.S. demand we had opposed earlier."
"The Superpower's Concern"
Hindi-language Jansatta noted (9/8):
"After the new resolution of the U.S., a plea can come to India to rethink
on sending troops to Iraq. But, the
Indian government will face many hurdles in accepting the U.S. proposal. The government's foreign policy was
criticized in the monsoon session of Parliament for "tilting toward the
U.S." So, there are political and diplomatic difficulties that still exist
for the government. Meanwhile, instead
of moving a new resolution, the U.S. needs to convince the world that it is
does not intend establishing political control over Iraq."
"America In A Fix"
Left-of-center Marathi daily Maharashthra
Times contended (9/8):
"America's determination to reconstruct Iraq seems to have lost its
decisiveness.... Due to the increasing
number of attacks on the soldiers of the coalition forces, America is trying
pitiably hard to call for troops from other countries. America's new draft resolution for the
Security Council demands 15,000 additional soldiers to be sent to Iraq. But many countries, including those which had
supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq, have now opposed this resolution. They are aware that America has approached
the UN only after its request for troops were turned down by other
countries. These countries have
rightfully made it clear that any such multinational force in Iraq should be
under the aegis of the UN, and not the U.S.
France and Russia have, in fact, demanded an equitable distribution of
the military responsibilities in Iraq....
The same America, which jeopardized international peace when entering
Iraq, now has had to knock the doors of different countries and beg for their
"Franklin, Please, Not Theodore"
The centrist Asian Age held (9/7):
"By removing Saddam, Bush released Iraqi nationalism from the avaricious
grip of a despot. The paradox is obvious, or should be: Iraqi nationalism will
not exchange a brutal Saddam for a colonist Bush.... The real reason for America's occupation of
Iraq was to find a new home for American military bases. We have been here before. If self-interest has taken Bush to the door
of the UN, then the self-interest of other nations will keep that door shut
until America understands that it cannot live by the principles of George
Washington at home, and the rules of Rudyard Kipling abroad. Nor can America privatize or sub-contract its
wars. India, for instance, will not
police an American colony; there is no price that will purchase the Indian
voter, even if its government is tempted by the false lure of realpolitik. Today, America is only the most powerful
nation in the world. It will become the
leader of a free world only when it accepts that freedom is incomplete without
equality. America needs another
Franklin, not Theodore, Roosevelt."
Hindi-language Rashtriya Sahara
editorialized (9/6): "America's new resolution on Iraq shows the weakness,
desperation and bewilderment of the world's sole superpower. Although the approval of the resolution is
not impossible, it is difficult....
Prime Minister Vajpayee will be in the U.S. during the last week of
September. The pressure will mount on
him to send troops to Iraq. However,
Vajpayee has a readymade excuse to deny the U.S. request--the forthcoming
Indian elections. Meanwhile, approval of the resolution can create a problem to
"The U.S. Now Wants UN Involvement For
Peacekeeping In Iraq"
The left-of-center Free Press Journal
judged (9/6): "The U.S. finds itself in deep waters in Iraq and is unable
to ensure the security of American
forces against the guerilla tactics of Saddam's fidaheen who are regrouping.... The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan...also
realizes that he cannot refuse the U.S. request. After all it has been setup as a multilateral
body to facilitate dialogue rather than take intransigent position.... What remains to be seen is the amount of
concessions and contracts from the U.S. to fulfill the demands of those member
states that will actually send their forces. The sticking point is that the
U.S. wants to have the overall command of the UN forces in Iraq but this will
be resisted by Germany, France and Russia in the Security Council unless they
diplomatically persuade them. If the
U.S. gives up its stance of wanting overall command then it could be seen as
conceding that its actions in Iraq were illegitimate. What is of utmost importance is to see that
Iraqis find peace and order after the traumatic war. This, now, has become the prime concern of
all countries and if a larger UN role will enable Iraqis to have a better life,
no one should put a spoke on it."
"India's Iraq Dilemma"
The centrist Asian Age remarked (9/5):
"Looking at the unfolding events in Iraq it would appear that the
consensual position of caution and conservatism on the issue of sending an
Indian military contingent to Iraq stands vindicated.... The bleakness of the picture has finally
begun to register even in the U.S....
The key question here would be the extent to which the U.S. is prepared
to accept an abridgement of its writ in Iraq.... It is likely that even while it negotiates
with the UN it would still try to persuade India to share the burden of
administering Iraq. It is equally likely
that even while it negotiates with the UN it would still try to persuade
countries like India to share the burden of administering Iraq. We are particularly important in that our
capacity to contribute and play a constructive role is more than 10 other
countries put together.... The view that
emerged in India was that we could consent to send troops to Iraq only if the
UN mandates.... But what if the world's
sole super power turns out to be dependable and willing to commit more than
thin air in a bilateral understanding before we agree to send our troops? If we reflect on the events after President
Clinton's visit to India at the time of the Kargil war, supporting the U.S. in
Iraq at this stage may not be as illogical as some of us make it out to
be.... Helping Iraq now is unrelated to
the war. Serving under the U.S. flag is
certainly unacceptable. But that is an
issue that can be discussed with the Americans, and there is no reason to
believe that they will not understand and respect our sensitivities."
"We Should Not Send Troops To Iraq"
The left-of-center Free Press Journal
editorialized (9/5): "The Vajpayee
government faces the prospect of again having to make a grave decision on the
question of sending Indian troops to Iraq, ostensibly for peace keeping but in
effect to help the wily and now increasingly nervous Bush administration to
handle the brutal mess it has created there....
Given this scene, given the totality of the sordid facts, what is the
meaning of peace keeping for which the Security Council may now ask other
countries to contribute their troops?
How can there be peace between subjugators and the subjugated? If the UN does pass a resolution mandating a
multi-national force for Iraq, one hopes there will be no takers, additionally
since the overall command will still be that of the Americans.... Going by the present evidence, this war seems
to be just beginning. Surely, India
cannot side with imperialist invaders?
To do so will be a disastrous shame.
In fact, it will be a shame even to consider the question."
"The UN Can Heal Iraqi Wounds"
The centrist Hindu expressed (9/3): “The
UN could administer a healing touch in Iraq.
The world body alone can breathe legitimacy into efforts at Iraq's
reconstruction, even though the U.S. occupation coordinator, Paul Bremer, has
questioned the rationale of the idea....
Reconstruction is not simply about infrastructure alone. In the case of Iraq, it is as much about
healing the wounds of the occupation--by restoring Iraqi pride and dignity. The
UN is best suited to achieve this....
The need to restore Iraq to Iraqis has never been felt more acutely.... From the Arab League, to the French to the
Indians, the preference is for a UN umbrella for getting involved in
Iraq.... Yet it is important not to
expect miracles by this transformation alone.
The situation in Iraq is extremely complex.... Improving the security climate is therefore
critical and is a prerequisite for not just holding elections but providing
space for the UN and other aid agencies to play their rightful roles. A higher political profile for the UN, one
hopes, will come sooner for it can only advance the day when Iraqis will govern
"Nasty, Brutish, Iraq"
The centrist Indian Express opined
(9/1): "Recent developments leave
the extremely worrisome impression that the U.S.-UK led authority in Iraq
endorsed by the UN is in a state of confusion if not paralysis amidst this growing
chaos.... The situation in Iraq is
rapidly deteriorating generating new challenges that were not foreseen even two
months ago. In a curious way, events are
pushing India inexorably toward what may yet become the moment of decision,
especially since New Delhi had offered to consider sending a peacekeeping force
in case of an appropriate UN mandate....
Iraq seems to be sliding down an instability spiral and we must reassess
our options under the changing situation.
Any decision to participate in stabilization arrangements must be based
on an unambiguous conclusion that it would succeed in its goals at minimum
acceptable costs. And that conclusion
must be derived from a bipartisan consensus.”
"Should Pakistan Send Troops To Iraq?"
Dr. Moeed Pirzada editorialized in the
center-left independent national English-language Dawn (10/04): "Pakistani attitude towards the U.S. is
explained less by the modernity and anti-modernity debate--often cited by
American policy makers--and more by their national and regional
insecurities. It is the secular
westernized Pakistani elite that has remained confused, insecure and paranoid
about the U.S. role in this region and has over the decades successfully
disseminated its fears to those sections of society whose fears take the form
of slogans.... The Musharraf government
operates in a complex domestic, regional and international scenario and has its
limitations. However, as it continues to
explore ways and means to send Pakistani troops to Iraq, it must not fail to
understand that the Middle Eastern issues merely provide a cosmetic uniting
factor for Pakistan and the U.S. If it
needs to change the "domestic viewpoint" then it must be able to
communicate something to Pakistanis that assures them on their national or
"Pakistan And Troops For Iraq"
Ijaz Hussain contended in the liberal
English-language Daily Times (10/1):
"Even the UN which resisted the American attack on Iraq early this
year and is at present engaged in a purely humanitarian work has been twice hit
in about a month’s time. No wonder the
organization is in the process of downsizing its presence in the country. How
can we expect the nationalists to spare Pakistani troops who would be in Iraq
to support the occupation forces!... The
Pakistani troops are bound to come under attack.... We would conclude by reminding Musharraf of
the objective of upholding Pakistan’s dignity and self-respect that he talked
about so eloquently in the first speech that he made after taking power in
1999. Would the deployment of Pakistani
troops in Iraq in a mercenary role and as a result of which they are likely to
get killed fit into that objective? If
the answer is in the negative it is in the fitness of things that Pakistan
should refuse to send troops under any circumstances whatsoever."
"Why Pakistan Should
Sensationalist pro-Jihad Urdu Ummat declared (10/1): "The U.S. administration is trying its
utmost to make others scapegoat in Iraq and save its own troops. Since it could not influence any western,
non-Islamic country, it is extending its pressure over the Muslim
countries. There is no justification for
staking the lives of Pakistani troops just to save the U.S. troops in
Iraq. The U.S. should itself face the
punishment of its follies in Iraq."
Center-left independent national English-language Dawn
editorialized (9/30): "Numerous
statements emanating from Washington in recent weeks leave no doubt about the
Bush administration's plan to induct Pakistani troops into Iraq.... It is important that Pakistan should make it
unequivocally clear that it will avoid venturing into Iraq, no matter what the
big powers decide."
"Pak Army Not for Sale"
Second-largest Urdu-language Nawa-e-Waqt
noted (9/25): "President Musharraf
has said that situation is not conducive for dispatching Pak troops to
Iraq.... And to achieve this objective
the atmosphere will have to be improved....
The Muslim world wants exit of the U.S. troops from Iraq and we are
suggesting ways and mean to send in our troops, to strengthen the U.S. position
in that country. This is shameful."
"Musharraf's Prophetic Words"
Islamabad's rightist English-language Pakistan
Observer asserted (9/25): "The
nation is bitterly opposed to involve Pakistan in the situation obtaining in
Iraq, irrespective of the UN or OIC mandate. Pakistan should rather side with
the nations, which are seeking early end to the U.S. occupation, expeditious
transfer of power to Iraqi people and immediate restoration of Iraq’s
sovereignty. Pakistan should, in no way,
be a party to the consolidation of U.S. occupation of Iraq. That’s what wisdom and scruples demand."
"Myth of 'Strategic' Ties With the
Karamatullah K. Ghori opined in the center-left
independent national English-language Dawn (9/20): "Islamabad should cease deluding itself
that it is in a strategic relationship with Washington. That is a pipe dream with no truck with
reality. The U.S. has had a strategic
partnership with its redoubtable ally, Israel for half a century. Now a similar partnership is in the works
with India because Washington regards both as victims of Islamic
terrorism. America's messianic mission
is to save these 'secular' democracies (ruled by religious fanatics) from the
'scourge' of Islamic terrorist 'hordes.' Islamabad, at best, has a time-related
tactical utility for Washington, just as it did in the '80s when the U.S. was
bleeding the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
It is an exact rehash of that role for the Pakistan army in the
American-occupied Afghanistan of today: keep pulling American irons from the
fire there, and be ready to do the same in American-occupied Iraq."
"Can UN Be Effective In Iraq?"
Ijaz Hussain editorialized in the Lahore-based
liberal English-language Daily Times (9/17): "The Iraqis also believe that a UN force
will be nothing but a puppet in the hands of the occupation forces.... The lesson for Pakistan is that it should
refuse to send its troops to the killing fields of Iraq whether or not there is
a UN authorization, unless President Musharraf is bent upon helping Bush in his
re-election bid which is the real thing at stake in the Washington’s current
desperation to get an authorization from the Security Council."
"Iraq: Should Pakistan Help?"
Shahid Javed Burki stated in the center-left independent national
English-language Dawn (9/16):
"If the Pakistani government is willing to lend a helping hand, it
must be assured of at least two things.
First, is America prepared to accommodate the voices other than its own
in developing Iraq's economic and political institution? Two, what are the chances of success of the
new Iraq project?... If Washington
heeded this kind of advice, Pakistan and its troops would essentially be
serving in a direct manner the U.S. interests in Iraq. Should Pakistani lives be put in danger if
that were the case?"
"Say No to Troops Deployment In Iraq"
I. Hassan remarked in in the centrist national
English-language News (9/16):
"According to the U.S. draft resolution, all the troops that might
be poured into Iraq would be under the command of a U.S. general. More than that, the U.S. Viceroy in Iraq,
Paul Bremer, will continue to be the final arbiter. The Iraqi talking shop created by the
Viceroy, known as the Governing council will continue to be an
irrelevance.... It is possible that U.S.
may be able to get a watered down fig-leaf resolution passed whereby it will
get such mercenary troops as those of Pakistan to bolster their own troops. One use the term mercenary advisedly because
no one with any self-respect will go to Iraq to shore up an illegal occupation
and lend seeming legitimacy to an extremely unlawful act. There are very few countries where the ruler
is beholden entirely to the U.S. and has little legitimacy or support in his
own country. Such a ruler is compelled
to act under the order of the U.S. All
he needs is a fig-leaf cover provided by U.S. contrived resolution of the UN. Despite this, other people should stand up
and forbid the dispatch of our troops to Iraq."
"President, Prime Minister's Visit To
Leading mass-circulation Urdu-language Jang
wrote (9/9): "Circumstances and ground realities have proved that the
Pakistani society, its military, bureaucracy and other forces that take
decision are under tremendous U.S. pressure even after the unilateral demands
that the U.S. had made to Pakistan in the post 9/11 days and for which
President Musharraf had assured unconditional cooperation. The noose has further been tightened around
Pakistan by the growing political and military relationship between India and
Israel and the anti-Pakistan elements sitting in the Hamid Karzai
government. The meetings held between
President Musharraf and President Bush in New York, Washington and Camp David
have not provided any practical benefit to Pakistan nor has any pressure been
released from Pakistan. It seems that
the U.S. had decided to use Pakistan to the fullest and dump it later as it did
in the past."
"New Resolution On Iraq And Foreign
Leading mass-circulation, Urdu-language Jang
noted (9/8): "Ostensibly sending of
troops on 'peace mission' under the banner of the United Nations to Iraq seems
to be a better option but in the present circumstances Pakistan should totally
refrain from doing so."
"Issue Of Adoption Of New U.S. Resolution
In Security Council"
Leading mass-circulation Urdu-language Jang
contended (9/6): "The U.S.
leadership wants to involve other countries in the quagmire of Iraq so as to
pull its own troops out. The fresh U.S.
resolution in this regard is totally unreasonable and contrary to the role of
this world organization."
"Decision Of Gulf Coordination
Karachi-based, right-wing, pro-Islamic unity
Urdu-language Jasarat held (9/8): "The Gulf Coordination Council
has declined to send its troops to Iraq over the request of the United
States. Pakistan, which had been tying
its decision over the posture adopted by the Arab nations, should now openly
refuse to send troops to Iraq."
"GCC’s No to U.S."
The Islamabad rightist English-language Pakistan
Observer declared (9/8): "The GCC’s scrupulous stand, however, has a
strong message for other countries, especially Pakistan, not to fall prey to
the U.S. machinations and manipulations and be steadfast to uphold supreme
national interests.... It is hoped that
Pakistan's Government will not agree to the deployment of its troops under U.S.
command even under the UN mandate, as it will generate serious reaction in the
"A Flawed Move"
The center-right national Enlish-language Nation
stated (9/6): "The draft, therefore, calls upon member states to
contribute to the maintenance of security and stability of Iraq as well as
provide assistance, including military forces.
Pakistan clearly is among the countries being viewed as a ready source
of help in this regard. We firmly
believe that whatever the outcome of the UNSC debate after the resolution is
tabled, whether it is pushed through as it is or in an amended form, we should
not agree to become part of the so-called multinational security force as long
as one single GI remains on Iraqi soil."
"The Emerging Bloodstorms"
The centrist national English-language News
observed (9/4): "The present alliance with U.S. has placed Pakistan,
perhaps, in the most difficult scenario in its history. A helping hand for U.S. after the invasion of
Afghanistan and Iraq is a taboo in the Muslim World. What is happening in the way of terrorist
activities in Pakistan are directly or indirectly related to U.S. moves in Afghanistan,
Iraq and Palestine. Confining it to
sectarian strife will be naive. The basic conflict arises from contradictions
shrouded in the governance of a religious mass of people stoked by the
anti-Russia Islamic Jihad, by a westernized secular elite."
"Should UN Bail Out Bush?"
The center-left independent national
English-language Dawn asserted (9/4): "The UN should not dive into
Iraq--at least, not yet. It is true that the Iraqi people are suffering under
U.S. occupation, but the arrival of blue helmets would not fundamentally ease
their lives. Iraq needs money,
investment, reconstruction, and democracy.
A UN dominated by America in its current mindset will not be able to
deliver these. But a UN in which America
participates as an enlightened, sincere partner for Iraqi progress, might just
achieve them. The UN must hold back
until that mindset (and/or administration) change takes place."
"Chaos In Iraq"
The center-right national English-language Nation
commented (9/4): "The aspirations of the people of Iraq are freedom and
end to occupation. They must abide by
their promise. The UN must not be used
as an abettor and tool of the U.S.-U.K. policy of aggression and occupation. The attack on the UN compound and offices
should be a lesson that the image of the UN must be that of an independent
institution and not as a tool of the only superpower. Pakistan may think of sending troops to help
Iraqi people under UN mandate when its image is that of an honest broker, able
to help smaller nations and people to regain their freedom."