April 14, 2003
SYRIA IS LIKELY 'NEXT VICTIM' OF U.S. 'IMPERIALISM'
** Syria is seen as the
"next target" of the U.S.' "dangerous master plan" for the
** Washington is
undertaking a "new form of imperialism and colonialism"
** Pro-Israel "hawks
are still dominating" the "Christian, rightist administration"
** Arabs and the world must
join together to contend with the U.S.' "ideology of a unipolar
'American self-confidence' means Syria 'might be next'-- Washington's "remorseless pressure" on
Damascus intensified speculation that Syria will be the "next victim"
of the U.S.' plan to "reshape the Middle East." Leftist and Muslim observers alleged that the
U.S. is "setting up Syria as the next threat to world peace and
security." Pakistan's Nawa-e-Waqt
cited the American plan to "deal with all Islamic countries one by
one" with Baghdad "being the starting point." Arab papers in particular concluded that the
"list of targeted Arab countries is clear" as Baghdad was "only
the first piece in an chain of Arab countries that will fall." In contrast, moderate outlets predicted that
the "chaos and anarchy" in Iraq will "cool down fantasies"
in Washington of attacking Syria.
Canada's leading Globe and Mail warned any such attack would
"be viewed as American unilateralism."
Iraq is 'just the beginning of U.S. expansionism'-- Latin, Arab and Asian papers expected
"more catastrophes" given the "growing American avarice for
subduing the world." Brazilian
dailies used the terms "classical imperialism," "Pax
Americana" and "universal empire" to describe the new world
order, while Mexico's left-of-center La Jornada predicted a "new
era of oppression, destruction, occupation and sacking" by the U.S. Tokyo's liberal Mainichi agreed that
the "seizure of Baghdad" would mean more "new wars in a world
dominated by the democratic empire of the U.S." Chinese papers increased their warnings of
U.S. "hegemony," adding that "if the U.S. controls the Middle
East" and its oil, "the day that the U.S. imperialism controls the
world is not far off."
Washington's primary aim is 'guaranteeing Israel’s security and
expansionist ambitions'-- Papers from
Muslim-majority countries were especially critical of U.S. leaders and their
strategy, alleging the "Zionist-run U.S. is out to implement Israel's
expansionist agenda." Hardline
critics of U.S. policy accused the "junta of racist leaders, war-mongers
and greedy gangsters" of only seeking to "maintain peace and security
for Israel" by launching a "war on all Arabs." Lebanon's nationalist As Safir
concluded: "The American Ministry
of War is only an Israeli room of operations."
'The fate of Iraq is a grim reminder' of the importance of global
solidarity-- Arab and Asian papers
emphasized the importance of "unity" in order to "stop the
arrogance of the U.S." Tunisian,
UAE and Jordanian dailies urged Arab countries "to achieve their own
union" to protect the "Arab identity." Pakistan's center-right Nation said
"Muslim countries...should waste no time in formulating a joint policy to
defend" against the U.S. Bangkok's
conservative Thai Rath declared:
"Asia must close ranks with Africa and South America...to
EDITOR: Ben Goldberg
EDITOR'S NOTE: This survey
is based on 82 reports from 46 countries over 7-14 April 2003. Editorial excerpts from each country are
listed from the most recent date.
Attacks On Syria Confirm Fears Of Middle East Intentions"
The left-of-center Independent stated (4/13): "There is something unseemly, not to say
alarming, about the way in which the U.S. appears to be setting up Syria as the
next threat to world peace and security even before the guns have fallen silent
in Iraq.... Having eliminated Iraq as a
threat, the Bush administration gives the impression that is casting around for
more enemies. The risks of such public
accusations were all too apparent in the failed international diplomacy that
gave way to the war on Iraq. The current
disorder in Iraq similarly illustrates the dangers inherent in effecting a
'regime change' by force without sufficient planning. There are those in the U.S. administration
who have made no secret of their desire to re-order the whole Middle East. Iraq is only the start.... One ill-conceived war with the potential to
destabilize the whole region is already one too many."
"Iraq Will Preoccupy And Pin Down The U.S. For Years"
Martin Woollacott, a columnist with the left-of-center Guardian
took this view (4/11): "Victory in
Iraq is at once a blow for freedom and a step into an unknown world in which
the extent of American power and the wisdom with which it is used become more
critical.... That the formidable nature
of the American military instrument has been spectacularly displayed, albeit
against a terribly disadvantaged enemy, is not the most important aspect. What is more important is that the U.S. has
embarked upon a project of change in Iraq and the region which will be, for
quite a while to come, at the center of world politics. Its success or failure will affect
everything, from Moscow to Mecca, from Brussels to Beijing.... The Bush administration has set itself a very
hard test indeed in the Muslim world and everybody is aware of the reasons it
may not pass it.... Iraq will equally be
at the center of things for the Europeans, the Russians, and others who parted
company from America.... But France,
Germany, and Russia...will surely not allow themselves to become the Rejection
Front of the western world, something which would permanently rupture the UN,
NATO,and the EU.... The question of how
American society will absorb this
victory is rather mysterious. Underneath
the crowing of the 'let's stick it to the French' patriots, American common
sense is working away.... It grasps
there is a new burden in the shape of a whole country taken into American care,
to be paid for and policed, at a time when the economic prospects of ordinary
Americans are clouded."
FRANCE: "The American
Former Minister Albin Chalandon noted in right-of-center Le
Figaro (4/14): “Must every nation
succumb to or resist America’s hegemony?
The present crisis is serious not so much because of what it reveals,
but because of what it has kept hidden....
America’s radicalization finds its origin in its ancient history: America is religious, it is a
theocracy.... Its egocentric conception
of religion...legitimizes everything the U.S. does.... The quasi-metaphysical feeling of excellence
that the Americans feel about themselves motivates their leaders’
actions.... While man needs religion, it
is a great mistake to mix religion and politics.”
GERMANY: "What Comes
Malte Lehming held in centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin
(4/14): “From the U.S. viewpoint, the
Iraq campaign was a magnificent success...but does the success increase
appetite for more? Threats in the
direction of Syria are on the rise, and Syria and Iran are within reach of U.S.
guns.... Will bombs soon be dropped on
Damascus? This is highly unlikely, but
cannot be ruled out either. Washington
wants to capitalize on its victory in the entire region. States that support terrorists and/or strive
for weapons of mass destruction are on top of the list. In addition, it is no longer necessary to set
up a threat scenario. It gives people
in Washington satisfaction to see how the knees of the rulers in Tehran and
Damascus are shaking."
"Who Comes Next?"
Dietmar Ostermann argued in left-of-center Frankfurter
Rundschau (4/14): “The case of Syria
is complicated. As a threat to the
United States, President Bashar al Assad is even less credible
than...Iraq. Damascus is considered an
active sponsor of terrorism, but these accusations refer to activities against
Israel. In the hunt for Islamic Al Qaida
terrorists, the secular Syria, and even Washington recognizes this, cooperated
more consistently with the United States than some other countries.... The Bush administration may keep all options
open…but the current problems with chaos and anarchy in Iraq will cool down
fantasies to march to Syria or even Iran.
Washington will now likely face the problems of every day
business.... North Korea learned one
lesson from this war: even the U.S.
security guarantees will offer no protection from U.S. first strikes. This can be guaranteed only by setting up
one’s own military deterrence. And this
is a hardly concealed reference to nuclear weapons--which could prompt
Washington to intervene.... The Iraq war
was not as successful as the United States pretends it to be.”
"A Chance For The Arab World"
Wolfgang Guenter Lerch judged in center-right Frankfurter
Allgemeine (4/11): “The planned
restructuring of Iraq will show whether this Arab defeat will be another one in
a long series of many disasters, or whether the Arab world will succeed in
departing for pluralism.... Much will
change in Iraq, but it is unlikely that a democracy of western nature will
develop in the country. This kind of
vision is confronted with the inertia of history, culture, and
religion.... Future changes in the
neighborhood will have a chance only if the experiment of an open system in the
not too distant future succeeds. This
will depend considerably on the attitude of the winners."
ITALY: "Washington Now
Marcello Foa maintained in pro-government, leading center-right Il
Giornale (4/14): “The accusations
against Syria launched yesterday by Washington are taking on special
significance. For once, the U.S.
administration seems to be united.
Powell, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz paved the way for Bush, who accused
Damascus again of hiding chemical and biological weapons. Over the next few days we will know whether
we are heading for a new military crisis or whether Washington, for the time
being, simply wants to frighten young President Assad. The United States, in any case, believes that
Syria has played a decisive role in supporting the former regime of Saddam
Hussein, helping it survive longer than it should have. Is it possible that Saddam may have found
shelter in Damascus? Rumsfeld yesterday
ruled out this possibility, but the suspicion remains."
RUSSIA: "U.S. Ready To
Centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta carried a comment by Yuliya
Petrovskaya stating (4/11): "It looks like the U.S. aviation is about to
bomb Syria. U.S. officials are preparing
the ground for that. No sooner had
Baghdad fallen than Donald Rumsfeld pointed an accusing finger at a country that
has offered refuge to members of Saddam's regime.... A new war would not add much to the United
States' expenditures. For an attack on
Syria, the Pentagon and Congress could effectively use troops that are now
stationed in vanquished Iraq and at U.S. bases in the Persian Gulf area."
"Next Targets Of Antiterrorist Coalition"
Leonid Gankin noted in reformist business-oriented Kommersant
(4/11): "The U.S. Defense
Secretary's statement sounded like a verdict.
Of the several warnings the chief of the Pentagon has addressed to
Damascus so far,this one is the harshest.
Secretary of State Colin Powell, following the Defense Secretary, has
made it plain that now that the Iraqi regime is in the throes of death, Syria
should be careful not to become the next target.... Analysts and diplomats have no doubt that
Iraq is just the first step in Washington's plans for the Middle East, as it
seeks to reduce the danger of international terrorism coming from that region."
AUSTRIA: "Soon To
Happen In Syria"
In liberal Der Standard, Gudrun Harrer commented
(4/12): “Even a short while ago, anybody
who predicted a U.S. attack on Syria would have been declared totally insane,
but by now the scenario seems really quite possible. It is in any case noticeable that the people
in the U.S. who are now uttering threats against Syria were also the first to
publicly propagate the invasion in Iraq....
An aggravating factor is that the U.S. even praised Syria for its
cooperation against al Qaeda after September 11. It also wouldn’t be easy to accuse Syria of
owning weapons of mass destruction, but--especially if nothing is found in
Iraq--it might be possible to “suspect” (as has been suggested already) that
Iraq shifted its weapons to Syria before the start of the war. The Syrian option would be particularly
interesting to the U.S. democratizers as Syria carries more political weight
than corresponds to its actual power, and a political overthrow would therefore
have more short-term effects on a regional level than the one in Iraq, a
country that was politically isolated in the Arab world as well.”
Peter Vandermeersch remarked in independent Christian-Democrat De
Standaard (4/12): "There
is confusion. First, among those who
were convinced that Saddam really had weapons of mass destruction? To date, the coalition troops have found
nothing that justified a war for those reasons.
There is also confusion in the other camp--that was opposed to the
war. Paradoxically enough they have to
admit that, thanks to the war, the majority of the Iraqi people are on the
threshold of a new better existence.
Finally, there is uncertainty....
Will the Arab world swallow the humiliation of this war? Won’t the ethnically and religiously divide
Iraq succumb in a civil war? Will the
American self-confidence after this successful test of the preemptive action
doctrine lead the United States to further military adventures in Syria, Iran
or North Korea? The coalition has won
the war. Will the world win the
"Armies On March"
Pavel Masa remarked in center-right Lidove noviny (4/11): "The decision of George W. Bush to use
Hussein's fall to establish pro-American regimes in other countries of the
region is definite. Its realization can take various courses. The optimistic
scenario would have the Syrian leader Assad and the Iranian ayatollahs trying
to avert Hussein's fate and ceasing to support armed groupings abroad. Another
variant is economic and diplomatic pressure. And if that pressure does not
force Assad to ease up, the U.S. Army can set off on another march. The problem
lies in the fact that after possible actions against Syria and Iran, the U.S.
would stand at the gates of Moscow and Peking. Few would doubt that these two
states play a role similar to that of Syria."
NORWAY: “Risky Game Against
In newspaper-of-record Aftenposten, Per A. Christiansen
opined (4/14): “The war against Iraq
also serves as a signal to the other countries in ‘the axis of evil’ that none
of them should feel secure in case they continue to defy the U.S. The warnings
to Syria can precisely be a bluff in this game, an attempt to pressure Damascus
over to another course. In any case it is a dangerous game, because the Syrians
have never shown themselves to be particularly receptive to pressure. And in a
crisis situation President Assad will get considerably greater support from the
rest of the Arab world than his ex-colleague Saddam Hussein could demand.”
Peter Normann Waage commented in independent Dagbladet
(4/11): “The first country in the ‘axis
of evil’ is conquered--and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld immediately
reminds Syria that they have not taken consideration of his earlier warnings
and stopped the help to the Iraqi authorities. To be sure Secretary of State
Colin Powell denied just after that the war will now be extended to Syria, but
Rumsfeld’s words point toward America’s overriding strategy, as President Bush
explained already before the war started: To defeat Saddam was only the first
step toward a restructuring and democratization of the entire Middle East.”
PORTUGAL: "How to
Avoid the Imperial Temptation"
Influential moderate-left daily Público foreign affairs
editor Teresa de Sousa wrote (4/11):
"The message of [President Bush's] victory is not just about the
invincible force of the American superpower.
It is also about its moral rightness....
The American president now has the historic opportunity in his hands to
legitimize the conflict, showing that it was not waged to glorify America's
imperial supremacy, but to better the fate of the Iraqis, open new
opportunities for the peoples of the Middle East, and give direction to a world
in disorder, danger and uncertainty.
This is the battle that Europe has to wage together with Washington,
overcoming its frustrations, its divisions, its weaknesses and its own
temptations.... What can Chirac,
Schroeder and Putin do today in St. Petersburg?
Try to show that there is still an alternative 'pole' of power to
American power in the world? This...
'pole' can only be the European Union...strong, cohesive and determined enough
to make itself heard in Washington."
TURKEY: "Who Is
Threatening World Peace?"
Semih Idiz declared in mass appeal Aksam (4/14): "It's gradually becoming clear that this
war has got nothing to do with the welfare of the Iraqi nation. It is now understood that it is related with
the 'black gold' and Israel, a country essential for America's regional
interests. The evidence for the latter
is seen in U.S. statements that Syria might be next because of its support for
Hizbullah, the enemy of Israel. It seems
that the Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle 'cabal' has developed an extremely dangerous
master plan. Those who claim that Bush,
not Saddam was a threat to world peace are right."
UKRAINE: "Bush Hasn't
Committed A Mistake. His Ends Are
Anti-American weekly 2000 speculated (4/11): "By splitting UN, NATO and EU, by
provoking crises in those organizations, the U.S. transfers the resolution of
international problems to an entirely different level. For Washington, it is preferable...ideally to
negotiate with each country individually.
In view of the American might, the U.S. will have no difficulty in
'persuading' any nation to take a 'right' decision.... The U.S. pursues a policy of creating
'managed crises'.... To be able in the
future to act in pursuit of its strategic objectives, American global hegemony
being the principal one, the U.S. needs the existence of dictatorial regimes,
the spread of terrorism, proliferation of WMD, and the weakening of
international organizations to the point where nobody can guarantee anything to
anyone. And the world will be forced to
beg protection of the American military machine. And the Americans are always
Turns Its Sights On Damascus"
Zeev Schiff observed in independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz
(4/14): "Hardly a day has gone by
recently without Washington lashing out against Syria.... These statements indicate a turnaround in
Washington's approach to Damascus. The
previous policy of quiet operations was led by the CIA, which apparently got
intoxicated by information that the Syrians had provided at some stage about
Al-Qaida's operations in various countries, including Germany.... The leading concept in Syria today is that
Iraq should be to the Americans what Lebanon was for Israel--namely, to cause
terror attacks and suicide bombers and generate as many American casualties as
possible.... Traditionally, Syria has
pointed a finger at Israel, accusing it of inciting Washington against it. In truth, Israel is doing its best to keep a
low profile in the Iraqi affair in which Assad got himself entangled, but it,
too, will have to reevaluate its policy vis-a-vis Syria under the rule of Assad
"Syrian Mental Repression"
Amit Cohen wrote in popular, pluralist Maariv (4/13): "Assad's unbearable willingness to be
drawn into a clash, even if he is not truly interested in it, is what stands
behind the decision to grant asylum to Saddam Hussein's people and to disregard
the American warning.... It could be
that the Syrians think that they will be able to emerge from his entanglement
with merely a mild warning. After the
war in Afghanistan too the U.S. demanded that all of bin Laden’s men be turned
over. But in practice the al-Qaida
activists spread out across the entire world.
Maybe this time too Syria thinks it can finesse things. Nevertheless, the current situation is
different. After Afghanistan, the U.S.
homed in on Iraq and did not want to expand the arena of conflict. Now the United States has a free hand,
encouraged by its success in Iraq.
Furthermore, if Saddam's engineers of death truly are in Syria, then
that is precisely the kind of proof that the Americans need."
WEST BANK: "War
Against Iraq: Where Are The WMD?"
Ashraf Al-Ajrami wrote in independent, pro-Palestinian Authority Al-Ayyam
(4/14): "The United States can wage
a war against Syria under the pretext of helping the Iraqi regime by sheltering
Iraqi escapees or based on accusations that Syria possesses weapons of mass
destruction, as some American officials have already stated. The United States can also provide the
Syrians with the same kind of freedom offered to the Iraqis, which means
destroying Syria and depriving it of all of its cultural symbols in order to
provide business opportunities for ‘poor’ American companies. Also, an attack on Syria will be a chance for
the compassionate and humane American administration to carry out vital
missions of rebuilding the destroyed country and its leadership with the aim of
“The Cloud Of Aggression Will Clear Away”
Independent Al-Quds editorialized (4/11): "After overcoming the effects of the
shock of the bitter military defeat, the Iraqis will find themselves facing the
brutal reality of occupation, which was forced upon their country under trivial
pretexts and without legal or ethical justifications. The occupation forces
will try to divide the Iraqi people in order to maintain their presence in
Iraq. Thus, the real test for any national and patriotic movement in Iraq is
its ability to deny the occupation forces the chance to divide the Iraqi
“The Third Palestine”
Fouad Abu Hejleh commented in semi-official Al-Hayat
Al-Jadida (4/11): "Syria is
also a target now after the Secretary of evil Rumsfeld started to impudently
threaten Damascus. He is totally aware of the fact that Damascus can be easily
isolated, especially during this lousy time for the Arabs. We agree with
Rumsfeld and Sharon that the Palestinians and Syrians should learn from the
Iraqi lesson. This lesson has shown that abiding by international law is of no
use and much like slow suicide. It has shown that accepting inspection and
eliminating weapons mean surrendering to death.”
EGYPT: "A Slip For
Columnist Ahmed El-Guindy held in aggressive pro-government Al
Akhbar (4/14): “The fall of Baghdad is a fall for all world
capitals, but mainly a moral, human and political fall for Washington and
London. The most important consequence
is the hatred of the Arab people to both of them. This hatred will increase every day as the
aims of this colonial war are revealed.”
"Baghdad, An Open City"
Aggressive pro-government weekly Al Akhbar al Yom columnist
Nabil Zaki stated (4/12): “Definitely
the nature of the regime in Baghdad served the plots of those who decided to
usurp and occupy Iraq.... A regime’s
falling to the hands of the people of the country is different from one falling
into the hands of a foreign power which doesn’t hide its ambition to usurp the
country’s wealth, rule under colonialism and turn the country into a base to
protect Israeli expansionist ambitions....
It is logical to expect more catastrophes after the fall of Iraq
especially given an growing American avarice for subduing the world.”
“A Major Test”
Leading pro-government Al Ahram contributor Morsi Attallah
remarked (4/10): “The issue is not one
of democracy in Iraq as outlined by American officials. The issue is satisfying the American agenda
by securing oil resources and the market and guaranteeing Israel’s security and
expansionist ambitions...(and) to cover for the horrible crimes Sharon is
committing against Palestinians....
Further proof of this...is talk about an American desire to make radical
changes in Arab infrastructure under the banners of democracy, civil society and
human rights.... After this military
war, we should expect another political, psychological and economic war against
Iraq and others.... We are confronting a
real tragedy wherein falsehood of America and Israel is commingled with Arab
inability and hesitancy.... It is no
longer a time to persist in blindness to Israel’s influence on American
“Tragedy Between American Victory And Saddam’s Boastfulness”
Small-circulation pro-government Al Gomhouriya
Editor-in-chief Samir Ragab opined (4/10):
“Whatever the American and British pretexts in Iraq, this is definitely
an occupation, and an occupier must pay eventually.... That is why I suggest: There should be stress
on the fact that Saddam deceived his people and the entire Arab region and that
he only cared about his personal interests; the U.S. should regain its
credibility and reform its relations with the Arab region by letting Iraqis
themselves run Iraq’s affairs just as President Mubarak advocated yesterday.... There should be a serious and rapid
implementation of the roadmap for the Palestinian issue which, we repeatedly
say, is the core issue of the middle East dispute. Definitely the fulfillment by Bush of his
promise will have positive results--the simplest of which is refuting the
charge he launched the war on Iraq for the sake of Israelis.”
JORDAN: “Hurry Up Before It
Is Too Late”
Hilmi Al-Asmar wrote in center-left, influential Arabic-language Al-Dustour
(4/14): “The usurpation of Iraq has
lifted the cover off the Arab political regimes. All are now candidates for the ‘liberation’
whether they like it or not. It is best
for the political elites to start changing their colors and taking cover with
their people by ‘liberating’ their people from oppression and tyranny now when
there is no pressure, before this issue becomes a pretext for bringing down the
rejectionists and before their files are taken out of the CIA drawers. It is a new age, the age of liberation and
democratization by force. So hurry up
before it is too late for you.”
“The Occupation Is The Beginning!”
Mohammad Kawash argued in independent, mass-appeal Arabic-language
Al-Arab Al-Yawm (4/7): “The
Americans and the British will eventually come to the realization that the
occupation of Iraq is not the end of the line, that it is not going to achieve
security and stability and open doors for investment companies. Occupying Iraq will be the beginning, because
Washington has no political solutions for Iraq that could overcome the
historical, geographical, political and ethnic complexities and
difficulties.... We are certain that the
occupation of Iraq and its tragic repercussions are going to lead to
entrenching the Arabs’ and Muslims’ feelings of hatred and animosity towards
the United States. This in turn is going
to lead to the creation of a state of instability inside Iraq that would extend
to a number of countries in the region.
This means that the entire region is at the threshold of a wave of violence,
the consequences of which cannot be predicted.... These measures and plans are part and parcel
of an America’s project to liquidate the Palestinian issue, to reshape the
Middle East, to nullify the Arab order, and to turn this region into small sectarian
and ethnic states, which would nullify the joint Arab action and the Arab
Iraq: The First American Target In An Israeli War!"
Talal Salman declared in Arab nationalist As-Safir
(4/14): "With the last bullets against
Tikrit announcing the U.S. victory in Iraq, the American administration
disclosed that only the first round is about to end and...specified a new
target. Yesterday, members of the
American administration took turns in launching a massive campaign against
Syria, using a lot of the vocabulary that was used before to justify their
aggression on Iraq. This was not the
first time in which the U.S. warned Syria; however, the list of accusations
this time was the biggest and the most violent.... What is also noteworthy, is President Bush's
personal involvement in accusing Syria of harboring chemical weapons.... Knowing that the American Ministry of War is
only an Israeli room of operations...it would be easy to conclude that Iraq was
not the only target...consequently, this is a war on all Arabs.... It is a war of Israeli nature on all the
Arabs.... It is an Israeli war with an
“Wars In Iraq”
Sahar Baasiri declared in moderate, anti-Syrian An-Nahar
(4/11): “The happiness of the Iraqis
over the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime should not blind their eyes from
seeing the dangers that are threatening them and their future.... Happiness is legitimate. The fall of every oppressor is a happy
event.... However, what is important is
what will happen next. The Americans and
British are talking about liberation, democracy and a great future, while
reality is filled with many challenges....
The struggle is on several levels: On the level of the American command
where there is conflict between the Pentagon, the CIA, and the State
Department; on the level of the different factions of the Iraqi opposition; and
on the level of Kurds...but the real struggle now is to keep Iraq for the
“The Fall Of A Capital: Going Back To 1917”
Rafiq Khoury noted in centrist Al-Anwar (4/10): “Baghdad fell on the heads of all Arabs...and
all (Arabs) will feel the impact of this fall.... The dancing around Saddam Hussein’s statue is
only a fleeting image in a dramatic scene which will have many dimensions.... This occupation is a new defeat for Arabs
within the series of defeats in wars against Israel. This time, however, defeat is more dangerous
because the victor is the only super-power in the world, which has an imperial
strategy that does not hide its aims....
What is left is some hope in the natural course of things. Every occupation creates a resistance and
every big force has its enemies...however, the first condition for a successful
resistance is for it to be a popular/public resistance.... We have a great challenge ahead of us.... Baghdad’s defeat yesterday took the Middle
East back to the phase that followed the first World War...as if we are
destined to work again for the independence we received at the beginning of the
twentieth century. The greediness of
imperialism is enormous, however, our mistakes which were responsible for this
tragedy are enormous as well.”
QATAR: "Who Is Next,
Syria Or Iran?"
Taha Khalifa opined in semi-independent Arabic-language Al-Raya
(4/14): "Which country will be
next? The easy fall of Baghdad made the
war on Iraq looked like a picnic. That
might stimulate President Bush's appetite to settle the United States' accounts
with 'international pockets of resistance.'
North Korea is not in focus now.
However, Iran, as a member of Bush's axis of evil, and Syria, which just
joined the club, are the most likely to be next on Bush's agenda. Syria, according to the USG, is offering safe
haven to fleeing Iraqi leaders; allowed Arab fighters to cross into Iraq to
fight against coalition forces; and most importantly is hiding Iraq's WMD and
developing chemical weapons. In
addition, there is always the old accusation that it supports Hezballah and
other Palestinian terrorist groups. Any
of the above could serve as an excuse for the U.S. to launch military action
against Syria. Minutes after the fall of
Baghdad, senior American officials sent a message to Syria and Iran urging them
to learn from the mistakes of Iraq....
Strong states in this region will be broken in order to maintain peace
and security for Israel. That is the
ultimate goal of Bush's Christian, rightist administration."
"Syria: Just a
Jeddah's moderate Al-Madina editorialized (4/13): "In the beginning, we (Arabs) missed an
opportunity to prevent the war from erupting.
We failed to convince the U.S. to give UN inspectors more time, and we
also failed to convince Saddam to leave the country and spare his nation the
atrocities of war. The political map of
Iraq is being drawn now. Are we going to
miss the chance once again? As part of
self-determination, Arab nations have to reevaluate their past to disclose the
reasons behind the current disgraceful situation. The list of targeted Arab countries is clear
and has been made public by the U.S.
Even before the war ended, U.S. media gave clear signs that Syria is
next in line. There is no need to think hard about the reasons behind these
threats. American and Israeli hawks have
many reasons to head toward Damascus.
But the question remains, are we (Arabs) going to stand still and wait
for that to happen, and then convene at some summit to exchange accusations and
bad-mouth each other. Just
"Why Accuse Syria?"
Riyadh's conservative Al-Riyadh declared (4/13): "Syria is the most important obstacle
for Israel, due to its geographic position in the neighborhood, its
nonnegotiable political stance, and its hard line in dealing with its own
issues and Arab national issues. Putting
it on the hot issues list, after the fall of Baghdad, it then becomes a matter
of consideration, because the Israeli hawks are still dominating the American
hard line.... Therefore, Damascus has
the same importance as Baghdad, if we assume that regional security is part of
American political success."
"Iraq’s Future Post-Saddam"
Jeddah’s moderate Al-Bilad editorialized (4/10): "Finally Iraq’s capital fell, and Iraqis
breathed easy. For decades they were living under the mercy of harsh dictator
who exploited the country’s resources for his own benefit. This sudden swift
fall marks the beginning of a new stage in the future of Iraq.... President Bush and PM Blair’s recommendations
of establishing an interim government is exactly what Iraq needs now. There is
no harm in seeking American, British or even the UN’s help during this period.
Iraqis are going to need a lot of help in this period until they can once again
govern themselves. We hope that the international aid is not just going to be
in the form of construction and rebuilding ruins, but that it extends to help
Iraq set the basis of a new state."
Riad Zein commented in government-owned English-language Syria
Times (4/13): "The liberation
of Iraqi is an illusion since occupation perpetuates and is reminiscent of
colonialism, and since many Iraqis are turned into slaves under the technology
of war of the invading forces. Human
rights are protected in terms of massacring thousands of innocent people,
bombarding civilian areas and destroying a whole country with internationally
banned weapons of mass annihilation.
America's freedom and democracy are expressed in terms of encouraging
people to loot and destroying government buildings and private property of
maintaining unrest and creating disorder and instigating violence.... It is really the freedom of robbery and theft
and the democracy of disorder and violence that America seeks. This is actually the mass destruction of
freedom and democracy.... What an
immoral, criminal and brutal superpower governed and guided by a junta of
racist leaders, war-mongers and greedy gangsters!"
“The Iraqi People’s Responsibilities”
Ali Nasarallah commented in government-owned Al-Thawra
(4/11): “Even though the US war-machine
has been able to kill thousands of Iraqi people and demolish Iraq’s
infrastructure, it will certainly not be able to kill the Iraqi people’s
resistance. This is not theoretical, but is learned from the lessons of
history.... U.S. Administration
officials announce they will need 2 or 3 years of occupation to
reorganize.... Iraq. They talk about a transitional situation,
which accords with the Israeli perspective and...Sharon’s logic vis-à-vis US
claims about fulfilling security and stability...then about organizing elections
and withdrawing US forces while still maintaining military bases to protect the
oil fields and US interests. But
achieving security and stability in Iraq might not be achieved for two reasons:
first, the US will not help achieve security and stability; rather it will
encourage chaos and revenge, and will deepen disputes among Iraqis. Second, the Iraqi people will feel the danger
and will refuse to succumb to the invaders. This will extend the duration of
occupation.... The Iraqi people will
soon realize the tragic aspects of occupation and its catastrophic
results. They will realize that their
national interest is in giving up internal disputes and maintaining their
political and national unity.... The US
and the UK should realize that they won’t be able to kill the feelings of
"Privileging The Rational"
Editor-in-chief, Noureddine Hlaoui contended in
independent French-language Le Temps (4/12): "What is essential in these current
events, is the fact to turn to the future and to get down to the task of
reconstruction, labor and knowledge. In fact, the time is for another battle
but of a different kind. Other countries have been through the similar
circumstances and got out of it with great fortune. We cite the examples of Japan and Germany
that are today considered as the first rivals of the U.S. on the economic
level. Bush and Blair have supposedly delivered a positive speech concerning
the future of Iraq and its wealth. We should take them at their words and
launch a call to the international community to take note of the
American-British engagements. On the other hand Arab countries are called to
achieve their own union, which should start on the economic side. They should
take inspiration from the European Union example."
"War Against Iraq: It is Just A Delayed
Editor-in-chief Chokri Baccouche stated in
independent French-language Le Quotidien (4/11): "The United States and the Great Britain
have maybe won a battle, but they could never win the war. Because the hardest
is to come and the occupation of Iraq opens up the door to chaos. The invaders have gotten off on the right
foot to undergo one heck of a change....
From being a weak and exploited country, Iraqis will obviously discover
the other side of the coin, which is a country led by a puppet government that
fully obeys the American administration. They will see the tankers full of
crude oil moving under the control of the occupying army without receiving any
dividend. Their lives will not be better for sure. The true reaction of the
Iraqis won't take long to start and the 'liberators' of today risk undergoing
one heck of a change."
UAE: "Arab Policy
Dubai-based business-oriented Arabic-language Al-Bayan
editorialized (4/13): "The Arab
league and Arab countries are requested to move towards protecting not only
Iraq and Syria, but also all Arab countries that might sooner or later find
themselves an American target."
"Iraq Is Only The First U.S. Target"
Sharjah-based pan-Arab Al Khaleej editorialized
(4/11): "When the U.S. threw its
first bomb under its motto for the 'liberation' of Iraq, it was a new era of
occupation. It was the first bomb
against all Arabs and their rights and it won't be the last. Baghdad is only the first piece in an chain of
Arab countries that will fall. Choosing
Iraq as the first target was not a random step since it is the biggest,
richest, and most powerful country in the Middle East."
AUSTRALIA: "The New
Geoffrey Barker noted in business-oriented Australian Financial
Review (4/14): “Judging by the cost
of the war and the post-war problems facing the U.S. and its coalition
partners, it may be some time before future U.S. intentions become clear. Restoration of order...and the installation
of a new Iraqi regime will be slow and expensive.... But perhaps the clearest signal that the U.S.
might be trawling for more pre-emptive targets has been its remorseless
pressure on Iraq’s neighbor, Syria, a regime probably no less brutal than
Hussein’s.... It would be ironic and
tragic if the Iraq war, which was supposed to disarm one dreadful regime, had
the unintended effect of speeding other dreadful regimes towards nuclear
CHINA: "The Iraq War
Will Influence The Middle East Situation"
Tang Zhichao and Wang Xiaole opined in official Communist
Party-run international news publication Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao)
(4/14): “The U.S. will hold the sole
hegemonic position in the Middle East.
Russia, France and Germany have lost an important chessman to bargain
with the U.S. The importance of Saudi
Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and Jordan will decrease in Middle East strategy of the
U.S. Israel will be a big winner of this
war. The Middle East will still be the
source of unstability. Iran and Syria
are worried that they will become the next targets of the U.S.”
“Seeing The Prospect Of The U.S. Hegemony From The Iraqi War”
Yuan Peng wrote in official Xinhua international news publication International
Herald Leader (Guoji Xianqu Daobao) (4/11): “The U.S. dream of imperialism has never been
as obvious as it is now. Although the
U.S. has strong, comprehensive national strength, its strength of moral
influence and cultural centripetal force are decreasing day by day. This sole super power of the world is facing
a dilemma it created itself. Now it is hegemony, not the U.S., which the other
countries are opposing. This is a chance
for the U.S. to correct its mistake by giving up its unilateral strategy and
adopting a practical attitude.”
“To Comprehend Bush's Strategy”
Peng Di commented in official Communist Youth League-run China
Youth Daily (Zhongguo Qingnianbao)(4/10): "In the attack to Iraq, how dedicated
the Bush Administration is! How rushed its actions are! How strongly statements
are worded! And, how rudely its diplomacy is!
These are all rarely seen in international relations.... Many people can see that the deeper goal of
the U.S. is oil. But there is much more than oil.... If the U.S. controls the Middle East and the
oil in the area, there is a great possibility that economic lifelines of many
important oil-consuming countries will be controlled by the U.S. Then, the day that the U.S. imperialism
controls the world is not far off. How much the Bush Administration hopes to
realize that!.... The first step of
Bush’s ‘ambitious’ strategy is close to being accomplished. His second step may still be in the Middle
East, but possibly change another way to set up another pro-U.S. regime. The
whole world is cautiously watching the next U.S. step.”
CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):
"U.S. Hawks Are In Power, World Can Hardly Have Peace"
Independent Chinese-language Hong Kong Economic Journal
wrote (4/12): "The U.S.
neo-conservatives who planned the war will become even more influential in U.S.
foreign policy, with a greater impact on the international order. These neo-conservatives and the U.S. Jewish
lobby are closely related. They highly
praise Israel's right-wing Likud Party, with its military mindset and style of
government. Today, the U.S. emphasizes
national security in justifying its pre-emptive measures, which is no different
from Likud's strategy.... The situation
today is different from the past as the U.S. hawks are in power. Although they represent a minority view in
international politics, their actions will impact the global situation. Given an American victory in Iraq in just one
month, the neo-conservatives may redouble their efforts to promote their
philosophy. It is feared that the world
map may shortly be redrawn."
JAPAN: "A New Era Of
Liberal Mainichi observed (4/11): "The start of U.S./UK action against
Iraq and U.S. troops' demonstration of overwhelming power in their seizure of
Baghdad marked the start of new wars in a world dominated by the 'democratic
empire' of the United States. Although
the original purpose of the U.S. use of force was to disarm Hussein of WMD, no
such weapons have so far been found in Iraq.
Instead, the U.S. appears to be publicizing 'democratization' as the
purpose of war in Iraq. Now, the U.S. can opt for the purpose of war at its own
INDONESIA: “New Form Of
Muslim-Intellectual Republika commented
(4/11): "The Iraqis and the world
community seem to have no choice but to accept the reality, the bitter reality
of a new form of imperialism and colonialism.
New imperialism because no matter the form of the new government in
Iraq, the U.S. will ‘force its will.’ At least they have to get ‘approval’ from
the Uncle Sam.... But how many more
democratic government have to ‘fall’ if they oppose U.S. interests?.... Even the fall of President Soekarno was
reportedly also due to U.S. interference....
We and other civilized people certainly do not want the world to be made
black and white by the president of one country, the U.S. A president that forces the law of the jungle
is one that opposes the world.”
MALAYSIA: "The Future
Of The Gulf Is Not In U.S. Hands."
Government-influenced Malay-language Utusan Malaysia
contended (4/11): "One of the Arab
world’s concerns now is if the U.S. will live up to its promise of allowing the
Iraqi people the freedom to rebuild their own nation. Another is whether the U.S. will target
another Arab nation for opposing the war in Iraq. The is much speculation that the U.S. would
not have attacked Iraq if it did not count on a positive ‘domino effect’--to
enlarge its sphere of influence in the Middle East. The fate of Iraq is a grim reminder to the
other Arab countries that unity among them is important if they want to stop
the arrogance of the U.S. Saddam Hussein
may have committed heinous crimes and alienated his neighbors, but to let foreigners
topple him from power--is something that should not have been allowed to
happen. The Iraqi people need not share
the same fate as the people of Afghanistan.
All Islamic countries should offer assistance to rebuild this oil-rich
country. We should also be aware that
the U.S. and Britain will always start with economic sanctions, and then with
the excuses of freedom, democracy and anti-terrorism, before they invade other
Does Not Make Right"
Sonny Coloma wrote in the leading business-oriented BusinessWorld
(4/11): "Beyond Iraq, the Arab
world has been put on notice that awesome U.S. technology could be used against
other recalcitrant regimes. What country will be next: Syria or Iran?.... U.S. unilateralism has created a serious rift
between the Americans and the Europeans, principally the Germans, French and
Russians. To his credit, Prime Minister
Tony Blair has been quite outspoken in his advocacy for a significant UN role
in post-war Iraq. In contrast, the U.S. has already telegraphed in advance its
plan to install a retired general as warden of Baghdad and put in place an
American-backed transitional regime. My
own wish is to see larger crowds and hordes of jubilant Iraqi citizens dancing
in the streets.... Beyond that, they
should assertively establish their own government, not a government of puppet
or stooges as feared by...prescient Arab observers. But this could really end up as wishful
thinking in the face of realpolitik....
Alas and alack, the resort to expedient unilateral military action has
defined the parameters for the post-Saddam Iraqi and Middle Eastern political
arena. If there is no effective
counterpoint to U.S. unilateralism, we may well be hapless witnesses to a new
world order that will be built mainly on the platform of military might."
SOUTH KOREA: "A Return
Lee Young-ja opined in government-owned Daehan Maeil
(4/14): "The war in Iraq was a
result of thorough planning and decision-making, not an event occurring by
chance. If Nazism had claimed the lives
of millions of Jews in the past, 21st century 'Americanism' has taken the lives
of countless Arabs as a sacrifice. The
U.S., having emerged as a powerful nation in the 20th century after a victory
over Nazism, is now writing its own disgraceful chapter in history to surface
as the superpower state of this century.
Regardless of whether the U.S. wins in the war or not, and even if the
Iraqi people welcome the Americans as liberating them from an iron-fisted rule,
the U.S. attack on Iraq can never be justified.
If, instead of introspection, the U.S. finds justification for its
actions, then mankind's history will return to a helpless state of
THAILAND: “A Unipolar
World--An American Dream”
The lead editorial in conservative, Thai-language Siam Rath
read (4/10): “American experts’ theory
on the clash of civilizations sees U.S. culture as the standard for the
west. To survive and remain strong,
western civilizations must have U.S. culture at their core.... Such is the principle of the U.S. ideology of
a ‘unipolar world’ or an American dream, if you will. The U.S. would have achieved its goal had it
not been too cruelly hasty. Apparently
the western bloc is now splitting into two camps…. Asian countries that have been at odds,
competing with one another and following in the west’s footsteps should rethink
and reunite. Asia must close ranks with
Africa and South America so as to act as a counterbalance against western
VIETNAM: "War In Iraq
And Its Long-term Consequences"
Dang Vu wrote in Ha Noi Moi, run by Hanoi city authorities
(4/10): "Politically, the war that
the U.S. unilaterally waged against a sovereign country has seriously violated
the UN Charter.... The US has immensely
damaged the role of the UN.... The war
of aggression against Iraq has made countries and regions adjust their
strategies and policies toward the U.S.
Militarily, although the U.S. is able to gain control over Baghdad, the
situation in Iraq and the region will be unstable for a long time, just like
what happened in Kosovo and Afghanistan.
A government set up by the U.S. [in Iraq] will face opposition from the
people who lost their families and who were displaced because of the war. Ethnic conflicts will break out. Terrorism will have an opportunity to
mushroom in many places. The conflict
between the Muslim world and the U.S. and its allies will become more
profound. Countries will have to spend
more on defense budget. An arms race
The nationalist Hindustan Times carried a piece by Anand K.
Sahay saying (4/12): "It's not yet
clear if Syria will go Iraq's way in U.S. planning, but America has already
attacked two countries in the last 18 months.
Such a high frequency of military excursions has not been seen in modern
times, or since the United Nations was established to prevent wars.... We can't yet be certain if Iraqi nationalism
is cohesive enough to be reckoned as a factor in the current scenario; nor
whether there exists such a thing as a wider Arab identity that the American
imperium may have to contend with.
However, while the Arab Street may be an unknown quantity, a postscript
can be appended to the U.S. invasion, namely, that 'shock and awe' failed as a
PAKISTAN: "If Hawks
Have Their Way"
An editorial in the Karachi-based independent national Dawn
read (4/14): "Following on the
heels of the universally opposed Iraq war, any further widening of America's
doctrine of pre-emption in action could plunge the region into turmoil and
further polarize a deeply divided world still seething over the unilateralist
U.S. attack on Iraq. Most of its allies,
including Britain, France, Russia, Germany and the pro-U.S. Arab states, are
urging Washington to shun further confrontation and move instead towards
healing the rifts opened up by the war, restoring the battered credibility of
the United Nations and putting the Palestinian-Israeli peace process back on
"Dawn Of A New Day"
Iqbal Latif contended in the Lahore-based Daily Times
(4/14): "Muslims seem fanatically
devoted to their tyrants. Muslim populations virtually everywhere have
protested against the war and supported Saddam Hussein.... I wonder why the Muslims demonstrate against
the liberation of an Islamic population....
We have just witnessed the end of Saddam's regime following the U.S.
invasion. But this is an invasion with a difference. Baghdad's surrender this
time around has not ended in massacres. In fact the poor people of Iraq have
been delivered from tyranny and will shortly be given the power to decide their
own destiny.... The decline of Iraq was
due to the absence of freedom. Welfare and freedom are interlinked, with
freedom will come the fruit of prosperity. It can be hoped that the land will
regain its lost glory. It will be a harbinger of progress in that region."
"The Next Patriotic War"
Shafqat Mahmood declared in the centrist national News
(4/11): "is it over for the United
States? Indications are that the next target is already being lined up.... There is an eerie familiarity to the opening
salvos in the Syrian game plan.... The
stage will be set. Quislings will create a free Syrian army. A new coalition of
the willing will be put together with Israel as a major partner and war
unleashed. Another Arab country will be
'liberated'.... It is not a surprise
that Al-Jazeera, the independent Arab television station has been hit for a
second time in two conflicts. It was hit in Kabul and now in Baghdad. This just
indicates how vital it is for the U.S. to control the news.... The name of the game is controlling
information.... This American
administration is moving at a breakneck speed to reshape the world to its
liking. It has no care or concern for other people or for the suffering that it
leaves in its wake.... American troops
are in every region of the world and in more than fifty countries. Pax Americana
continues to extract a heavy price."
"Another Fall Of Baghdad"
Second-largest Urdu-language Nawa-e-Waqt maintained
(4/11): "America has completed the
plan to deal with all Islamic countries one by one; the fall of Baghdad being
the starting point. In the garb of
friendship, the U.S. is an enemy of the Islamic country (Pakistan) that went
for nuclear testing despite the warnings of American president Clinton.... We wish we could sense the danger emanating
"Fall Of Baghdad"
The Islamabad-based rightist English-language Pakistan Observer
said (4/11): "Iraq's fate should,
however, be an eye-opener for other Muslim nations. Irrespective of the denials
by the United States, the fact remains that Muslims are the targets of
President Bush's policies. His projected plans to reshape the Middle East map
and to bring about democracy in the region obviously smack of his ultimate
designs about the region.... It's a sad
day because the fall of Baghdad will open floodgates of political intrigues,
blackmail and turmoil in the Middle East, whose implications will also
spillover to other regions as well....
Saddam's blunders have contributed towards encouraging Bush's vision to
make the 21st century as the U.S. century. Difficult days are thus ahead of the
world, as new doctrines and patterns have been introduced in the international
politics by the U.S. Might will be right
in the 21st century as well!"
"The Fall Of Baghdad"
The center-right national Nation maintained (4/11): "As President Saddam Hussein lost his
hold on power, the people were aided and abetted by the invading army to pull
down his imposing statue in the heart of Baghdad, whose outstretched arm
pointed towards Al-Quds (Jerusalem).
When a guiding motive of the whole anti-Iraq exercise was to make Israel
the region's paramount power, any threat to Israel symbolized by this statue is
anathema and to be removed. Although
U.S. troops took down the Stars and Stripes they put on it briefly, the lurking
intention of imperialist occupation was not lost on TV viewers worldwide.... While the Iraqi campaign is not yet over,
U.S. and U.K. warmongers have fired warning shots at other targets.... Muslim countries, which are undoubtedly in
the line of fire, should waste no time in formulating a joint policy to defend
themselves, lest they are taken out one by one. The Zionist-run U.S. is out to
implement Israel's expansionist agenda. It has to be stopped in its tracks.
Meanwhile, it is also essential that the international community move to
prevent a U.S. quasi-colonization by pressing for the UN to take the lead role
in the country's rehabilitation. As a
Security Council member, Pakistan must play an appropriate role."
"After Saddam, What Next?"
The Lahore-based Daily Times observed (4/11): "How will the post-war, pre-peace situation
unfold in Iraq and who, if any, is likely to be America's next target. Both
questions are obviously interlinked....
Whether the U.S. now moves on to create more such
"democracies" will depend on whether it takes its cue from the ease
with which it has toppled the Iraqi regime or from the difficulties it is going
to face in winning the peace. There are fears that it might use the war rather
than the still-to-be peace as the benchmark to make that decision. That would
be a mistake.... Most neo-conservatives
think or hope that the Iraq war is really the beginning of a gigantic
historical experiment whose purpose is to do in the Arab world what was done in
Germany and Japan after World War II. This is a misconception. It equates two
nation-states like Germany and Japan with over one billion "Islamic"
people spread across vast swathes of the globe and politically, ethnically,
nationally and in many other ways different from each other. This is the
Huntingtonian fallacy that refers to an Islamic civilization in the same
context as Western, Sinic and other 'civilizations', a kind of theoretical
packaging that eschews the many fault-lines in an attempt not to lose the
larger theoretical picture.... In the
next phase, therefore, the U.S. and its war-allies will face...a multitude of
interests, ethnicities, tribal loyalties and feuding, individual and group
demands and so on."
NEPAL: "Lesson For N
Korea And Others"
Dr. Shreedhar Gautam held in the centrist Kathmandu Post
(4/10): "The Iraq war is the most
unequal, immoral, unjustified and brutal in nature.... There was a deep conspiracy and a long drawn
out plan to attack Iraq and eliminate the leadership with a view of occupying
the land directly, and to take hold of Iraqi oil wells. Now the destruction of Iraq is almost over
and the occupation of Iraqi soil by the outsiders is almost certain. The moot question before other nations is to
analyze the event calmly, and then to draw a definite lesson for the future. Though many nations might meet the fate of
Iraq, the immediate impact of the war will be felt by North Korea… The case of
Iraq has helped us understand the reason why North Korea is not abandoning its
nuclear policy, despite the U.S. threat… Now it is clear that the U.S. would
have never dared to attack Iraq if the latter had either nuclear capability or
adequate modern weapons to match the highly superior firepower of the
former.... The U.S. action has shown
that no country in the world can preserve its independence if its army and
people are not one in defending their soil from the possible attack. Now small countries are threatened and
SOUTH AFRICA: "Hollow
Victory For The War Whores"
Intellectual weekly Mail & Guardian said (4/11): "It would be a grave mistake to view the
scenes of rejoicing...as a post hoc sanctification of the United States'
criminal invasion.... With no sign yet
of Saddam's WMD, the 'justified pre-emption' argument is looking more and more
threadbare.... The US and its jackal,
the United Kingdom, have done the easy bit.
With the world's most sophisticated military hardware, they have
overwhelmed a country savaged in an earlier conflict and bled white by
sanctions. Now they have the far more
demanding task of winning the peace....
One can only hope Iraq's sovereignty is restored as soon as possible,
and that somehow from this appalling mess a stable, legitimate government and
integral state is salvaged. For this, it
is essential for the US to relinquish administrative hold of post-invasion Iraq
to the United Nations. The longer the
invaders stay on conquered soil...the stronger the impression in Arab and Third
world minds that this was a colonial resource-grab. And the victory they proclaim will indeed be
a hollow victory for the 'war whores'
TANZANIA: “Iraq Should Be
Rebuilt By Iraqis Themselves”
Kiswahili-language independent weekly Rai commented
(4/10): "After America and Britain
failed to convince the UN to endorse military action against Iraq, these two
countries took it upon themselves to invade Iraq. This action was condemned by
the international community as an act of bullying. Hundreds of innocent
civilians have lost their lives. A big
part of Iraq is now in the hands of foreign troops, and already the work of
reconstructing the country has been initiated by representatives of these
powerful countries. The original purpose
of invading Iraq, so as to disarm Saddam’s regime of its weapons of mass
destruction, has changed. Even the second reason, which was to liberate Iraqis
from an oppressive regime, has also changed. It is now becoming obvious that
these countries actually wanted to topple Saddam Hussein and rule the
country. TV stations have been showing
pictures of buildings and infrastructure that have been demolished by incessant
bombings. They have fulfilled their purpose. Iraq is now in their hands. It would thus be prudent, if they would
rebuild Iraq politically, socially, and economically, just like they had
promised. But in doing so, Iraqis should be in the frontline in supervising
this work, which should not just be for the benefit of outside corporations.”
ZIMBABWE: “What Next For 26
Million Iraqis After Saddam?”
The independent Daily News opined (4/10): "The United Nations is justified to be
concerned at the future of the 26 million people of Iraq after the United
States-British forces have routed Saddam Hussein and set up a ‘colonial’
administration.... The world needs to
restore its faith in the UN, whose efficacy as the final arbiter of peace in
the world has been sorely challenged by the U.S.-UK adventure in Iraq.... The morality of the military action against
Saddam Hussein will be debated for a long time to come, along with the new
doctrine of the U. S. Government of ‘regime change’.... What does the future hold for what have been
called ‘rogue regimes’ which ignore everything that can conceivably be seen as
allowing for the freedom to the people to exercise their inalienable rights as
citizens? There are governments today,
members of the UN, who can be slotted into this category. The UN itself has no power to act against
them, unless there is consensus for such action among the five permanent
members of the Security Council. If
there is no consensus, what happened to Saddam Hussein becomes an option, a
dangerous option, but an option nevertheless.”
"The Threat From Syria And The Right Response"
The leading Globe and Mail editorialized
(4/11): "There's good reason why
the flags of Iraq and Syria are almost identical. The neighbouring countries are like brothers,
albeit bickering brothers. They've been
run for decades by separate arms of the Arab Socialist Baath Party.... Now, the U.S. military controls Baghdad. Is the next stop Damascus? One might think it possible, judging by
accusations being exchanged by the Bush administration and the regime of Bashar
Assad.... There's little doubt the White
House would like to see regime change in Damascus. The Syrian government has provided
intelligence about al-Qaeda to the CIA.
And it voted at the UNSC last fall for Resolution 1441.... But these helpful steps, U.S. officials
suggest, are outweighed by Syria's support of organizations such as
Hezbollah.... But even the most hawkish
members of the Bush administration know another war is unlikely. The invasion of Iraq is commonly viewed as
lacking a basis in international law, though Washington has defended it on
grounds that numerous UN resolutions against Iraq hadn't been met. There is not even that rationale concerning
Syria, though; an attack would be viewed as American unilateralism, pure and
"America In The Post-Saddam world"
Jeffrey Simpson reflected in the leading Globe and Mail
(4/11): "In this unipolar world, post-Saddam Iraq, how does the United
States use its power? Will it be Iraq today, Syria, Iran or North Korea
tomorrow? Or will the U.S. have its hands so full rebuilding Iraq that it will
lack the concentration, resources and will to turn to these countries? Was Iraq
a one-off case, or the first of a series of confrontations that, by military
and/or diplomatic means, the screws are turned by Washington? What lessons, in
other words, will the Bush administration and the U.S. public draw from this
easy triumph in Iraq? The answer, in part, lies in what happens next. Should
all go well--Iraq restored physically and rebuilt democratically--the euphoria
sweeping across the U.S. media (and their Canadian acolytes) will embolden the
Bush administration to new targets. If, over time, things begin to go
wrong--discord in Iraq, more terror, political instability, unexpected
financial costs--then the euphoria will fade and questions will be asked about
imperial America.... It would appear
that the U.S. has an agenda, paid in blood for it in Iraq, emerged triumphant
(as if a military victory were ever in doubt), and will now proceed as it
chooses, superpower triumphant."
"Who Is Next On America's List?"
George Jonas commented in the conservative National Post
(4/9): "With coalition forces converging on Baghdad, the Bush
administration's warning to Syria to stop supporting Saddam Hussein's regime
with military equipment seemed ominous....
I don't think it's incumbent on the democracies of the West to force
people to live in peace with their neighbours. If they can't come to terms on
how to share a strip of land, too bad; let them duke it out.... It's only when other cultures seek to involve
us in their quarrels, whether by terrorism or by the development of weapons of
mass destruction, that we're justified in sending tanks and warplanes to offer
them tutorials in the benefits of democracy. The regimes that meet the criteria
of intervention include any that aren't armed with WMDs at present if they
attempt to develop them. They also include regimes that already possess WMDs if
they exhibit hostile intentions, e.g., North Korea. Naturally they include all
regimes or ideologies that sponsor, train, shelter, or reward terrorists, as
Iraq's Baathists or the Taliban have done....
We might expose them to the usual consequences of belligerency,
including blockades and invasions. Insofar as Syria's Bashir Assad or Iran's
Ayatollah Khamenei flirt with developing WMDs or encouraging terrorists, they
may find democracy being delivered to them by tanks and warplanes. This,
incidentally, is true for Saudi Arabia's royals as well. They'd be safer on
their oily thrones if, instead of funding and condoning Islamofascist terror,
they stuck to such relatively benign expressions of their culture as stoning
adulterers, amputating the hands of thieves and preventing women from
"A Crucial Piece In The Complex Middle East Chess Board"
Ana Baron wrote in leading Clarin (4/14): "By saying that the US believes Syria
has WMD, President Bush reinforced the position of those who think that the
Syrian government will be the next target of the antiterrorist war.
Nevertheless, just as in the case of Iraq, the argument of weapons would not be
the most important one. Syria is a crucial piece in the geopolitical map of the
Middle East that Bush wants to redesign and democratize.... Both Arabian and Western observers agree that
the only thing that could stabilize the region after the war on Iraq is an
Israeli-Palestinian deal.... In this
framework, the US is reported to have promised Tel Aviv that it 'will take
decisive action', which could include military action, to put an end to the
Syrian help to Hezbollah.... With his
eyes placed on reelection, Bush will hardly decide to strongly pressure Sharon,
which could deprive him of the Jews' vote. But he could well pressure Syria for
free from a domestic point of view."
"Who Is Next? Syria, Iran Or Northern
Claudio Uriarte opined in left-of-center Pagina 12
(4/10): "As of yesterday, Saudi
Arabia, Iran and Syria border with a new country: the U.S.... The military victory of US-UK led troops has
been conclusive and fast.... The
denunciation made last year by George W. Bush of Iraq, Iran and Northern Korea
as members of an 'Axis of Evil,' and the fact that Iraq succumbed yesterday
under US-UK weapons should not lead us to think...that they will be used in the
same way as in Iraq. Instead, they would rather have a role of strategic
destabilization, political guarantee and military deterrence, and,
particularly, for political destabilization....
For instance, Iran is the main country accused (by the U.S.) of
sponsoring terrorism...as well as Syria....
Saudi Arabia does not have armed forces...but part of the money of its
oil fed Al Qaeda.... And North Korea is
the most enigmatic component of the 'axis of Evil.' In fact it is nothing else
but a ghost of China. And China is the real power that allows filling out the
image. It provided North Korea with the components of its nuclear
weapons.... China was the author of the
program used by Pakistan to build its nuclear arsenal, and China, not least, is
the strategic enemy imagined by the Pentagon's hawks within the next 25
Liberal Folha de S. Paulo editorialized (4/13): "The crushing U.S. victory over Iraq
presents the world with a new geopolitical situation. The greatest risk is that
the Bush administration's hawks might try to expand their field of action. The
veiled threats that USG officials have been making to other nations with which
Washington has disagreements are worrisome....
The worst thing is that such interventionist ideas have the support of
the U.S. populace.... The Bush Doctrine
supports preventive and unilateral attacks against nations or groups that
represent or may represent a threat to the U.S.
A sensible administration, however, would avoid using arms whenever
possible. In truth, following Iraq, the simple threat of attack could work as a
dissuasive force. But common sense has not characterized the Bush
administration, dictators such as North Korea's Kim Jong-il or terrorists such
as Osama bin Laden. As a result, the possibility of imprudent actions cannot be
dismissed.... In the past few weeks,
Syria has gained prominence among George Bush's 'major villains.' Washington is
also profoundly unhappy with Saudi Arabia. Who will be next?.... The notion of preventive attack against
future threats, not against imminent aggression, is unacceptable. If it were a
'right,' as the White House's ideologists see it, and all nations exercised
that right, the world would live in a permanent state of war."
Luis Fernando Verissimo contended in
right-of-center O Globo (4/10): "This
war's dreaded figures may be lost in a convenient non-definition, because no
one will be interested to know even why the war occurred, whether for a cheaper
oil or any noble cause. What difference
will it make in the way Iraqis were liberated in the invasion of their country
without provocation? To kill is also to liberate. Another thing that may not survive these
unbelievable days is our old habit to mistake technology with civilization. A habit we should already doubt when one
concluded that only a very civilized people like the Germans would be able to
develop methods of mass extermination as efficient as those of the Nazis.
Today, the world's greatest technological power is using all its ingenuity to
go back in time 100 years to a colonial occupation of a country.... We're back to classical imperialism, to the
hypocrisy of the Crusades, to the pure prepotency disguising plundering. What other story are the intelligent missiles
telling, the warriors with night-vision and the fantastic new doctrine of
liberation bombing--not to mention, of course, Bush's election--if not the
failure of civilization, or the means to measure it?"
"A Shock Of Civilizations"
Center-left Jornal do Brasil runs article by Leonardo Boff
saying (4/11): "Never mind the mystic,
economic or political motivations, the fact is that Bush aims to establish the
Pax Americana and fit the world to the American way of life. After 9/11 it was decided that this would be
done through the use of force. No one
should dare to challenge this pretension or else he will know the U.S.
devastating power. Therefore, Bush prolongs and takes the intrinsic mark of the
Western paradigm to the last consequences: the wish to subject the whole world,
to establish a universal empire. The
so-called globalization is nothing but a Westernization or, poisoning of the
world.... The West, namely, the U.S. may
hold the control over capital production and technological and scientific
knowledge. But, no car will
move...without the Arab petroleum. Hence
the pressure and surveillance of Western powers over the Arab countries,
dividing them and maintaining them under severe control. There exists a great disappointment and even
anger in the Arab and Moslem people vis-à-vis the West and the U.S. Despite
their essential role on the functioning of the world system they feel they
don't count.... And their religion, the
best, the highest, is only seen as a
focus of terrorism.... Today, under
Bush's perception the threat is back under the spectrum of mass destruction
arms and of ferocious terrorism. Hence
the need to face it militarily. It's
important to grasp [the idea of] those hidden structures in order to better
understand the reasons of the current war."
"After Baghdad's Fall"
Center-right O Estado de S. Paulo opined (4/11): "The quickness with which the invaders
advanced in Iraq belied those pessimistic forecasts--in which even this paper
believed--of the conflict's duration and intensity, in addition to showing the
efficiency of Rumsfeld's strategy. But is it is also a fact that the doubts had
been sowed by the Bush administration less for the warnings that the war would
be long and difficult than for the alarm that Saddam could use his poisonous
weapons anywhere.... The result of the
attack is expected to raise Bush's popularity back to post-Sep. 11 levels,
thereby increasing his reelection chances next year. It is also expected to
stress the arrogance and self-sufficiency that characterizes the current U.S.
administration's view of the world and behavior. The indications that
Washington has not excluded the possibility of resorting to force once again,
now against Syria, are notorious."
Miguel Angel Granados Chapa held in independent Reforma
(4/11): "North American hawks such
as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld have insisted in singling out the next
victim, Syria. Washington has identified
an axis of evil whose members are on an ominous waiting list. Against the war in Iraq, the ones promoted by
unilateralism, we should organize preemptive peace."
"The Future After The Battle"
Olga Pellicer wrote in independent Reforma (4/10): “The decision to maintain control of the
reconstruction of Iraq is consistent with the principles that guided the
international strategy of the Bush administration. In the first place, it will head this
‘civilizing mission,’ that the Administration probably wants to take beyond the
borders of Iraq. In the second place, it
will be possible for the Bush administration to firmly maintain the visibility
of U.S. supremacy. Now that he is at the
point of completing the first stage of his intervention in Iraq, President Bush
could pause for a moment to ask himself if the criteria he used to embark upon
this military adventure, so opposed by the rest of the world, were the best, or
if he should reconsider them.
Unfortunately, nothing seems to indicate that there is any willingness
to engage in this kind of reflection. By
contrast, the future after the battle seems to be framed by the strengthening
of American arrogance and the unease of those who fear a long period of
“Iraq: Balances And Perspectives”
Left-of-center La Jornada observed
(4/10): “The regimes of North Korea,
Iran, Syria and Libya are considered by Washington as its enemies; the story
about the diplomatic pursuit and the invasion on Iraq is perceived by them as a
sign of the uselessness of the UN, of its resolutions, and of its procedures;
perhaps their conclusion is that the only solution to appease the US is the
development of weapons of massive destruction capable of dissuading the White
House. For international journalists who preserve a minimum of honesty and
professionalism, it is clear that the murder of journalists committed in Baghdad
is a clear indication that Washington considers the independent press as
dangerous, a military goal and an enemy that must be destroyed and
demoralized.... The end of Hussein’s
regime is the beginning of an era of oppression, destruction, occupation and sacking
directed by the U.S.”
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: “The Domino Effect"
Establishment, pro-business Listin Diario editorialized
(4/11): "“Once a new order is
imposed in Iraq, the enormous task of political carpentry will bring many
surprises to the Middle East.... It is
not only a matter of handling multimillionaire deals to capitalize production
and the economy. It is about the
political reconstruction that will set the foundations to reform a new state
based on democratic principles, western-style.... When Iraq...ceases to be what it has been,
Hussein’s and a powerful elite’s private preserve and bloodthirsty, and it uses
its riches to promote development and freedom, the story of the Middle East
will be a totally different one....
Hussein’s fall could open the doors to a, still unpredictable,
democratic process in the Middle East. A
process already feared...by those Arab states that know that their
short-comings and weaknesses will become apparent to the free world, when Iraq
enters the new chapter of its history.
This war will undoubtedly have a domino effect, in the long or
short-term. Let’s wait for it.”
GUATEMALA: “The First
Hyper-Power Is Born”
Rodrigo Castillo del Carmen observed in
moderate, leading Prensa Libre (4/11):
“The United States has gone from being a superpower to become the first
hyper-power in the world. With the
invasion of Iraq, the U.S. government has said to all nations that, from its
particular point of view, security outside the United States no longer depends
on the consensus of countries that had interpreted the end of the Cold War as
comfortable vacations from strategy....
There is no doubt that the invasion of Baghdad is just the beginning of
U.S. expansionism in the Middle East.
Washington is ‘warning’ Iran, Syria and North Korea to learn their
Sensationalist tabloid Critica Libre declared (4/10): "The supposedly cruel enemies of the
United States and of Western culture, were now waving the stars and stripes and
were congratulating the Marines for having them liberated from oppress
yoke. The same scenes of happiness that
manifested when the Berlin wall fell....
It is expected that United States and Great Britain will impose a
provisional occupation regime.... The
United Nations participation in this immediate reconstruction plan is necessary
to ensure that the new government does not lose legitimacy before the
international community.... Now it is
necessary to carefully observe the reactions of other countries considered enemies
of the United States.... Syria, Iran and
North Korea. As said by one of President
Bush's advisors, the U.S. preventive war against terror can neutralize other
Dictatorship Of The Empire"
Business-oriented Asuncion-based La Nacion stated
(4/13): "The Emperor George W. Bush
and his allies are sighing in relief after a victory, that, besides trying to
hide censorship and the murder of journalists, caused more fatal victims than
they thought. That is, if those who
carried out this war thought at some time about the deaths they could
"One Fewer Dictator"
National El Mundo commented (4/10): "Saddam Hussein fell, and there is one
fewer oppressor in the world. Not a one
of the Arab people arose to defend him.
There was talk of a fight between Islam and Christianity as during the
Crusades, but now we see that Baghdad is not Constantinople, nor is Saddam
Nebuchadnezzar. Saddam's supposed
courage vanished into smoke, into nothing.
The man who was so bizarre when he tried to massacre the Kurds, persecuted
his own people and invaded Kuwait, has hidden like a frightened damsel. God willing, if he is still alive, he will
have the courage to face his defeat and assume his responsibility for the
catastrophe his stubborness has wrought upon Iraq. Have you seen how his statues fell
yesterday? There are dozens. He thought he was God...living in luxurious
palaces, while his people scraped roots from the dirt to have something to
eat. Every despot should learn the
lesson of his defeat, for this time will come to all."