April 16, 2003
HUNT FOR 'STUBBORNLY ELUSIVE' WMD
** U.S. and partners need to find Iraqi WMD "soon" to
convince "world opinion."
** Arab, developing world outlets say disarming Iraq was only a
"pretext" for war and claim Syria is the victim of the same
** Skeptics call for UN inspectors to verify any
"magical" WMD discoveries made now.
The question on everyone's mind:
Where are the WMD?-- While Denmark's
centrist Weekendavisen averred: "WMDs will no doubt turn up sooner
or later" in Iraq, commentators worldwide found it "curious"
that no WMD had been uncovered and stated U.S. "credibility" was on
the line. "Since these weapons were
the main reason for going to war," a Norwegian daily contended, "it
is important to find them quickly, or President Bush will have a serious
explanation problem." Other papers
noted that the "over-eager claims" made by Coalition officials
whenever a possible WMD site was found, reveals "how much is at
stake." India's Economic Times,
however, stressed that the discovery of WMD "would legitimize the war in
the eyes of many people."
Saddam didn't use them, so he must not have had them-- France's left-of-center Liberation
judged it "too early to say" if the U.S. "knowingly lied"
about Iraq's WMD. Yet other leftist and
developing-country papers concluded that "the biochemical scare was simply
a pretense to justify" military action.
A common argument was that Saddam's failure to employ WMD in his own
defense proved he didn't have them.
"It is hardly believable" that Hussein would "go to such
absurd lengths to produce" WMD but not use them "when they were most
Tarring Syria with the same brush-- Arab and Muslim papers saw the "dark
hints" about Saddam's having moved his WMD into Syria as an indication
that "Bush administration spin doctors" were looking for "a
fallback excuse" in case no WMD turn up in Iraq. A Pakistani paper said the U.S. was
"setting up Syria to take a fall" while another held there is
"nothing unusual if Washington perceives the presence of WMDs only in
'No one will believe' any WMD unearthed now, so 'impartial' UN
inspectors needed again-- Writers called for
"qualified inspectors under the auspices of the UN" to be brought in
to verify any WMD discovery in Iraq.
Only an "impartial authority" like the UN can overcome the
"legitimacy gap" caused by U.S. "hyperbole" and suspicions
that whatever WMD that appear will be a "plant" or
"fabrication." "It would
not be very convincing for the Americans to turn around and allege they have
discovered terrible weapons hidden in a hole," stated Portugal's
center-left Diario de Noticias. A
Colombian writer said "the whole world" will think that any
"sudden" uncovering of WMD is "just like the DEA" planting
drugs "inside the luggage of the people they want to ruin."
EDITOR: Steven Wangsness
EDITOR'S NOTE: This
analysis is based on 46 reports from 32 countries, April 6-16, 2003. Editorial excerpts from each country are
listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "When Saddam
Is Ousted, UN Inspectors Should Be Sent Back"
The left-of-center Independent argued (4/8): "Almost three weeks into the military
campaign, the...U.S. administration's objective of 'regime change' appears
close to being realised. The chief
purpose of the military operation, however, and the one that gave it even the
dubious legitimacy it had, has remained stubbornly elusive. Despite regular reports attributed to
military officers and released at key points through political channels, there
is still no confirmed find of any chemical or biological weapons.... Each day that passes without evidence that
Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction adds to the doubts we
harboured about using force. It also
augments the political damage this war could ultimately inflict on Tony
Blair.... Military force was invoked
only after Iraq had flouted successive UN Security Council resolutions. The objective was to rid Iraq and the world
of its lethal and illegal weapons....
For the time being, military successes are obscuring this awkward
fact. If no weapons can be found,
however, it will undermine the whole rationale for sending this country's
troops into battle. How much is at stake
is apparent from the over-eager claims made by U.S. and British officials as
soon as some chemical weapons-related equipment or unidentified substance is
uncovered.... After kitting out the
troops in protection suits, gas masks, antidotes and special ointments, Allied
commanders are allowing their forces to fight in normal battle-gear. The
inference is that if Saddam had these weapons, he would have used them by
now. Perhaps they were out of his reach,
or he chose not to use them, or they did not exist in any useable form. When the fighting is over, the U.S. and
Britain will have unrestricted access not only to Iraqi territory, but also to
the weapons scientists who will no longer have any reason to conceal what they
know. We may have to wait until then for
the truth. Given the record of
allegation, hyperbole and straight lies that surrounds the question of Iraq's
weapons of mass destruction, any finds must be verified by qualified inspectors
under the auspices of the UN. This is
the only way that they will carry conviction and demonstrate the legitimacy of
the war beyond doubt."
FRANCE: "Victors Must
Never Abuse their Victory"
Serge July wrote in left-of-center Liberation (4/11): “The images of U.S. tanks in the streets of
Baghdad were necessary to overcome Bin Laden’s challenge. That has now been accomplished.... Other proof is still lacking, such as the
existence of WMD or the links between Saddam and Bin Laden.... It is still too early to say whether the U.S.
knowingly lied about these questions.
But it will be difficult to ignore its affirmations.”
“The Good Word”
Gerard Dupuy maintained in left-of-center Liberation
(4/09): “While the relative ease of its
military victory...strengthens the U.S. administration in its attitude, some of
the arguments put forth before the war have fallen short of their target: the
Iraqis have not used WMD...and the coalition has found no proof of their existence.... The Franco-German-Russian trio is sure to
point out these truths...in support of the non-violent strategy which they are
CZECH REPUBLIC: "What
Victory In Iraq?"
Adam Cerny wrote in the centrist daily Hospodarske Noviny
(4/15): "The saying that history is
written by victors suggests that the U.S. was more right in carrying out its
policy than those who had criticized it.
However, the success will be ultimately measured by the degree to which
George Bush accomplished his goals: first, finding WMD, second, changing the
regime in Baghdad; and third, change of the political and social environment in
the whole region. Only months, maybe
years to come will show what kind of victory the U.S. achieved in Iraq."
"Fights Are Over, Propaganda Is Not"
Pavel Tomasek maintained in the business daily Hospodarske
noviny (4/14): "Mistaken were
those who believed that propaganda would end together with the war.... The success of the U.S.-led coalition is
evident, but for the Americans it is equally important to show the happy Iraqis
to the world, also because no evidence of WMD has been found in Iraq so
Evidence Is A Matter Of Time"
Centrist Weekendavisen commented (4/16): "WMDs
will no doubt turn up sooner or later.
Last Monday, buried chemical laboratories were discovered. It is possible that these laboratories were
designed produce fertilizers, but it seems rather unlikely."
GREECE: "A War Based
Writing in influential pro-government daily To
Vima, managing editor Yiannis Kartalis had this view (4/9): “The U.S. is winning as expected, but loses
reliability for waging war without UNSC approval, based on claims that have not
been proven.... If no WMD are found to
the end, this war will stay in history as a war without cause.... It now becomes clear that the biochemical
scare was simply a pretense to justify a war done for other reasons. It is no secret that the neo-conservatives
now in power in the U.S. knew that Saddam had destroyed his biochemical weapons
or had minimal quantities not enough to strike the U.S. His country, on the other hand, has the
biggest oil reserves, second only to those of S. Arabia, whose regime is now
showing signs of instability.”
Taste Of Victory"
Second largest daily Respublika editorialized (4/16): "The majority of the democratic world
population does believe that Iraq's dictator was a threat, at least to his
neighbors within the reach of his unconventional weapons. But a bigger part of the world needs
material, not virtual proof of evil.
Flasks with bogus bio-weapons samples and stenograms of secretly
recorded Iraqi conversations presented by the U.S. Secretary of State for the
UN are not enough to start a war that cost several thousand civilian
lives. The U.S. allies that followed
blindly believing in American righteousness also need real proof.... Evidentiary material could reuinte the former
allies divided by the Iraq crisis back into one. But the truth might be unpleasant. It may ruin illusions and pit the allies. But
wasn't the truth declared a reason for this war?"
NORWAY: "New Hope In
The Hunt For Banned Weapons"
Morten Fyhn commented in the evening edition of Aftenposten
(4/14): "Now the U.S. has found two
central Iraqis, who better than most others should know where the weapons [of
mass destruction] are being hidden, if such weapons really exist. But whether they will tell the truth, is of
course an open question.... In meetings
with among others Hans Blix both al Jafar and Saadi claimed that Saddam’s
government long ago had destroyed all banned weapons. But they said that before the war while
Saddam still led. Now the regime is
fallen, and Saddam is gone. Perhaps he
is dead. Perhaps the two will now tell
another story. In order to make them
more talkative, the U.S. can for example offer them amnesty. In order to convince a still skeptical world
opinion, a find of banned Iraqi weapons would be good for the U.S. It would also be good to find Saddam, dead or
"The U.S. Shows Muscles"
The social democratic Dagsavisen argued (4/15): "For the U.S. it is important to show
that the campaign against Iraq was worth the price. The hunt for weapons of
mass destruction is fully in progress.
Since these weapons were the main reason for going to war, it is
important to find them quickly, or President Bush will have a serious
for Political Victory In Iraq"
Influential center-right analyst Prof. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa observed
in his weekly column in leading financial daily Diário Económico
(4/15): "What is important is not
that a democracy in Iraq comes into being from one day to the next.... Now it is important that it happens, just
like the discovery of those weapons of mass destruction.... Not that there weren't other reasons for this
American invasion...but in terms of public legitimacy, this-- long with support
for international terrorism--was presented as fundamental."
"And The Weapons?"
Former Social Democratic finance minister Francisco Sarsfield
Cabral opined in respected center-left daily Diário de Notícias,
(4/15): "It is hardly believable
that, attacked in the devastating way that the Iraqi regime was, it didn't do
everything it could to defend itself--at least in the last resort.... It would not be very convincing for the
Americans to turn around and allege they have discovered terrible weapons
hidden in some hole. So then why didn't
Saddam and his generals use them? It
will always be suspected that those weapons were planted there by hands
friendly to the coalition.... Maybe
Saddam's link to terrorism will be proven, but this absence of transparency is
not helping the U.S. win the peace. The
problem is political, not military....
It's a question of confidence in the Americans and the U.S.' credibility
before the world."
ROMANIA: "The Hunt For
Political analyst Octavian Andronic commented in the
pro-government daily, Azi (4/15):
"The crusade against Saddam Hussein was justified by the lack of
confidence in Saddam’s repeated statements that he had destroyed all
WMDs.... The Americans and the British
were almost convinced that, when push comes to shove, Saddam would not hesitate...to
use bacteriological or chemical weapons, at any risk.... The question which is most difficult to
answer and is related to these WMDs--whether Saddam hid them so well, or he had
destroyed them: why did this war start
in the first place? Democracy and the
freedom of the Iraqi people were always second place motivations. The first one has always been the danger of
using chemical or bacteriological weapons for terrorist purposes. Faced with such a risk, there is only one
solution: the respective weapons must be found!
There is also a saying, which goes: 'he who seeks, will find.' Almost
everything he wants to!"
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO:
"The Conquerors Or The Liberators"
Pro-government daily Politika commented (4/11): “The joy of being liberated from a cruel
regime and the joy that Americans have arrived are not the same thing. The whole Arab world is in a state of
shock.... The ties with Al Qaeda have
not been proved, WMD have not been found and it remains to be seen if the
Iraqis will become owners of their natural resource, the oil."
TURKEY: "Is Syria The
Fehmi Koru argued in Islamic-intellectual Yeni Safak
(4/15): “Even before the restructuring
of Iraq, hawks in the U.S. have launched another campaign for the implementation
of the U.S. global empire plan....
Being threatened by the U.S. does not necessarily happen because a
country possesses weapons of mass destruction.
Saddam, for instance, did not have WMD, and would not have been able to
use them even if he had. But the U.S.,
despite the fact that the pretext for the Iraq war has proven false, continues
to threaten Syria and Palestine.”
"Democracy In The Lab"
Jeddah's moderate, Al-Madina editorialized (4/14): "Saddam Hussein's whereabouts and the
defeated Iraqi armies no longer present a challenge to the U.S. Washington has much more difficult tasks
ahead of it. Most importantly, it
(Washington) has to find the WMD allegedly hidden in Iraq. Iraq is now under its control, its land (Iraq),
seas and scientists, who supposedly would not testify earlier because of their
fear from the brutal regime. The U.S. has to find these weapons to prove to
everyone that launching war against the world's consensus was
The English Language Arab-News editorialized (Internet
version) (4/6): "The rumor from
Israel that perhaps Iraq had shipped its WMD stockpile to Syria for safe
keeping is not simply outrageous. It
also smacks of the Bush administration spin doctors desperately setting up a
fallback excuse in case no WMDs are ever found inside Iraq.... If the coalition cannot produce any WMDs,
they will have lost their main reason for attacking Saddam in the first place. This could prove a crucial turning point for
world opinion, because Washington will discover more and more people dubious of
the U.S.-UK claim that they have acted disinterestedly."
"An Aggravating U.S. Impasse"
Ahmad Dawa, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra,
contended (4/9): "With the U.S.
failure to control Baghdad within a short time, the possibility that U.S.
forces will fake announcement of finding WMD in Iraq becomes more likely, as
many analysts and international observers maintain, even saying the U.S. forces
might import WMD into Iraq [for that purpose].... America, which has violated international
legitimacy and was the first use WMD, is likely to take this step very
soon..... The U.S. will use WMD against
the Iraqi people whose fierce resistance might deepen the coalition's impasse
so dangerously that America might find itself under pressure, and, under its
illusion of hegemony, might find itself forced to use these WMD."
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
Marianne Hanson wrote in the Brisbane Courier
Mail (4/8): "Curiously little
is being heard these days of that phrase 'weapons of mass destruction,' despite
the fact that it was Iraq's alleged possession of these weapons that was the
prime motivation for U.S. President George W. Bush to launch his war against
Iraq.... This is very embarrassing for
the prosecutors of the war, but it seems likely they are willing to gloss over
this irritation.... Mr. Bush is speaking
more and more about liberation of the Iraqi people and less and less about
weapons of mass destruction. The problem
with this is that any legal grounds for war against Iraq, if they existed at
all, rested on the WMD issue, and not on the nature of the Iraqi regime."
JAPAN: "A New Era Of
Liberal Mainichi stated (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 will."
INDONESIA: "The U.S.
Now Pressing On Syria"
Christian-oriented afternoon daily Sinar
Harapan (4/15) commented: “The
allegations that Syria possesses weapons of mass destruction and harbors
Saddam’s regime leaders constitute a form of pressure that could justify
Washington to attack Syria if it refuses to comply with the will of Bush and
his friends. We find the allegations
unfair. But such allegations and pressure
are only directed to non-U.S. allies.
Israel, Egypt, Pakistan, India and Taiwan all have chemical and
biological and even nuclear weapons, but the U.S has never meddled with
"Where Is The Evidence Of Iraq’s Possession Of WMD?"
Leading independent daily Kompas noted
(4/7): “For the past 19 days of battle,
Iraq has not shown any possession, let alone use, of chemical, biological or
nuclear weapons. Indeed, the U.S. and
Britain have used the issue of weapons of mass destruction as their reason to
strike Iraq. The war is indeed not over
yet. There is still suspicion that will
use them as its ultimate weapons.... For
the sake of justice and truth, the U.S. has to prove to the world about the
veracity of its accusation. Moreover,
the accusation has brought about a major disaster among the Iraqi
people.... The U.S. and Britain have to
be accountable for the death and destruction in Iraq if the reason for the
attack cannot be proved. And the world
indeed has to file a charge.”
Government-influenced English-language New Straits Times
commented (4/15): "If it is
verified that Saddam had disarmed, under the glacial pressure of international
sanctions and United Nations resolutions, the case for the U.S.-British
aggression to kick him out stands to be severely undermined. This is why weapons inspections remain no
less an issue now than in the build-up to the war. The legitimacy gap created by the
American-led assault can only be bridged if they are conducted by an impartial
authority such as the UN and not, as the victors currently propose, by the U.S.
Army. Every effort must be made to
thwart the American military juggernaut from letting its success in Iraq get to
Action By Iraqis Can Abort Puppet Government"
Federico Pascual wrote in his column in the independent Philippine
Sta (4/15): "What? No WMD?
Except for Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's birthplace, the U.S. has clinched
virtual control of the prostrate nation.
Americans have full access to all suspected hiding places of weapons of
mass destruction. But after more than
three weeks of scouring the ground, they have not found the supposed WMD, the
excuse given for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Having failed to prove its case, why is the U.S. not withdrawing and
making amends? Let's hope nobody is
waiting for some operator to plant the weapons so they could be suddenly
"Still An Unjust War"
Columnist Rina David wrote in the widely read Philippine Daily
Inquirer (4/11): "Let's not
forget that the primary reason given by the United States and its allies for
the invasion of Iraq was to secure Saddam's cache of 'weapons of mass
destruction.' The invasion, U.S.
President George Bush said, was a 'preemptive strike' to forestall a potential
and even probable attack on the United States and the rest of the world. But it's now Day 22 of the invasion, and so
far, no WMDs have been unearthed or unleashed.
Could it be that the 'Satan' Saddam had been telling the truth after
all? Or that chief UN arms inspector
Hans Blix should have been heeded when he pleaded for more time for his team to
find those weapons without the attendant loss of lives and suffering?"
TAIWAIN: "Why Is It
The Iraqi People Who Have To Suffer?"
Chai Ping Shang noted in centrist Min Sheng Daily
(4/16): "The U.S. launched military
actions against Iraq on the grounds that Iraq is in possession of weapons of
mass destruction. But so far, no traces
of biological or chemical weapons have been located. How is the Bush administration going to
explain this to the world? By claiming that
it is a misjudgment or a lie? The
downfall of Saddam's regime is what the dictator deserves. But the fact that the U.S. has used its
military strength which is two hundred times stronger than that of Iraq's to
maltreat this weak Gulf nation, and that it has shown no mercy to cherish the
culture and people of Iraq, will certainly leave a stain on the history of the
INDIA: "Weapons Of
The centrist Times of India took this view (4/16): "Hans Blix's discomfort with the
Anglo-American line on Iraq has been apparent for a while, and now he has come
out in the open to accuse the U.S. and UK of having made up their minds in
advance to attack Iraq.... Blix's words
confirm what has long been suspected: That the WMD served as a pretext for the
war.... Indeed, the offensive weapons
have not shown up anywhere in Iraq. Was
the attack on Iraq, then, deliberately mounted on a false premise?... The world at large would be justified in
reaching that conclusion, whether or not the U.S. now finds WMD in
Iraq.... There were also dark hints
about Saddam having moved his WMD into Syria.
There is little Syria can do about this charge, given the way the U.S. went
about establishing WMD in Iraq.... If
the standards now being applied to Syria were extended further eastward, India
could find itself on a sticky wicket.
India possesses WMD and it has been included by the CIA among those who
helped Libya build its ballistic missile program."
"Death Of 'Chemical Ali'"
The centrist Times of India commented (4/15): "The 'allied' forces claim to have
killed Ali Hassan al-Majid...'Chemical' Ali....
Ali died without using even an ounce of the huge quantities of chemical
agents the U.S. establishment, the CIA and even private defense institutions
said Iraq had in its possession....
Obviously, the chemical suits were shed because there were no chemical
weapons--neither with the dreaded 'Chemical' Ali nor with the Iraqi regime. The young marines had been stuffed into their
chemical suits merely to advance the American argument that Saddam had chemical
weapons and had every intention of using them.
After this, who would ever believe anything said about Iraq's
WMD?... After this, who will believe the
tomes produced by powerful governments, their intelligence agencies, and
indeed, private institutes, as clinching evidence against so-called rogue
regimes?... Just why would anyone go to
such absurd lengths to produce prohibited WMD and not use them when they were
most needed?... There are no WMD and
today we have this on the authority of UN's chief weapons inspector Hans Blix,
who alleged that 'the invasion of Iraq was planned in advance.' Further that 'the U.S. and UK were not
concerned about finding any banned WMD.'
There should be no more doubts about who should claim moral victory in
this war. Not the side that went to war
citing the danger of Saddam's WMD, but the side that said the WMD were a mere
pretext. There should equally be no
doubts the next American stop: Syria."
"Lies Of Mass Destruction"
Pro-economic-reform The Economic Times had this to say
(4/15): "Where are the weapons of
mass destruction? The UN inspectors
failed to find any in their numerous visits to Iraq.... Even when his regime was falling, Saddam
Hussein did not use these weapons of mass destruction. How do we explain Hussein's inaction?... These weapons were the primary pretext for
this war; their discovery would legitimize the war in the eyes of many
people.... The desperation in implicating
Iraq of possessing biological and nuclear weapons is so high that the U.S. even
used forged documents to link Iraq in the purchase of uranium from Niger to
build nuclear weapons. Saddam Hussein is
history now, but the saga of weapons of mass destruction goes on."
The center-right national daily, The Nation editorialized
(4/16): "Originally accused of
accepting Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and harboring fleeing Iraqi
leaders, Mr. Powell has now charged Syria with itself seeking to develop
chemical weapons.... This is a new
revelation. The original WMD accusation
neatly explained why the U.S. forces have failed to find any in Iraqi itself,
while setting up Syria to take a fall.
Now comes Mr. Powell's revelation, which 'establishes' Syria as a
'terrorist state' subject to U.S. sanctions."
"What About Israel?"
The Islamabad rightist English-language daily, Pakistan
Observer argued (4/16): "Ironic
is, however, the fact that while Syria is being threatened on the basis of a
perceived notion that it possesses chemical weapons, nothing is being said
about Israel, which is an established nuclear power, has chemical and
biological weapons and resorts to state terrorism against Palestinians with
impunity.... The U.S. hard line against
Syria just after occupying Iraq is obviously not surprising because it's quite
in line with Washington's plan to wipe out the military capability of Arab
nations that possibly have the potential of effective self-defense against
Israel's vandalism. There is, therefore,
nothing unusual if Washington perceives the presence of WMDs only in Muslim
An editorial in the centrist national daily, The News
stated (4/15): "U.S. President
George W. Bush's allegation that Syria has chemical weapons and Secretary of
State Colin Powell's warning to the country not to harbor Iraqi leaders can be
recognized as the initial groundwork to mount a military offensive.... It was expected that American zeal to play
the role of a conqueror will die down once it realized the mess created by
destroying Iraq on a false premise of WMDs."
SRI LANKA: "The Inside
Of Iraq War"
Opposition Sinhala daily, Divaina, commented (4/5): "UK and U.S. justifications are
contradictory. First they said that Iraq
had WMDs and chemical weapons. Then they
cited biological weapons. Now they say
that Iraqis need to be freed from a dictator...and that is why they took to the
offense.... It is now clear that this
war is aimed at removing the obstacles to the possession of Iraqi oil."
GHANA: "The Truth
Ghana Palaver, a bi-weekly with urban circulation, affiliated with the
opposition party (NDC), stated (4/15):
“Iraq, after all, has no weapons of mass destruction, as claimed by the
invaders, a 'charge' used as the main excuse by the aggressors for the
violation of the United Nations Charter, in launching a war of aggression
against a member country. The war
strategy adopted by the aggressors confirms the strongly-held view that the
dispatch of UN inspectors to Iraq was only a ploy for the Americans to send
their spies to that country and 'draw up' strategies and a war-plan for use
later. And now, if any 'discovery' is
made or 'evidence' is found on the existence of any 'strange' weapons, it must
be a plant by the Americans, themselves....
As the truth about Iraq, the non-existence of any weapons of mass
destruction there, unfolds, the invaders are now becoming vociferous with their
other claims of liberating the people there from a tyrannical ruler.... The war on Iraq has rather vindicated Saddam
Hussein, as a truthful person. And the
liars are now known to all.”
SOUTH AFRICA: "At The
End, A Rout"
Balanced Business Day held (4/10): "Coalition forces must quickly unearth
the weapons of mass destruction.... If
these are not found then the Americans and the British have fought and died and
killed for a lie. The damage to the
world order as we know it will be incalculable."
TANZANIA: "Another War
Should Be Avoided"
IPP-owned Nipashe commented (4/16): “At last, the war in Iraq is over. America and Britain have failed to locate any
weapons of mass destruction; now they are accusing Syria of having
them.... Syria agrees that there are
weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East region, but these are to be
found in America’s darling state, Israel.
America and Britain do not want to comment on Israel, because for them,
that country deserves to possess such weapons and nobody else."
ARGENTINA: "What To Do
Luis Rosales opined in business-financial InfoBae
(4/14): "The outcome of military
operations has been widely satisfactory for the U.S.-UK alliance. It has not been the case regarding world
public opinion.... The ties between
Saddam and Al Qaeda have never been clear....
So far, there is no evidence of Iraqi WMD.... All these arguments are important for
international public opinion.... All
those arguments...have little influence on U.S. public opinion [and]...this
leads us to think that...the current USG will continue with its 'war against
terror,' without caring too much about world public opinion or about the
consensus system claimed for by international institutions."
'Demonstration Effect' Weapon"
Center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo editorialized
(4/16): "It would be simplistic to
give credence to the USG's accusations that Syria has chemical weapons, may be
in possession of some of the WMDs not found in Iraq and has harbored leaders of
Saddam's regime.... So far, U.S.
officials have not spoken about a 'regime change' in Damascus. [Instead, they have said] that Syria must
change its behavior and cooperate. The contrast seems eloquent. The new
language suggests that the U.S. believes in what Bush's advisers have called a
'demonstration effect.' Bush believes that America's overwhelming success in
Iraq, coupled with strong pressure, is sufficient to persuade other nations
seen as potential threats to the U.S. to get themselves off the black
Political columnist Boris Fausto wrote in liberal Folha de Sao
Paulo (4/14): "As the war in
Iraq is surprisingly coming to an end, many unanswered questions remain: Where are the terrible chemical and
bacteriological weapons Saddam Hussein was to have kept? What happened to the Republican Guard? What has happened to Saddam Hussein? Everything indicates that Saddam's weapons
simply do not exist, or if they exist, they do not have the importance
attributed to them, although some last-minute 'discovery' could still be
made.... A great effort has been mounted
by the USG to justify the invasion and keep the U.S. population in a state of
fear and patriotic fervor.... Iraq is a
nation exhausted by the embargo imposed on it following the Gulf War and by the
madness of a cruel dictatorship.... The
idea that one of the reasons for the war, although not the most important one,
was the fact that Iraq was weak in comparison with the other members of the
'axis of evil,' has been confirmed....
Is Iraq a 'unique case,' as the USG says, or will the Bush
administration's political and military successes lead it to attack other
supposed members of the 'axis of evil,' such as Syria?"
"The Other Side Of Victory"
Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo political columnist Janio de
Freitas commented (4/13): "The
absolute lack of military resistance in Baghdad was a demoralizing refutation
of everything Bush and Blair had used as justification to violate the UN's
principles and attack Iraq.... It is no longer a case of questioning the
existence of WMDs.... After 12 years of economic embargo, Iraq was unable [to
defend itself]. Didn't years of spying make this clear to the U.S. and UK
governments?.... Now, not even the emergence of WMDs would change the scenario,
because no one would believe [their discovery] was not another fabrication. The
world is seeing that Bush and Blair are not responsible for the fall of a
dictatorial regime. They are responsible for the ruin of a nation and its
Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo political columnist Eliane
Cantanhede commented (4/10):
"Bush's war is coming to an end.
Where are Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological weapons? Either the dictator did not want to use them
because he is a saint, or there were no WMD.
The U.S. pretext was a lie.... Under
the pretext of eliminating arms that did not exist and of 'saving' people who
have different religions, beliefs and culture, [the U.S. has] turned Iraq into
a suburb of Washington."
"Let Them Search Me"
Rafael Molina Morillo expressed this view in left-of-center,
independent Hoy (4/15): “The
lethal chemicals of Iraq, as well as other arms of mass destruction, never
materialized. One could almost say they
never existed, because had he had them Saddam would not have kept them hidden
especially when his demise was near....
Syria better get ready, because Bush has the feeling that they have
chemical weapons, and this means that they also have to exterminate these people,
in order to guarantee world peace.”
Mario Roberto Morales contended in conservative,
business-oriented daily Siglo Veintiuno (4/15): “After the killing, with no evidence of
weapons of mass destruction, much less any ties between Saddam and Bin Laden,
the authors of these two monsters and the devastation of Iraq offer the ruins
of a destroyed country.... One can think
it is a relief to have overthrown Saddam, but one cannot stop thinking it is
not encouraging to have a worldwide dictatorship by a far-right Republican Texan...who
will now go after Iran, Syria and North Korea to prepare the ground against
Russia and China."
"Iraq: Theft And
Alberto Aziz Nassif wrote in old-guard
nationalist Universal (4/15):
"The reconstruction of Iraq will begin soon, but the myths that
questioned the war remain: mass
destruction weapons have not been found; Saddam Hussein's military strength was
broken; the Arab world was absent; the Iraqi welcoming of the 'gringos' was short-lived.... The United States hurt international law with
this illegitimate war. It was clear that
the empire has 'permission' to take action when the rest of the international
community cannot.... But the hawks are
focusing their sights on Syria, and I wonder, how many preventive wars will we
see during the Bush administration?"
"The Evidence Left by the War."
Conservative afternoon La Segunda
commented (4/15): "With the fall of
Tikrit... the general goal of occupying Iraq can be considered accomplished and
the war concluded.... It is now possible
to confirm some facts of major effect, especially on public opinion: [One is]
the evident U.S. military might....
[Another is] that there are no trustworthy traces of the weapons of mass
destruction, which were invoked as a pretext to launch the war.... [Yet another is] the impact of the images of
innocent victims and the pillaging....
In the past, the horror of war remained hidden or distorted for years, as
in the case of Hiroshima or Dresden and the Nazi concentration camps.... But now public opinion is global in scope,
and although it is exposed to disinformation, it is very sensitive to ethical
aspects and to suffering, and it judges the powerful by the minute. Perhaps this is a warning to moderate the use
of violence in the world in the future."
"Post-War For Idiots"
Antonio Caballero commented in influential
weekly Semana (Internet version) (4/15):
"So where are the weapons?
The weapons of 'mass destruction' they said Saddam Hussein had, the
imminent threat repeatedly given as the pretext for the massive destruction of
Iraq by Bush and his Black Hawks. They
did not appear. The UN inspectors didn't
find them, neither have the occupying troops.
It's curious. Well, neither have
they found Saddam Hussein. Nor his
sons...nor his cousin 'the chemist'....
Nor any of his ministers. Nor any
of his generals.... But Donald
Rumsfeld...wisely suggested that if they don't find any weapons it's because
the tryant already removed them from Iraq.
Why would he have removed them if using them was his only defense? And how did he remove them? Did he flee with them inside his
suitcase?... Why would anyone believe
them, except for the idiots. No one will
believe it, even if suddenly, the so-called 'weapons of mass destruction'
magically apear in Iraq. The whole world
will think that they placed them there themselves, just like the DEA plants
drugs inside the luggage of the people they want to ruin. The only weapons of this type (biological and
chemical) that Saddam had were those which Rumsfeld personally sold to him
during the Reagan years to use against Iran."