April 30, 2003
GARNER, TASKED TO RECONSTRUCT IRAQ, FACES
** Gen. Jay Garner's arrival in Baghdad marked
the U.S.' "official occupation" of Iraq.
** The Iraqis are right not to "trust"
the occupiers and will not accept a "quisling government."
** While Shiite demonstrations signal the danger
of religious radicalism, the meeting of the "far from united" Iraqi
leaders highlights the reality of the post-Saddam "power struggle."
** The push to lift sanctions and the awarding
of reconstruction contracts to pro-Bush administration companies imply that the
U.S. seeks to "monopolize" post-war Iraq.
Garner must 'restore order amidst chaos,' but
lacks 'public acceptance'-- Global observers
stressed that Washington's "viceroy" must bring some semblance of
order to Iraq and not permit "confusion to prevail." Calling him a "Caesar clone" with
"practically unlimited powers," Russia's neocommunist Slovo
claimed that Garner can "turn Iraq into an equivalent of a docile
colony." Skeptics, citing the
"wall of public unrest" in Iraq, held that Garner faced a
"Titanic challenge" and, as South Africa's liberal Natal Witness
noted, would need the "wisdom of Solomon" to establish an interim
administration. Emphasizing the
"foreign ruler's" Israeli ties, Arab and Muslim writers treated
Garner's presence as marking the "shameful and painful truth" of a
U.S. occupation. Malaysia's
government-influenced Berita Harian concluded: "Whatever steps he
takes to restore order," he will be "viewed with suspicion and
A U.S.-engineered transitional government will lack
legitimacy-- An interim Iraqi
government imposed by the U.S. would both lack "legitimacy" and be
tainted as a "puppet government."
Writers worldwide agreed the Iraqi people had reason not to trust the
U.S. and criticized Garner's "belated attempt" to bring
"would-be Iraqi politicians" to the table. Giving power only to Iraqis "wholly dependent
on the U.S." would confirm allegations that the U.S. was planning a
"classic colonial occupation," and a prolonged U.S.-UK presence would
fuel Iraqi hostility and resentment.
Outlets in Muslim countries accused the U.S. of choosing Iraqis to serve
as "agents for America." With
Pakistan's independent Dawn they vowed that the Iraqis will never accept
a government run by "a stooge of the occupying Americans."
U.S. is playing a 'winner takes all grab,' wants to lift sanctions
to 'loot the oil'-- The "showdown"
over awarding reconstruction contracts to "hand-picked" companies
with ties to the Bush administration proved the U.S. intended to "call the
shots" and prevent other countries and the UN from "interfering"
in post-war Iraq. Turkish and Mexican
dailies saw a "fragmented" and "subjugated" Iraqi
government as enabling the U.S. to take the "biggest chunk from both the
oil and the rebuilding." The West
Bank's pro-PA Al-Ayyam reiterated the U.S.' "real aim is to steal
Iraq's oil wealth, provide American companies with contracts" and prepare
Iraq to serve "strategic U.S. interests," adding that Israel also
"expects to benefit" from the spoils.
EDITOR: Irene Marr
EDITOR'S NOTE: This report
is based on 87 reports from 45 countries, April 21-30. Editorial excerpts from each country are
listed from the most recent date.
"The Race To Establish Security And Stability"
The center-left Independent commented (4/29):
"Yesterday's gathering, held in central Iraq on what previously would have
been a national holiday for Saddam Hussein's birthday, produced both positive
and negative signals. On the plus side,
attendance was more than four times the 60 or so who attended the first
conference 10 days before, and included representatives of the Shia Supreme
Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which had boycotted the
earlier meeting. The meeting also agreed
to make 'all efforts' to hold a national conference to select a transitional
government within four weeks. That is an
ambitious timetable. On the minus side, however; the SCIRI is split about the
role of the U.S. military administration; nor can the group claim to represent
a majority of Iraq's majority Shia population.... There is evidence, too, of
friction between the U.S. and British about how to proceed.... What is
increasingly apparent is that the respect of Iraqis for the U.S. and British
now depends entirely on how soon security is established and basic services
restored. The longer this takes, the
more tenuous their authority will become and the more likely it will be that
others not to their liking will move to fill the vacuum."
"The Real Looting Of Iraq May Just Be
Patrick Cockburn wrote in the center-left Independent
(4/28): "The failure to stop the
looting has damaged American prospects for restoring even temporary
stability.... But if a U.S. occupation
develops long-term weaknesses this will not have a lot to do with looting,
spectacular though it is, or the breakdown of the Iraqi administration. It will stem rather from whether or not
Washington is, in effect planning a classic colonial occupation, giving power
only to Iraqis wholly dependent on the U.S.
In their current triumphant mood, George Bush and Tony Blair show no
sign of appreciating the morass they have entered. Six months ago an Iraqi friend told me he was
all in favor of the U.S. going to war to get rid of Saddam, but he added, 'My
only fear is that, before it starts, the U.S. will realize that this war is
much against its own best interests.'"
"Without The Promised Money, Iraq Will
Become Another Haiti"
Niall Ferguson commented in the conservative Daily
Telegraph (4/23): "How much will it cost to reconstruct Iraq's
economy, exhausted by decades of dictatorship, disrupted by an Anglo-American
Blitzkrieg and now seemingly in the grip of anarchy? The sums involved already
sound worryingly large to American voters: up to $17 billion a year just for the
costs of occupation, according to one estimate, plus 'several billions' more
for humanitarian assistance.... Money
will also be needed if the rule of law and civil society are to be rebuilt in
Iraq. Bush is allergic to mentions of the hugely expensive post-1945 Marshall
Plan for Europe. Nevertheless, this is precisely what the United States needs
to come up with.... A policy which focuses exclusively on today's bottom line
and tomorrow's exit strategy is a recipe not for Iraqi recovery, but for Port-au-Prince
on the Tigris."
FRANCE: "Iraqi Opposition Is Far From
Commenting on the conference in Baghdad under the auspices of Jay
Garner, Christophe Ayad wrote in left-of-center Liberation (4/29): “How
to impose some kind of order in the midst of chaos? This is the task awaiting
the Americans in Baghdad. As one looks at the representatives present, it is
difficult to assess which criteria guided the Americans in their choices.”
Thierry Oberle observed in right-of-center Le
Figaro (4/28): “Whatever the true
explanation of what happened in Baghdad over the weekend, the explosion is a
sign of what the Americans can expect in the future. The tragedy has underscored the anti-American
gut-reaction of the Iraqis. The
liberators do not enjoy the benefit of the doubt and must constantly justify
themselves without ever managing to fully do away with local skepticism. In the
event that terrorism is proven, the prospects are alarming.”
“No Power To Donkeys”
Centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (4/29) noted: “For the
first time, a large-scale conference talked about the future of Iraq.... By arresting the self-appointed mayor of
Baghdad, the Americans made clear that they want to control events. Where civilian structures have formed, U.S.
forces cooperate with religious organizations, political leaders, or tribal
chiefs. But only those will get
authority who cooperate with the U.S. administration. The meeting in Baghdad shows that the
different Iraqi opposition forces are beginning to orient to Garner’s
policy. This is a precondition for the
chaos of the past few days to give way to a new order. Only if the United States now reins in, can
it prevent individual groups from carrying out their power struggle by using
force. In this transitional stage, only
the United States will help, in order to allow the Iraqis to do without less
America in the near future.”
P. Zierut commented on national radio station
Deutschlandfunk of Cologne (4/28): “The
U.S. government is not credible when the future of Iraq is involved. The U.S. administration is speaking with
twisted tongues when the issue is Iraq’s reconstruction and the political
post-war order in the country. And the
Iraqis are right not to show any trust in the occupiers. While U.S. interim administrator Jay Garner
must try to sell U.S. activities as a carrot, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is
swinging the stick.... If an occupying
force, which presents itself as a liberator, excludes certain groups right from
the start...it will suffocate the gentle plant of freedom, which it pretends to
promote.... This is the arrogance of
invaders. What is even worse: With such a policy it makes impossible the
political part of the work of its man in Iraq, Jay Garner.... And the fact that
the U.S. government has already awarded U.S. companies with contracts for the
project ‘reconstruction’ is only further small evidence that it will speak with
twisted tongues if it makes Jay Garner say:
Iraq to the Iraqis.”
"United Nations As Subcontractor"
Stefan Kornelius noted in an editorial in
center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (4/26): "The
war-critical Europe, and France in particular, is faced with an new realpolitik
lesson: the United States will take the international
community as sub-contractor to Iraq, and the contract is to be concluded with
the United Nations in the form of a resolution.
And the signatories should not harbor too many hopes about the
contents.... There is only one way to
influence U.S. policy, and it functions according to the old principle that
those who pay also determine future events.
Only if America’s allies agree to offer reconstruction assistance with
peacekeepers and civilian support, will they have a say. The Bush administration is greatly interested
in this support, because it is slowly comprehending the enormous dimension of
this new foundation of a state. In this
situation, the sub-contractor is able to negotiate the price--but it is unable
to place orders.”
“War And Post-War”
Erik-Michael Bader opined on the front page of
center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (4/22):
“With the arrival of...Jay Garner, the post-war
time has begun. In view of the difficult
task of leading the beaten country to an independent, stable, democracy where
the rule of law prevails, U.S. politics is required to do a good job, since the
stain clings to the United States of having waged a war of aggression without
the UNSC approval.... But this stain
cannot totally disappear, even if Iraq is rebuilt... And the states that not only, for mere
reasons, opposed the U.S. war against Iraq, are faced with a another
fundamental problem. They must try to
heal the alienation not only for their own interest but also because the
resolution of many problems in the world for the benefit of the people requires
well-functioning cooperation among the most important nations in the
world. But they must also reject a
‘forget-it’ tolerance which fosters the softening of painfully achieved
principles in international law.”
"Lifting Of Sanctions On Iraq"
Patrick Leclerq commented on ARD-TV's (national channel one) late
evening newscast Tagesthemen (4/22):
"At fist sight, it is grotesque.
The dictator is ousted, the war almost over, Iraq needs assistance--and
the UNSC is arguing over whether the UN sanctions should be lifted.... But the UN is also supposed to play a role
when its very own goals are involved: nation-building according to criteria
laid down in international law. I think,
this is in order, but it should happen swiftly, because twelve years of embargo
and sanctions cost the lives of half a million children. The visible decline of the country should not
be extended by small-minded bickering.
The people in Iraq will measure the work of the war coalition against
whether and how fast they are better off....
The great strategists in the UNSC should remember this fact before Iraq
drifts away into religious radicalism."
“Garner: A Month To Create A New Government”
Alberto Pasolini Zanelli
observed from Washington in pro-government, leading center-right daily Il
Giornale (4/29): “The only thing on which they all agreed was not to send
birthday greetings to Saddam Hussein.... But they sent their best wishes to
Iraq, the youngest country in the world, at least in this new form, while it is
also the cradle of the oldest civilization. American governor Garner recalled
this when he opened the meeting among the main leaders from several Iraqi
factions in order to begin forming a new state.…The Iraqi transitional
government might become operational in 6 weeks. What America fears is that the
principle of ‘one man, one vote’ might degenerate into ‘a man, one vote, only
for one time.’ And this would be a major denial of what President Bush promised
yesterday, that Iraq will be an example for democracy.”
"Rumsfeld: 'We Will Remain In Iraq To Help
Washington correspondent Bruno Marolo held in
pro-Democratic Left Party (DS) L’Unita (4/28): “U.S. troops are in Iraq to stay. This is what U.S. Secretary of Defense
Rumsfeld said at the beginning of a visit to the Gulf area that will deeply
change the U.S. military structure. Now
that the war has been won, Rumsfeld finally has a green light for the
realization of his plans. He wants a
smaller, more mobile and more aggressive army.
He is planning a reduction of
‘difficult’ bases in Saudi Arabia and a
strengthening of the bases in the countries that are more willing to cooperate,
including perhaps the new Iraq."
"Northern Iraq Celebrates In Light Of
Marco Ansaldo reported from Dohuk in
left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (4/23): "A federal Iraq,
with Kurdistan as a model. This is the
example that America has in mind for Baghdad after the war. An audacious proposal that will prompt a
debate, but one that was discussed without mincing words and with determination
yesterday in northern Iraq by General Jay Garner, the U.S. civil administrator
of Iraq, and two Kurdish leaders now allied....
Garner's decision to visit Iraqi Kurdistan was much appreciated by the
Kurds, who have known him since 1991, when he was the protagonist of Operation
Provide Comfort, that gave some relief to the areas in the north of the
country, brutally attacked by the Saddam Hussein regime, with chemical attacks
first and then with a genocide project."
"Democracy Cannot Be Born In One Day”
In front-page commentary in centrist, influential La Stampa, U.S.-based correspondent Maurizio Molinari
argued (4/22): “Garner’s task is to establish a strong dialogue with the
Shiites, since it is from this seed that democracy can blossom in Iraq. The task of the Shiites is, instead, to
prevent hasty solutions that would create problems for the reconstruction process. A decision depends on their religious
leaders, who are at a crossroads. They
can exploit the power vacuum to try to lay the bases for an Islamic state
similar to the one that the Hezbollahs are pursuing in Lebanon. Or they can take a new road - revolutionary
for the Middle East - i.e., creating a representative system where there will
be no preferences among the Shiites, the Sunnis and the Kurds.”
“Garner In Baghdad: ‘We Will Stay Only As Long
As It Is Necessary’”
Lorenzo Cremonesi wrote from Baghdad in
centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (4/22): “The first impact
between former General Jay Garner and the country that he is supposed to govern
for an undetermined period of time was traumatic to say the least.... In addition to try to restore essential
services, Garner will have to try to govern chaos.”
RUSSIA: "A Step Forward"
Georgiy Stepanov wrote in reformist Izvestiya (4/29):
"America has set out to build a new Iraq.
While the Americans may have to ask for outside assistance to restore
that country's infrastructure and facilities, they think they can manage its
political revival on their own.... The
current talks in Baghdad seem like a step forward, compared to the al-Nasiriyah
meeting of April 15, which drew only 80 participants."
"Bush Didn't Learn History Lessons"
Boris Volhonskiy had this in reformist business-oriented Kommersant
(4/29): "Talleyrand once said with reference to Napoleon that you can lean
on the bayonet, but you can't sit on it.
With emperors gone, their place has been taken by the Texan
cowboys.... Of the invited 400 people,
only a half attended the 'conference of Iraq's best sons,' which was called
by interim U.S. administration. Even as they were in session, reports came
of the arrest of Mayor Mohammed Zubeidi, the only man who could maintain at
least a semblance of order in chaos-stricken Baghdad.... Officials in Washington have had
increasingly to point out in their statements that the U.S. military presence
in Iraq is not forever and will end soon....
That George Bush is poorly versed in international politics was known
even before he was elected president.
Now it appears that he did not learn his history lessons well
"Garner As a Caesar Clone"
Vitaliy Gan filed from the United States for
neo-communist weekly Slovo (## 16-17, 4/25): "The U.S. appointee, given his
practically unlimited powers--virtue of his patron, Defense Secretary
Rumsfeld--can turn Iraq into an equivalent of a docile colony. A strong character, he might just as well be
a Caesar clone, there being no one else like him in all of the Pentagon. In the
days of a fierce fight in Washington over the Persian Gulf 'pork barrel,' Rummy
knew what he was doing when he named the general as his choice. In the past several decades Washington has
more than once had a chance to admire a spectacular blend of qualities in
Garner that makes him a stand-out in the capital, which seethes with ambition,
political intrigues and selfishness."
"Failure To Find WMD Will Compromise
Gennadiy Sysoyev held in reformist
business-oriented Kommersant (4/22): "The Americans, as they have
set about rebuilding vanquished Iraq, may have a cabinet and cabinet members of
their own choosing in Baghdad. They may
keep their interim administration there as long as they want, too. The winners, they call the shots in postwar
Iraq. But the label of a puppet
government will forever stick to a new Iraqi cabinet, and the civilian
administration will forever remain semi-occupation in the eyes of the world,
unless the Americans prove that they were justified in using force. They must find evidence that the former
Iraqi regime had weapons of mass destruction. They must do it soon or have the
entire brilliant operation compromised."
"U.S. Has Not Made Any Friends Yet"
Senior writer Hubert van Humbeeck in liberal
weekly Knack commented (4/24):
“Reality in the Arab desert is not as nice as George W. Bush and Donald
Rumsfeld had promised in their simple messages.
The United States has not made many friends in Iraq yet. Those who were in the way were
eliminated. Shoot first, and then
ask. Americans still believe that you
can bomb a city first and that the people who live there will be happy to see
you afterwards.... It is true that, at
this moment, there is no other effective means to topple a dictator than the
use of massive violence. An institution
like the UN could make itself useful by finding an answer to the questions: as
of when should a dictator be worried? Are
there objective criteria to define the degree of dictatorship? How, by whom and on which scale can violence
be used? The events in Iraq are not
doing any good to the Pax Americana. The
entire Middle East is living in fear of what is going to happen next.... If the Arab world is forced to accept more
openness it will rather be the work of intrepid TV stations like al-Jazeera
than the result of an arbitrary shower of bombs. The region needs cameras and TV dishes that
show the world to the Arabs as it is.”
CZECH REPUBLIC: "The Area After
Pavel Masa wrote in centre-right Lidove
noviny (4/28): "The invitation
extended to the Czech Republic to participate in the rebuilding of Iraq,
including the possibility of sending advisers to government offices, is good
news for businesspeople, and it must also please the Czech Foreign Minister,
Cyril Svoboda, who had to face anti-American stands of Czech politicians. The
scars the Czech Republic suffered in the home political battle cannot be hidden
rosy layer of allied thanks. Maybe our 'tribal' chiefs should stage a
mini-conference to seek ways out of the chaos and to launch a targeted
HUNGARY: "Garner In Baghdad"
Senior columnist Endre Aczel editorialized in
leading Nepszabadsag (4/23):
"Jay Garner, the retired General...can't escape the big challenge
of making the Shiites and the Sunnis become used to peace in Iraq.... It is hard to envy General Garner. And there is one more thing for which Garner
can't be envied. He ought to give back
to the Iraqi people the basic criteria of normal life in a couple of days:
water, electricity, transportation infrastructure and hospitals, as well as law
and order. The American General, to my
belief, can win the will of cooperation of the 'native' Iraqis more or less as quickly as he manages to
normalize life [in Iraq]. A great
majority of the Iraqi people are well-trained and educated individuals, by Arab
standards by all means. They are slowly
going to team up around Garner, which is the option for them."
U.S. Doesn't Seem To Get The Iraqi Psyche"
Lara Marlowe observed in the center-left Irish
Times (4/29): "Gen Garner and his Washington mentors seemed to believe
it was enough to topple Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi people would be eternally grateful
and instinctively gravitate towards the sunlit uplands of democracy.... Gen Garner has promised to kick-start Iraqi
government this week. Yesterday, he resumed belated efforts to encourage Iraqi
leaders to emerge, hosting only the second gathering of would-be Iraqi
politicians since the U.S.-British invasion.
Like Saddam Hussein before them, U.S. forces are attempting to co-opt
Shia clergy, asking them to issue fatwas - religious decrees - in support of
the U.S. presence..... As Ahmad
Chalabi, the US- backed banker tainted by an embezzlement scandal, is finding,
U.S. support may a political kiss of death....
A worst-case scenario would be Iraqis uniting to drive out U.S.-British
forces, then turning on each other in civil war.... Yet a more moderate tone in
some Islamist movements gives slight cause for optimism. Iraqi Shias are aware
of the economic and human rights disaster in Iran and they want to avoid
replicating the neighboring revolution's errors."
"The Baghdad Building Bonanza Fuels Anger"
The centrist Sunday Tribune carried
comment by U.S. editor Marion McKeone stating (4/27): "The White House is
facing an embarrassing showdown over its allocation of billions of dollars
worth of construction contracts in Iraq to a small number of handpicked
companies who have close ties to the Bush administration.... The Bush administration's decision...has
fuelled anger among the congressional Democrats and government watchdog
groups.... The White House has responded to its critics by justifying that the
need for expediency justified the decision to bypass the normal procedures
relating to the rewarding of government contracts which allows U.S. and
international corporations to submit tenders."
LITHUANIA: "Short Euphoria Followed By
Fight Over Power"
Arturas Rozenas, observed in the main
political-economical weekly Veidas
(4/24): "The more messages of this kind we receive from Iraq, the more it
becomes clear, that what comes next is sisyphean work for Americans. As one could have expected, the U.S. is
seeking to consolidate 'temporary' rule, but these intentions are also facing
the wall of public unrest. The fall of Saddam's regime created even quite comic
Iraqi fights for political posts.... But formally, the United States have
appointed retired General Jay Garner to coordinate Iraq restoration. Gen. Jay Garner and his team of 500 people
are responsible for Iraq's 'civilian matters.'
In 1945 General Douglas McArthur entered Japan as a leader of the occupation
army and was met with extreme anger. However, history tells us that after six
years he was seen off with tears - he was that effective in putting a hostile
country on its legs. If Gen. Garner is
able to do something similar in Iraq, he will be seen off with tears not only
by the people of Iraq, but by all the population of the Middle East...one of
the slowest developing regions in the world."
MALTA: "Iraq Should Now Be Allowed To Sell
An editorial in the independent, English
language Malta Independent held (4/25):
"Even now that the latest Iraqi war is over, France and Russia are
continuing their course of self interest - at the expense of the nation they
have all along been playing a charade of pretending selflessly to
protect.... Because of this
Franco-Russian intransigence, Iraq is currently sitting on millions of gallons
of oil that it is forbidden by the UN to put on the world market. It urgently needs the income this sale would
create in order to start financing the desperately needed supply of water and
food, and to rebuild schools and hospitals for the new nation. The U.S. meanwhile is no longer keen to
involve the UN, which was hampered from supporting it, and without whose
assistance it launched the invasion. Its perhaps fairly reasonable attitude is
that a substantial investment of dollars and human lives deserves some
kick-back, at least in the first round.
France and Russia, on the other hand, want the profits without the
pain.... Transatlantic ill-feeling and squabbles, especially between France and
America, may take some time to repair and overcome, but they must not be
allowed to impede the reconstruction of a country whose future and freedom all
this fuss has been about."
NORWAY: “Iraq And The U.S. Need The UN”
Erik Sagflaat assertedin social democratic Dagsavisen (4/23): "An administration controlled by
an occupation force has no legitimacy apart from what it has given itself. There are consequences when other countries
are asked to contribute with soldiers in order to create security and uphold
law and order. Without a UN-mandate with
status as a peacekeeping UN-operation, such forces will become a part of the
occupation army.... Also Security
Council Resolution 1441 is still in effect.
It was not nullified by the U.S. invading Iraq. Resolution 1441 assigns the UN’s weapons
inspectors the task of checking if illegal weapons are in Iraq. Only the UN’s weapons inspectors have the
international authority to decide whether such weapons are there, or eventually
declare the country free of WMD.… It is important that such weapons be
found.... It was fear of Iraqi WMD that
gave the war a certain legitimacy.... It
is in America’s own interest that the UN’s weapons inspectors are called back
"Gratitude And Patriotism"
Milada Jedrysik argued in liberal Gazeta
Wyborcza (4/28): “Will Americans
succeed in helping create a government in Baghdad that is friendly to the
U.S.? In practice, they probably
will. After all, they have helped, and
even financed, the Iraqi opposition for years.
Whether such a government will be supported by the people, is a
different thing. To maintain popularity,
any authority in Baghdad will have to emphasize at every step that it distances
itself from Washington--even if these are empty declarations. The American plan provides for establishing
an interim government in Iraq, adopting a constitution, and holding free
elections within two years at the latest--whose outcome the U.S. will not be
able to steer. Therefore, much depends on
how the U.S. behaves now--whether it will withdraw its troops as soon as
possible, will not interfere in Iraq’s internal issues too openly, and will
invest enough money and effort in the country’s reconstruction for the Iraqis
PORTUGAL: “The Big Choice”
Prof. J.A. Azeredo Lopes, director of Catholic University's
International Studies Center, argued in an op-ed in influential moderate-left Público
(4/28): “The United States, without even hiding the game, is trying to
establish an international legal order at two speeds: a legality for all of the states of the globe
and the relations which these establish among themselves, [and] a
super-international legality, applicable to the United States and its relations
that it develops with the rest of the world.... Treatment deserving of prisoners
of war? Obviously, for others.... The rules of the United Nations Charter on
the use of force? Notable, applied to
others.... The day-to-day work of
maintaining peace and humanitarian actions in peripheral countries of little
strategic or economic weight, as in Africa?
Magnificent, others do it. The United States is not promoting any
democratic transition whatsoever in international relations.... In the Iraqi
case, I understand that the North Americans should assume in full their status
of occupying power and not transfer to others the duties of the day-to-day
management of the country. They already
have all the advantages, it is good for them to assume the problems. Or as it has already been said: They created
the child. They should take care of
"Hawks of Peace?"
Centrist La Vanguardia held (4/28): "It surprising that the leading role for
Iraqi's reconstruction and the stabilization falls on the Pentagon and not on
the State Department, with Colin Powell on the sidelines.... The reality is that in Washington Powell's
half-year of diplomatic failure, when he couldn't obtain UN endorsement for
war, is compared to a month of Rumsfeld's military successes. From this perspective, the logic of war
presides over the post-war and even the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict. The hidden objective is to
take unilateralism to its final conclusions and go in without the UN, the
European Union or Russia. It's a
dangerous path on which [Bush's] main allies, Aznar and Blair, disagree.... American diplomacy should recuperate its
leading role and this demands that the other European allies, starting with
France and Germany, help Powell. If not,
in the third millennium international relations could stay on in the hawks'
"The Arrival Of The Viceroy"
Centrist La Vanguardia wrote (4/22):
"Jay Garner...has arrived in Baghdad...Praised by some thanks for his work
during Gulf War I in Iraqi's Kurdish region, criticized by others because of
his presumed business connections with the Pentagon, Garner showed yesterday
signs of some realism by making his maximum priority the restoration of running
water and electricity. Certainly, he
won't be lacking problems...Never has a post-war period been the object of so
much previous planning.... The problem is that nobody dares predict how long
this stage will last."
SWEDEN: "Garner In Baghdad"
Senior columnist Endre Aczel editorializes in
leading Nepszabadsag (4/23):
"Jay Garner, the retired General...can't escape the big challenge
of making the Shiites and the Sunnis become used to peace in Iraq. Because an entire nation though can't be dismissed or replaced. It is hard to envy
General Garner [for his current task]. And there is one more thing for which
Garner can't be envied. He ought to
give back to the Iraqi people the basic criteria of normal life in a couple of
days: water, electricity, transportation infrastructure and hospitals, as well
as law and order. The American General,
to my belief, can win the will of cooperation of the 'native' Iraqis more or less as quickly as he manages to
normalize life around himself [in Iraq]. A great majority of the Iraqi people
are well-trained and educated standards by all means.
They are slowly going to team up around Garner,
which is the option for them."
Turgut Tarhanli wrote in the liberal-intellectual Radikal
(4/29): “It seems that the U.S. is inclined to keep the United Nations out of
the picture in the future of Iraq’s political structure. As for the rebuilding, it is odd to see that
American firms are given the major share in construction projects by the U.S.,
which happens to be the occupying force in the country.… It remains to be seen
to what extent the U.S. will be successful in establishing a legitimate
political and administrative structure in Iraq while at the same time remaining
as an occupation force. Initial signs
are not promising though, because Washington is busy with correcting the
remarks by a retired American general who is designated to be the chief of the
Iraqi restructuring mission. … The question yet to be answered: How will the
U.S. be able to legitimize the restructuring process even though the operation
itself was suffering from a lack of legitimacy to begin with?”
“Turkey-Iran And The Turkmen”
Asli Aydintasbas wrote in mass-appeal Sabah (4/28): “The
Turkish foreign policy mechanism has become isolated on the Iraq issue. Even today, Turkish foreign policy makers
continue to produce ‘worried’ statements instead of producing new policies in
the light of colossal developments in our immediate neighborhood.… For
instance, Jay Garner talked about Kirkuk as being a Kurdish city, and received
a harsh reaction from Ankara, which resulted in Ambassador Pearson being
summoned to the Foreign Ministry. Ankara
is right to react, and Garner’s statement is certainly unpleasant. However, Turkey has also failed to present an
active policy on the Kirkuk issue, contenting itself instead with declaring
‘red lines.’… While Turkey fails to be an active player in the game, Iran
continues to push the limits.... Iranian influence is a fact, not only in the
Shiite areas in the southern Iraq, but also in the north and in Baghdad....
There was even an indirect negotiation between Iran and the United States in
order to give final shape to the statement at the Erbil meeting. Iran is certainly one of the major players
during the transition period of Iraq, and will remain so in the upcoming
administration. Meanwhile, Turkey is
simply not seen at all.”
"The Transitional Administration In
Mustafa Balbay argued in social
democrat-intellectual Cumhuriyet (4/25): "Watching Jay Garner in
Iraq gives a clear picture about the intention of the U.S. for the future of
Iraq. Iraq will be divided among three
major groups: Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.
There will some contributing factors to these groups, such as
Turkmans. This is the only way for the
U.S. to be able to control the groups and manipulate them as needed.... The
United States is not interested in the disagreements or disputes between the
Iraqi groups, as long as oil business remains secure and under U.S.
control. U.S. policy for Iraq can be
summed up as follows: The new Iraqi administration should be as fragmented as
it can be and the United States should take the biggest chunk both from the oil
and the rebuilding."
"Garner Faces The Realities"
Ilnur Cevik commented in English language Turkish
Daily News (4/22): "It was the
Pentagon that flew Chalabi and his men into Iraq and made sure they had a political
head-start. Now is the Pentagon naming a
governor for Baghdad while the U.S. administration is bringing in Mr. Garner as
the new boss in the interim Iraqi administration? The U.S. should not allow such confusion to
prevail in Iraq. It has to get its act
together from the very start, or else Mr. Garner may be faced with more
confusion and may find it impossible to forge some kind of order in the
"Just Before 'Enlightened Occupation'"
Senior Middle East affairs analyst Zvi Bar'el
wrote in independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (4/27): "Direct U.S. control in a foreign
country cannot be equated with Israel's occupation of the territories or with
Syria's influence in Lebanon. The status
that the U.S. has in the region has direct bearing on that of its allies, like
Israel, Turkey and Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and may impact countries
that might be contemplating a change in allegiance, such as Iran and
Syria. Strong liberal factions in the
Arab world may still be keeping a low profile, but are nevertheless eagerly
awaiting the opportunity to copy the Iraqi example as presented by President
Bush, and are greatly concerned that the outcome might turn out to be more like
Afghanistan. The swift victory in Iraq
shocked the region, but the duration and mainly the nature of the occupation
will determine whether fear of the U.S. will play a role in creating a new
reality, or whether this fear will eventually wane and American rule in Iraq
will follow Israel's track in Lebanon or the Soviet Union's in
WEST BANK: “Will Sharon Succeed in Exploiting
the War Against Iraq?”
Mamdouh Noufal wrote in independent,
pro-Palestinian Authority Al-Ayyam (4/27): “It seems that the Bush
administration is determined to adopt the Israeli position [regarding the peace
process] and in implementing the system of civil administration in Iraq. This
system is being tried by Israel, which failed to implement it on the
Palestinians. The Bush administration appointed Israel’s friend Jay Garner as a
governor in Iraq to head a civil administration. Although the declared mission
of this administration is to help Iraqis improve their life, its real aim is to
steal Iraq's oil wealth, provide American companies with contracts to rebuild
Iraq and prepare the country for the servitude of strategic American
"Israel to Gain From American Occupation of
Ashraf Al-Ajrami wrote in independent,
pro-Palestinian Authority Al-Ayyam (4/21): "Through the American-British occupation
of Iraq and their intention to establish permanent American military bases in
Iraq and form a puppet government, Israel has gotten rid of the strategic
danger posed on the Israeli eastern front by Syria and Iraq.... Also, Israelis are looking forward to economic
gains from the indirect or direct participation of Israeli companies in the
rebuilding of Iraq through American companies, which might need Israeli
technology. In addition, Israel expects
to benefit from the effects of the period after the collapse of the Iraqi
regime on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, especially since the Palestinians
supported the defeated Iraqi regime."
EGYPT: "Separating Lines"
Editor-in-chief Samir Ragab opined in small
circulation pro-government Al Gomhouriya (4/23): "No matter how
Kurds hated Saddam Hussein, their grant reception of the High commissioner of
the invaders Jay Garner is astonishing.... Garner had a boastful smile...as if
saying, 'we Americans have become the owners of this country and others are
guests'.... if that is the position of
an Iraqi faction, how can the others demand independence and expel the
aggressors? Obviously, the U.S. is
plotting a civil war in Iraq."
Small-circulation pro-government Al Gomhouriya’s
editor-in-chief Samir Ragab (4/22): “The occupying government has officially
arrived in Baghdad. Unfortunately, with
the arrival of Jay Garner, the scenario has become a painful and shameful
truth....no one believes Garner’s and Chalabi’s statements that the mission of
American troops is temporary...while the world watched how the Iraqi army was
destroyed and [Americans] have started building their military bases.... How can Iraqis regain their freedom after
being deprived of their most precious psychological and material tools?....
Those helpless Iraqis who for 34 years were unable to change, are now under
someone who is forcing a more desperate life on them. The light is still far especially with the
tyranny of the tanks, and heavy weapons.
From experience, it is not unlikely that their case will be just a file
with a number shelved at the U.N. or the Arab League.”
“America And Political Thuggery”
Leading opposition Al Wafd’s columnist
Mohamed Elwan (4/22): “As soon as America got rid of Saddam and occupied
Iraq...the occupying force was able to control the country so as to facilitate
Iraq’s recognition of Israel... we are trapped in an American military,
economic, and political hold, which aims to achieve a plot for the Middle
East...to achieve International Zionist dreams, which seek to control the
eastern front, namely Iraq, and now Syria is the other end of this front....
Syria’s position on the American aggression on Iraq was not in defense of
Saddam...but was responsive to the peace-seeking and legitimate Arab, Islamic
and international position.... Syria’s
positions do not deserve punishment and war against it. Syria’s positions defend Arab national
security from Zionism and American imperialist power. Egypt shares this position with Syria because
Egypt is the shield of the Arab world.... Unlike Iraq, America will find no
Arab or Islamic support for its hallucinations against Syria and the American
decision makers should reconsider their positions away from Sharon’s
"Rumsfeld In Baghdad"
Jeddah's moderate Al-Madina editorialized
(4/28): "The arrival of Secretary
Rumsfeld to Baghdad...will mark the end of the war. However, the liberation of Iraq will not be
complete until Iraqis are free to choose their own administration and governing
body, not a government imposed upon them by the U.S. The road to a free self-governing Iraq, which
guarantees the birth and growth of peace and prosperity, might be a long one. We understand that Iraq requires time to
rebuild its democratic authority structures.
However, the American attitude today, during the meeting with the four
hundred significant Iraqi representatives, could shorten that time period, or
it could prolong it. Of course, it is
not in the U.S.'s best interest to prolong the interim phase, or to waste time
in the process of creating an example of contemporary democratic
government. Because if that is the case,
then America would lose its victory in the war on Saddam's regime, and we do
not think anyone in Washington wants that."
"The Future Of Iraq And Reality
Jeddah's moderate Okaz editorialized
(4/27): "Baghdad's battle is not over yet. The challenge that awaits the
actual force governing Baghdad now (i.e. the U.S.), is more important. These
forces are expected to carry Iraq through the transition from a pre-war era to
a post-war future in record time. We would like to remind the United States
here that Iraq is not just oil fields and strategic locations; the future of
Iraq is also the future of its people, who for many decades have been deprived
of progress and now are eager to have it back. The UN also has a major role in
Iraq's future. In a few days when the Security Council convenes, the UN must
assume its rightful role. This transition period must end as soon as possible,
otherwise there will be more painful surprises--like the one yesterday in
Baghdad at the weapons warehouse--will be repeated.
The War Is Over, But The Chaos Continues
Riyadh's moderate, Al-Jazirah
editorialized (4/27): "It is
imperative to accelerate the formation of a national Iraqi Government, as the
appropriate means to handle the current crisis and future tasks. Moreover, the
mere announcement to erect a national regime will restore hopes to the Iraqis,
to administer their country and move it away from all the nightmares connected
to the occupation. Along with a national regime agreed to by all Iraqis, it
will be possible to identify mistakes and put on trial, the ones who made them.
But at the present time, the people are not able to identify those who made the
mistake of storing ammunitions in civilian quarters to explode and kill tens of
peoples in a matter of seconds."
"General Garner And The Mysterious
Mecca's conservative, Al Nadwa
editorialized (4/22): "The arrival of General Garner into Iraq marks the
beginning of the first day of official occupation. Iraqis who object to foreign
control of their affairs have no choice in the matter. The ousted former
President of Iraq paved the way for this tragic future. His reckless policies,
ruthlessness and torment of his own people are what lead Iraq to this outcome.
This new phase in Iraq's future, as short as we may hope it will be, was a
result of Saddam's actions. But after that the Iraqis should be left alone to
govern themselves. Iraqis are not ignorant. Their country was the cradle of
many ancient civilizations. Iraqis have the ability to run their own affairs.
Longer than anticipated US and British presence in Iraq will increase Iraqis'
resentment of Americans and create another restless spot in the region. This is
what General Garner should understand and work with accordingly to make his
mission as short as possible."
ALGERIA: "American Democracy -- A
Principal Arabic-Language independent El
Khabar commented (4/28): “The democratic operation that the United States
is imposing on Iraqi society through tanks and missiles will not fulfill the
aspirations of the Iraqi people as much as it seeks to achieve the aspirations
of an industrial oil and military complex allied with Zionism.... The democracy
being imposed on the Iraqi people, or any country with American strategic
interests, not only in the Arab region but also the whole world, is no more
than a type of behavior/policy adaptation of a regime to global American
interests. Hence, the democracy that is being promoted by the United States is
not a true democracy nor an institutionally authentic democracy. In the U.S.
view, democracy means the existence of Arab governments assuring the protection
of American interests, opening the markets to American products, mortgaging
Arab resources and allying with Zionists.”
"Rumsfeld In Terra Conquista"
Principal French-Language independent Quotidien
d'Oran commented (4/28): “The date
of the arrival of the Minister of Defense in conquered Baghdad has yet to be
revealed. Entering a Baghdad devastated by an illegitimate aggression carried
out under his personal command, and facing a population terrified and
humiliated after thirty years of sufferings and silence, Rumsfeld is no doubt
displaying provocation and arrogance. On the Iraqi side, opponents to the
former regime are trying to get along with each other in order to find a
solution to the dramatic situation their country is going through. The meeting
to be held today in Baghdad headed by the administrator appointed by
Washington, General Jay Garner, will gather hundreds of former oppositionists
from inside Iraq or returning from asylum.”
"When The U.S. Goes It Alone"
French-Language independent Liberte
reported (4/27): “For the last few days,
Washington has been acting in the international arena in a way that makes one
feel that the United States has no intention to let any other country interfere
in the management of post-war Iraqi affairs. Indeed, General Jay Garner is
acting on the ground in conformity with White House instructions. He is
designing Iraq to apply plans elaborated by U.S. experts, though his success
depends on the position of the Shiites who are mostly hostile to the American
presence in their country. On the international scene, George Bush’s diplomacy
does not hesitate to impose its opinions, including threats. France who led the
antiwar front is being excluded from Iraq’s reconstruction and is simply being
targeted by American threats of marginalization in international fora and
meetings. The same is being applied to all the countries that supported Paris,
particularly, Germany and Russia. The latter had signed several contracts with
Saddam's regime and has been put on notice regarding a possible invalidation of
LEBANON: "Bush By Monopolizing The Process Of Rebuilding
An editorial by Yousef Daw in pro-Sunni Al-Liwa
observed (4/23): "President Bush overstepped the Security Council the
first time by launching the war against Iraq, then overstepped it again by
monopolizing the process of rebuilding Iraq....
He refused to give the French, Russian, and Chinese a chance to invest
in Iraq and granted only American companies huge contracts that aim at
rebuilding the Iraqi infrastructure....
USAID appears to be replacing an interim Iraqi government...and is
granting American companies contracts not only to rebuild Iraq, but also to
work on programs to help in education and public administration.... Sources believe that the basic U.S. aim
behind launching war against Iraq was to help American companies revive their
businesses...and put their hands on Iraqi oil...the same sources believe that
this kind of behavior will eventually be confronted through resistance."
MOROCCO: "Garner Returns To Baghdad,
Marines Patrol Borders With Iran"
Government coalition, Istiqal Party French
language L’Opinion noted (4/25): "General Garner has started talks
with Iraqi civilian leaders while U.S. marines patrol the borders with Iran to
prevent any incursions. Garner’s talks involve university professors and
technocrats but do not necessarily mean that they would participate in the new
"In Whose Interest Was The Invasion?"
Mohammad Kheior Al-Jamali opined in government-owned Al-Thawra
(4/29): "The Iraqi people - who do not believe in the misleading campaigns
that the invasion of Iraq was to liberate the people and bring them democracy -
are dealing with the invasion as an occupation force that should withdraw as
soon as possible. By this the people are expressing their free will. So, was all of this in the interest of the
United States? We find that the United States, by invading Iraq has lost much
more than it would have expected to win! Through its invasion, the United
States has become an occupation force that has lost what was left of its
political credibility in the region, credibility that could have been enhanced
by dialogue and sound logic. So the outcome of the invasion of Iraq is a blow
to the United States, to the credibility of its policy and its role in the
region. The invasion has turned into a free service for Israel that the U.S.
will pay a heavy price for with increasing feelings of hatred towards the
United States in the region and all corners of the world."
"International Legitimacy Is A Must"
Government-owned Tishreen stated
(4/23): "According to the U.S.
officials, the goal of bringing democracy to Iraq was worth the high cost of
the war, the killing of Iraqi innocents and the destruction of Iraqi cities....
The U.S.-UK military success in Iraq hasn't surprised anybody...but military
success does not mean freedom for the Iraqi people or that democracy is brought
to Iraq. On the contrary, Iraq is living
a political, security and social chaos entailing tremendous dangers in the
short--and long--run.... There is a
pressing need to debate the Iraqi situation at the UN because the UN is the
primary legislative and political power that can deal with current developments
away from any self-serving interests or economic greed."
"The Tough American Impasse"
Mohamed Khair al-Jamali commented in
government-owned Al-Thawra (4/22):
"Why was thus war? Iraq has
lost its freedom and independence because of the direct U.S.-British occupation
and the arrival of the foreign ruler, Gay Garner. The justification for war vanished with the
coalition's failure to find WMD in Iraq....
Rumsfeld tried to reduce confusion about this failure by saying that the
search for WMD is still ongoing. There is talk in Washington that Rumsfeld is
refusing to face this fact to keep the excuse [for the war alive].... Similarly, President Bush called on the UN to
lift economic sanction on Iraq. By this sudden call, he seeks to close the file
on the war and the Iraqi crisis in an obvious attempt to escape the
international inquiries about the motives of war and crimes committed against
the Iraqi people, including the need for reconstruction and
compensation.... This tough impasse has
also caused the anti-Syria threats and accusations currently being unleashed by
the U.S. Administration's hawks. These threats come within the framework of a
policy of exporting crises. It is an obvious attempt to cover up the U.S.
impasse incurred with the occupation of Iraq by fabricating a new crisis in the
region. This covers up the tremendous difficulties occupation forces are facing
in justifying the occupation and controlling people, knowing beforehand that
they reject occupation and have already started paving the way for resistance
through solid national unity."
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: "Garner Must Honor
The Will Of The Arab People"
Alleging the Iraqi people will not support Gen.
Jay Garner for long, Dubai-based business-oriented Arabic Al-Bayan
editorialized (4/23): "Gen. Garner and the people who put him there will
soon realize that the Iraqi people will hold on to their right of
self-determination and will not accept any ruling system that is imposed on
them. The coming days will confirm this
truth to Garner, and if he is civilized and respectable, he will bow in honor
to the will of the Arab people, who will not accept helplessness."
Aggressive pro-government Al Akhbar's
senior columnist Mahmoud Abdel Moneim Mourad (4/23): "how sad to see the
Iraqi people and the entire Arab world, which witnessed the greatest glory,
witness a black day of defeat, and suffer what no one accepts.... At least
their tyrant ruler was Arab, of their own, not a foreigner who is a close
friend of the Zionists, now celebrating his great victory on an Arab
country.... Hopefully this foreign rule
ends soon with God's help."
"Liberation Not Occupation"
Columnist Dr. Shamlan Al Eissa wrote in Abu
Dhabi-based semi-government Al Ittihad (4/20): "We are sure that the Arab and Gulf
governments asking the occupiers to leave Iraq, and leave Iraq for its people
to rule, do not really care about the Iraqi people. These governments dread the fact that the
Coalition countries might change thoughts and minds not only in Iraq, but also
in the neighbouring Arab countries. They
dread real democracy."
"The U.S. Puts The UN Aside"
Liang Yan commented in the official Communist
Party international news publication Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao,
4/28): “The U.S. wants to conduct an
Iraqi election without the UN’s surveillance.
It intends to decide on when to lift sanctions against Iraq. It aims to conduct weapons inspections with
the UK unilaterally. And it wants to
maneuver the trials of Iraqi senior officials.... The UN is the linchpin of the international
order after World War II and guardian of the world peace and security. If the Bush administration really wants the U.S.
to play an important role in the world today, it should respect, not challenge,
these basic common views.”
"Post-Saddam Iraq And Japan's Diplomacy"
The business-oriented Nihon Keizai
editorialized (4/28): "Having won
the Iraq war, the U.S. and Britain will bring the world to 'many changes.' This will certainly affect Japan's
diplomacy.... Given the outcome of the
war where overwhelming U.S. military power was demonstrated, it is imperative
that Japan play a proper role in mitigating friction that may be caused by the
U.S. As a key ally in this war, Britain
can advise the U.S. to have the UN to take part in Iraq reconstruction
projects. Japan will be able to give
similar advice to the U.S. The Iraq war
has left negative effects on Arab nations.
Polls conducted recently in these nations show Arab dislike of the U.S.
and Britain, while Arab opinion of Japan remains high. Japan will be able help reduce anti-U.S.
feelings that could flare up."
"ORHA Must Win Iraqis' Trust"
The liberal Mainichi held (4/22):
"Given the fact that sporadic acts of resistance still continue in the
countryside, U.S. and UK troops should, for the time being, be responsible for
restoring and maintaining public order.
It is imperative that ORHA chief Garner and other officials give top
priority to making Iraqis' daily life safe and stable in cooperation with Iraqi
police and fire officials. We ask that ORHA, USG and British officials work
exclusively for the benefit of Iraqis, while paying thoughtful consideration to
their feelings.… The U.S. and Britain as well as other members of the
international community will have to embark on the difficult task of
stabilizing Iraqis' livelihood and restoring their human rights."
SOUTH KOREA: "Winner-Takes-All Game"
Kim Ki-chon wrote in conservative Chosun Ilbo
(4/21): "Criticism is running high
over the U.S. 'monopoly' of rehabilitation projects in Iraq.... Projects worth $20 billion a year will be
undertaken in the coming three years. As
U.S. companies take home most of the projects, international complaints are
high. European nations are moving to
bring the issue to the WTO. A silent
economic war is in the offing after the end of the Iraq War.... Back in 1980, the Swedish singing group,
'Abba,' released a song, 'The Winner Takes It All.'... The U.S. may think that it is right and
proper for it to 'sweep the stakes,' as the lyrics say. But the U.S. should be aware of growing
INDONESIA: "To Whom Does The New Iraq
Independent Tempo magazine (4/21)
commented: "The world's involvement
in the Iraqi transitional government is a must, especially to act as an honest
mediator and facilitator for the formation of a credible, effective, and
dignified government. To this end, the
UN can look back at the success of the U.S. in rebuilding Germany and Japan
after World War II. The international
community should not be affected by the waves of protests of the Iraqi people
against foreign interference. General
McActhur faced it when he began his mission in Japan as the leader of the
occupational government in 1945. Six years later, when he was about to go home
after he handing over his power to the elected government, the Japanese saw him
off in tears."
"Garner Will Find Rebuilding Iraq A Titanic Challenge"
Government-influenced English language New Straits Times
ran the following commentary form its Group Editor-In-Chief asserting
(4/29): "Good luck to him. The challenges he faces are titanic. It is rather difficult to make predictions
about whether Iraq after Saddam Hussein will slide into ungovernable anarchy or
become a success story. The most
consistently quoted reason why the English-speaking axis urged the war against
Iraq was that the Iraqi dictator had weapons of mass destruction which posed a
calamitous threat to neighbouring states (Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and
Kuwait) and many other farflung nations!
The speed with which Iraq was conquered said it all: there were no
weapons of mass destruction that justified the war. If there were, where are they? So far, none
has been found. Hans Blix and his inspectors were quite right. Our position
remains unequivocal: if there were such weapons, they would have been
found. So far, there is no such
evidence, therefore many people consider the war to be illegal and immoral. Besides, had Saddam got them, wouldn't he use
them to retain some semblance of a heroic resistance, especially in his
capital? The Diarist believes the
destruction of Iraq was carried out on a false, worse, lying premise."
“Blamed On Saddam And Bush”
Government-influenced Malay language Utusan Malaysia ran
the following commentary (4/28):
“This tragedy ultimately will be Saddam Hussein’s fault as well,
because the world would not be on the verge of another war in the Persian Gulf
if the Iraqi leader had agreed to abide by his international
responsibilities.... But the ultimatum also says a great deal about
Washington's ineptitude as it sought to rally other countries to its
side.... The United States has
consistently mixed the two objectives of disarmament and regime change leaving
key members of the transatlantic alliance to wonder whether the White House
would ever have been satisfied with having a disarmed Saddam Hussein remain in
power. This confusion of motives was a
fundamental reason why the Bush administration, in a blow that likely will
affect the United Nations for years, had to withdraw its Security Council
resolution authorizing force.”
“Rebuilding Iraq Only After Consensus”
Government-influenced Malay language Berita
Harian editorialized (4/25): “After meeting a group of about 60 academics,
technocrats and other potential leaders, Jay Garner, the U.S. chief
administrator of Iraq, said in a statement that America will start getting
Iraqi ministries back to work as the first step towards handing power to an
interim government. He has a tough task
ahead no doubt, but he has a tougher image problem to address. In the perception of Iraqi people, he will
always be seen as heading a US occupation. Whatever steps he takes to bring
order and peace in the country would be viewed with suspicion and skepticism.
The U.S. has already failed to win support of the common Iraqis; regular
demonstrations in Baghdad and other parts of the country against the occupying
forces are glaring examples of that. And now it's obvious from the reaction of
the Iraqis that Jay Garner does not have public acceptance. We hope the occupation period will end
quickly and an indigenous Iraqi government will be in power as soon as possible
even during the interim period.”
"Reconstruction Or Privatization?"
The government-influenced English language New
Straits Times editorialized (4/21):
"What we find repulsive is that America seems to have missed the
contracts--particularly those using Iraq's oil money--should be designed to
build up and compensate Iraq, not fatten carpetbaggers' bank accounts on the
damage and destruction wrought by war.
The bidding for contracts has been slanted towards firms with White
House connections, in a winner take all grab that is more in keeping with Third
World cronyism than American idealism.
U.S. and other international companies (if ever the U.S. allows any to
come in) participating in its rebuilding should renounce all the profits gained
from this humanitarian exercise. It
would appear that the reconstruction is nothing more than a privatization of
Iraq's commercial sectors and public services.
You have to give President George W. Bush credit for this innovative but
illicit way of spreading free trade: Seize the new markets on the battlefields
of pre-emptive wars and bomb before you force free trade on your own terms upon
this 'liberated' country.... The
question is: Shouldn't the U.S. and Britain engage in reconstruction without an
iota of profit in mind? Or was the war
on Iraq all about the money?"
THAILAND: “Sanctions Squabble Doesn’t Help
The lead editorial in independent, English
language Nation read (4/23):
“Washington’s call for an end to the trade embargo on Iraq aside, the
international community should not be distracted from the fact that America
still has the moral responsibility to finance the post-war reconstruction of
Iraq, and such responsibility must be funded by other means than just using
revenue from Iraqi oil sales. Regardless
of existing conflicts and all the difficulties, all parties involved have the
duty to bear in mind the urgent humanitarian needs of the Iraqis affected by
the U.S.-led invasion as well as the three-decade long dictatorship of Saddam
Hussein.... Any effort to end the
sanctions must first and foremost accelerate the delivery of humanitarian aid
to millions of Iraqi children, men and women who have been displaced, live in
hunger and despair and still harbor fear and uncertainty.”
INDIA: "U.S. In Quagmires Of Iraq,
Afghanistan: Fighting On Two Fronts"
Editorial page commentary in Chennai-based
independent Business Line stated (4/25): "It is obvious that the
Americans had not bargained for the sort of hostile public reaction their
presence is evoking in Iraq. They are
finding both in Iraq and Afghanistan that consolidating peace is far more
difficult than winning wars against weak adversaries. The unscheduled visit of Gen. (Tommy) Franks
to Afghanistan at the height of the Central Command's operations in Iraq
signals growing concern in the Pentagon at the deteriorating security situation
in Afghanistan. The Taliban...pose a
growing security challenge in the Pakistan dominated areas of Afghanistan to
American forces and the Hamid Karzai government."
"Second Phase Of Plundering"
Front-paged commentary in independent Urdu
biweekly Dawat argued (4/22): "The first phase of pillage was when
some people were shown on the TV screens and the on pages of newspapers looting
commodities in various cities of Iraq after the fall of the Saddam regime. This was to make the world believe how the
Iraqi people were desperately waiting for their 'liberation' to ransack their
markets and ravage their own cultural heritage.
Now, the second and the real phase of plundering is about to begin. The U.S. is forcing the UN for the earliest
abrogation of the sanctions imposed since after the last Gulf War. After making every effort for more than a decade
to toughen the sanctions against Iraq, the U.S. is now in a hurry to get them
lifted in order to loot the oil resources of the ravaged country.... France, Russia and Germany are opposing the
U.S. plan because they have their own economic interests in Iraq."
PAKISTAN: "The Real War Begins Now"
An op-ed by Roedad Khan in the Karachi-based
independent national Dawn (4/29):
"[O]ccupied Iraq is an ungovernable jumble, has still not found
peace or security and is in the grip of even worse perils than those it had
faced before. Iraq has gone under
American military occupation and, like Afghanistan, has ceased to be a
sovereign, independent state.... It is
no secret that the war was waged for cheap oil and Washington's strategic goal
of preventing the emergence of a Muslim power inimical to Israel and American
interests in the Middle East.... The
Americans have brought nothing, could offer nothing to Iraq except sham
democracy carried on the wings of a cruise missile. They have allowed museums,
libraries, artifacts, and precious relics to be looted and vandalized.... The people of Iraq will not accept a quisling
government or a government run by anyone they see as a stooge of the occupying
Americans. They are not interested in
retired general Jay Garner, the former missile contractor leading the effort to
rebuild Iraq or Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi businessman, convicted of fraud in
Jordan and a favorite of the Pentagon hawks, who was brought into Nasiriyah by
U.S. forces to administer Iraq on their behalf.... America's war of 'liberation' is over. Iraq's war of liberation from the Americans
is about to begin. In other words, the
real and frightening story starts now."
"Orders Of General Garner"
An editorial in the Karachi-based right-wing
pro-Islamic unity Urdu Jasarat claimed (4/24): "The priorities of
the United States in Iraq could be gauged from the fact that General Garner has
ordered the opening of a number of churches and nightclubs throughout
Iraq. Some people still believe that the
situation in Iraq is not the result of any clash amidst civilizations. U.S. interests are associated with Iraqi oil,
but the question is what relevance do churches and nightclubs have with
"American Gifts For Iraq"
An editorial in the Karachi-based pro-Taliban
Urdu Islam (4/24): "The very
appointment of the pro-Israel U.S. administrator General Garner in Iraq speaks
volumes about what the U.S. actually wants to do in Iraq and the Middle
East. But the first directives issued by
General Garner have cleared all ambiguities and vain imaginations regarding the
hidden motives of the U.S. for occupying Iraq.
General Garner wants to give obscenity and vulgarity an outlet in a
Muslim society and wants Christianity to flourish there."
An editorial in the center-right national Nation
(4/22): "General Garner, expected to bring, among other things, democracy
to Iraq, has been at pains to project the view of the U.S. as a helper. However
the U.S. plans for post-Saddam Iraq can be better gauged from recent
developments. The Observer of London reports that plans to reconstruct a
pipeline from Mosul to Haifa through Jordan are already being discussed among
Washington, Tel Aviv and people in line for the interim Iraqi Government. This
will ensure Iraqi oil for Israel.... As
for the man who will choose the Iraqi interim government, Garner is known for
his close ties with Israel and is a personal friend of Israel's extremist Prime
Minister Sharon. He also happens to be one of the 42 retired military officers
who signed a statement by the Jewish Institute of National Security, to praise
"Israel's remarkable restraint in dealing with Palestinian uprising".
He will pick Iraq's delegation to an upcoming OPEC moot. Will it represent
Iraq's interests or those of U.S. Big Oil?"
BANGLADESH: “Campaign To Oust Americans in Iraq”
Pro-Iraq Bangla Inqilab's editorial asserted (4/28): "The
martyrdom of 40 Iraqis in an attack on a weapons dump by Iraqis is
unfortunate. But this attack made it
clear that the campaign to drive away the Americans has gained strength. Since the campaign has started in the capital
itself, it can be concluded that the Americans are not safe anywhere in
Iraq. The reaction to American
occupation of Iraq has been fierce. The
traitors helped to accelerate the fall of Baghdad before the Iraqis could
understand anything. Everything has been
done so quickly through a secret deal that it was not possible for President
Saddam Hussein to take any steps and the confused and hoodwinked Iraqi troops
could not come forward. But the
situation changed following the fall of Baghdad and the people, the Republican
Guards, the Fedayeen Saddam became aware of the conspiracy. They are now engaged in a war of resistance
and informed the world of their through a successful attack on an ammunition
depot. We believe the Americans will
desist from the hateful path of killing people and quit Iraq before being
driven away with ignominy."
SRI LANKA: "Fall Of Iraq Brings New Wave Of
Feelings In The Arab World"
Independent Virakesari Illustrated Weekly
commented (4/20): "Widespread opposition is shown inside and outside of
Iraq for the U.S. efforts to form a puppet administration in Iraq.... The U.S.
efforts to form an interim administration in Iraq is now facing stiff
challenges. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis rallied against the meeting
convened by the United States last week, to form an interim government.... The U.S. forces had to use force on the
demonstrators, which killed several civilians.... However, the U.S. actions on these Arab
countries have brought a wave of a revolutionary feeling among the 47 Muslim
countries in the world. Earlier, some of
the Middle East Muslim countries were with the Americans. But now, the
situation has changed. Some observers say, this situation may pave way for an
anti-American wave among the Arab countries."
ARGENTINA: "New U.S. Offensive At The
Jorge Rosales, Washington-based correspondent
for daily-of-record La Nacion highlighted (4/26): "Next week, the
U.S. will present a resolution at the UN to put an end to the economic
sanctions against Iraq, legitimize the military forces' authority to handle the
transition and relegate the UN to a limited role, with which it will revive the
confrontation with France, Germany and Russia.... The U.S. wants the UN
Secretary General Kofi Annan appoint a personal delegate to coordinate the
humanitarian aid task and have a consulting role for the formation of a future
temporary government under Jay Garner's.... The U.S. wants Iraq's temporary
authorities to manage oil income and transfer all funds from oil exports, today
controlled by the UN, to an account at the Iraqi Central Bank supervised by the
IMF and the World Bank, which are controlled by the U.S..... The U.S. move will
collide with France, Germany and Russia....
Russia and China have made public that they will not support any
resolution giving Annan the right to appoint any commissioner to work in Iraq
along with the coalition forces because that would mean to legitimize the
"Increasing Controversy In The U.S. About
The Terms Of Occupation"
Jorge Rosales, Washington-based correspondent
for daily-of-record La Nacion wrote (4/22): "Some members of the
Bush administration have started to think that the U.S. military and civilian
authorities should rapidly withdraw from Iraq not to damage the U.S.
relationship with the Arab world and, above all, to prevent Iraq from
permanently depending on U.S. military and economic aid... The length of the
U.S. military occupation in Iraq is one of the issues most insistently posed
once the U.S.-led coalition took hold of the country and started to plan the
post-war rebuilding stage.... The project of the Republican administration is
the establishment of a democratic government and market economy, but that task
could take several years, perhaps much longer than what was originally
planned.... Kenneth Pollack, head of research at the Center for the Middle
East, Brookings Institution, said that if the coalition takes a long time to
restore order and security and Baghdad and in the other big cities it could
affect 'the crucial issue of legitimacy of reconstruction efforts.'"
BRAZIL: "After The War"
Columnist Eliana Cardoso commented in business-oriented Valor
Economico (4/30): "It was already known that the military campaign in
Iraq would be less difficult than the political solution for the post-war
period. Jay Garner has a Herculean task ahead.... Garner's team is small and
has little experience in a region whose language it does not understand. So
far, Washington's bureaucratic agendas are out of step and the reconstruction
has stopped. On the other hand, the immediate post-war effect on the Persian
Gulf nations involves fewer problems than the 1991 war.... Iraq's
reconstruction will not have negative consequences for its neighbors. Local
trade is expected to increase, as well as opportunities for financial centers
such as Bahrain and commercial posts such as Dubai.... The Arabs conduct
business keeping their eyes on power. They will favor the U.S. in contracts to
the EU's detriment.... There is [also] the hope that the end of the war in Iraq
will open the door for another stage in the Israeli-Palestinian peace
Columnist Luiz Weiss commented in center-right O
Estado de Sao Paulo (4/23):
"The Bush administration's foreign and national security policies
reserve to the UN a single and subordinated role: that of helping Washington's
hegemonic projects come true.... Now
President Bush wants the UNSC to lift the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq
following the Gulf War.... Without
Saddam and his forbidden WMDs, Iraq no longer must be treated as a pariah
state. But what the U.S. indeed wants is
first a franchise to exploit Iraqi oil and use the profits to pay contractors
linked to the White House, and second a retroactive version of the same
legitimization previously pursued to change the regime.... If they demonstrate any consistency, the
governments that opposed the war cannot agree with this situation, at least
while Iraq remains a U.S. protectorate and the conquerors have not established
a deadline for the transfer of power to the Iraqis."
MEXICO: "Only The U.N."
Adolfo Aguilar Zinser stressed in Reforma (4/25): "Long before Sept. 11…during his
presidential campaign, President Bush said he opposed the idea that the USG
would assume responsibilities of ‘nation-state building.’ Bush said this should
be the task of the United Nations…it seems that he has changed his mind. Today, after the end of military operations
in Iraq that culminated in the fall of Saddam Hussein and his regime, Bush
seems to be certain that the reconstruction of Iraq is a responsibility that
falls to the United States, in which the U.N. is not needed. Let’s consider what happened in Kosovo,
Sierra Leone, East Timor, Afghanistan and Cambodia to know that this is not
"Bush (Pretends) To Take Possession Of The World"
Editorial from left-of-center Jornada (4/25): "If somebody needs a confirmation about
Bush's pretensions to take possession of Iraq, they will get a clear answer
from the speech he gave yesterday; he declared that the troops that destroyed
Iraq will stay there indefinitely, maybe two years or less, 'who knows'. The American President confirms what his
government has been denying so far: the military aggression in Iraq has nothing
to do with the strengthening of American internal security, with the fight
against terrorism, or with the promotion of democracy and Human Rights. This war was a colonialist enterprise like
the ones made before on previous centuries...this project, based on a deep
ignorance of the world, implies delirious and messianic conceptions, therefore,
its achievement is impossible.
Unfortunately, the Bush administration will try to keep on carry it out
with the consequences of bringing destruction, violence and death to other
“Iraq: The Pandora’s Box”
Editorial from far left La Jornada (4/24): “Jay Garner, lieutenant of George Bush, said
‘actions in Iraq have moved on incredibly fast and I think that the Iraqi
people are better off than they anticipated.’
Certainly, things have moved on fast, but not in the direction planned
by the aggressors, (they have not yet reached) the establishment of a
subjugated government that allows for reconstruction of businesses and the
concession of oil contracts to American and English firms. What is happening in the destroyed, massacred
and burned Iraq is a fast formation of new fronts that put up with American
forces. The most evident is the Shiite
front...the fall down of Saddam has strengthened the Kurdish organizations that
are located in Northern Iraq. The forces
that occupy Iraq do not have control of such organizations which have
established many levels of political autonomous power -municipal and regional-,
this situation is an unacceptable condition for Turkey because they are a
critical threat for its internal security; in the short run, this conflict
could provoke a new war between Iraq and its northern neighbor.”
CHILE: "Baghdad's New Strongman"
Conservative newspaper-of-record El Mercurio
noted (4/21): "U.S. General Jay
Garner, in charge of Iraq's reconstruction, is Baghdad's new strong man. The general is being criticized for his ties
to Israel and an alleged ideological closeness to Pentagon 'hawks.'"
ECUADOR: "War And Diplomacy"
Julio Prado Vallejo (former MoFA) in commented
in Guayaquil's centrist Expreso
(4/21): "It is evident that the war in Iraq will have immense political
consequences. Once Hussein is defeated
and Iraq occupied by invading forces, it is likely that the germ of a religious
war between Muslims from the East and Christians from the West will develop....
It is anticipated that the position of Iran, Syria, and Jordan will give way to
a tacit organization of those peoples to fight against the occupation of the Middle
East and the use of Iraq's oil-related wealth.
It is natural that a political conformation of this nature would provoke
instability, insecurity and war-related sentiments between the East and the
West. The UN chart has been breached and its international image undermined.
Therefore it is necessary to launch an initiative that would promote dialogue
among states and an analysis of the world situation after the war in Iraq, in
order to reshape peace and security systems."
GUATEMALA: “The State of Islam”
Conservative, often anti-American afternoon La
Hora asserted in its main editorial (4/23): “The immediate objective of the
war in Iraq was not that the country had lethal weapons.… It was a matter of overthrowing Saddam
Hussein but it was politically incorrect to order the attack with very
sophisticated weapons simply to overthrow a government, it was imperative to
say the attack was to preserve world peace.”
SOUTH AFRICA: "Unanswered Questions"
The liberal Natal Witness commented (4/29): "The post war tangle in Iraq is
disturbing in its range of unanswered questions. One still unresolved issue is whether or not
Saddam did have weapons of mass destruction.... The other major mystery is the apparently
successful disappearance of Saddam....
A lot of dust needs to settle before there will be clarity on these and
other questions.... Jay Garner...will need the wisdom of Solomon as he seeks to
establish an interim administration....
If Afghanistan was complicated, this could be even more so."
NIGERIA: "Anger In Baghdad"
Lagos-based independent The Comet
editorialized (4/25): "For the interim government set up to administer
Iraq by the United States headed by Jay Garner, these lessons have an immediate
relevance. The same disenchanted Iraq
civilians who greeted the news of the overthrow of Saddam with glee a fortnight
ago as they hailed the coalition forces whom many described as liberators, took
to the streets in protest last week as General Garner entered Baghdad to assume
office as leader of the interim government.
They argue that any government to be headed by a foreigner can only be
understood as colonialism which should be deprecated at this time. They expressed their preference for a
government by the Iraqis themselves.
They are right. After all the
right for a people to choose their leaders is universally recognized. The protests against the Jay Garner-led
interim government in Iraq will likely continue for a while and disappear....
The political volatility in the region, attributed to Saddam Hussein’s reign of
terror, can be wider and more detrimental to U.S. interests if at any given
time different ethnic and religious groups in Iraq join against the occupation
armies. And everything points into that
"Let's Talk About Real Guns, Not Toy Guns For Mass
language Habari Corporation-owned African editorialized (4/25): “In Baghdad, the world is likely to witness
the installation of another blessed mayor, although he may choose a more befitting
title, or be given one. Any way we look
at it, the situation in Iraq is slowly, yet steadily, getting out of hand. By bringing in Retired Gen. Jay Garner as
military governor, the Bush administration has in effect stoked the fires for
prolonged conflict. In both Kabul and
Baghdad, the wounds of heavy artillery are still fresh among the grieving
families who lost their loved ones, and the wounded who are having to nurse
their scarring wounds in countries undergoing severe deprivation.... President Bush and his war hawks are taking
the world on a perilous road. World
peace will never be achieved by smoking out imaginary weapons of mass
destruction - which the U.S. couldn't find in Iraq; or by capturing Osama bin
laden and Saddam Hussein like rats - which again the US has failed to
do.... As Bush goes hunting for small
fry, he conveniently closes his eyes to Israel's massive nuclear stockpiles,
which is believed to possess at least 200 nukes - or his own arsenal which is
capable of wiping out everything from the face of the Planet Earth at the push
of a button. To these, he evokes